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Chocolate-Almond Upside-Down Cake

This delicious recipe for chocolate almond upside-down cake is courtesy of Gale Gand and can be found in her cookbook, "Chocolate and Vanilla."

  • Yield: Makes one 10-inch cake
Chocolate-Almond Upside-Down Cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November Fall 2007


For the Caramel Topping

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/4 cups sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted

For the Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self rising)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the topping: Generously butter a 10-inch round nonstick cake pan. Pour 6 tablespoons melted butter into the cake pan and swirl to coat the bottom; sprinkle in brown sugar. Drizzle honey over sugar and sprinkle evenly with almonds.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Prepare the cake: Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together three times to make the cake extra light. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar and continue mixing. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, add a third of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add half the buttermilk and continue mixing. Add another third of the dry ingredients, mix, and add remaining buttermilk and vanilla. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.

  4. Bake until set in the center and springy, 45 to 55 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and immediately invert the pan onto a serving platter. Let it sit with the pan still on top for 5 minutes so the caramel can soak into the cake a bit, before removing the pan. If the topping is sticking to the pan, warm the pan surface over a low burner to loosen the caramel and then pour it over the cake. Let cool completely. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife.

Reviews (15)

  • naddlles 22 Dec, 2014

    Made this for my moms bday this weekend. It turned out beautifully, very impressive cake for not a lot of work. Everyone thought it was store bought. It was moist and the candy almond crust was a nice alternative to frosting which most people scrape off anyway. The only issue I had was that I used a 10" springform pan and the butter and sugar topping was dripping in the oven causing it to smoke. If I make it again I may try putting a paper liner. Also use a dark cocoa!

  • hotbunsbaker7 30 Dec, 2013

    Hi I just made this cake. Unfortunately did not use the right pan size, very important it was spilling all over the oven lots of smoke in my kitchen. Will pay more attention next time. Looks great though and tastes wonderful, maybe next time it will be perfect. Thanks again.

  • adelenimr 4 Oct, 2012

    Hi, this is my first recipe review. i made this cake yesterday and it turned out great! it was so yummy. but personally i will put less sugar in the batter next time.

  • jennifersh636 17 Sep, 2012

    I finally made this cake! It yielded enough batter to make a second cake without the almond caramel for the 10inch rounds that I have. The second one, I'm going to top with chocolate fudge (per boyfriend's request) and serve them both up to friends and family! No occasion. 'Just like baking as soon as the leaves start to fall.

    Thanks Martha! --Jennifer

  • smd1227 16 Mar, 2010

    This cake is delicious and moist. My family loves it. I've made it with almonds, macadamias and walnuts. Next I'm using peanuts.

  • poporacle 17 Feb, 2009

    I just made this from my copy of Gale's book and discovered too late that the baking time is wrong in my edition-it says 25 to 35 minutes, not 45 to 55 as stated above. The cake was an underdone mess and spilled open like a cracked egg. I've made a notation in my copy for future attempts (and there will be-the flavors are delicious, when baked long enough!)

  • tanea crawford 28 Nov, 2008

    We got raved reviews on Thxgiving for this cake. I let my 2 yr old do the beginning part of the recipe (really simple). Gr8t fun w/ gr8t results!

  • tanea crawford 28 Nov, 2008

    This cake is yummy. It was raved about on Thxgiving. I let my 2 yr old do the topping part of the recipe (really simple). Gr8t fun w/ gr8t results!

  • Cecita 2 Sep, 2008

    I've done this cake several times and i love it! it's super moist and it really does get better as it ages... the only thing is that i haven't seem to know when it's done, i always undercook it a little...

  • DearLacie 30 Apr, 2008

    This cake is delicious. Really moist, and everyone loved it. It's impressive to serve too.

  • elnb 1 Mar, 2008

    This cake is wonderful, I would agree it's better the next day. My family loved it so much I had to make it for two birthdays in February. I made it with Hershey's cocoa powder and it tasted great. Put it on a fancy plate and everyone will think you slaved all day making such a delicious

  • akrajnik 30 Dec, 2007

    This cake gets better the older it gets. My advice is make it a couple of days in advance. The honey seems to permeate the cake as it ages.

  • mauibythesea 5 Dec, 2007

    I love the top with almonds. But the cake itself should be a true chocolate cake made with chocolate pellets instead of powder. I found the dough to be quite dry and tasteless.

  • matamura 2 Dec, 2007

    Made this yesterday, after reading bakerbern comment I decreased the butter from 6 tablespoon to five. Also I did not have the dutch process chocolate, so I grated Le Noir 56% cacao on the top before baking, and after inverting the cake while is still was hot grated more cacao on top. This is a great easy dessert to make. My family just loved it.

  • bakerbern 23 Nov, 2007

    I have been baking a long time and had trouble with this one. It seemed to take a lot longer than it said and seemed very greasy????

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