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Nectarine, Plum, and Apricot Upside-Down Cakes

These stone-fruit cakes are equally delicious warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cool with a dollop of creme fraiche.

  • yield: Makes five 6-inch cakes or 36 mini cakes

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Ingredients

For the Fruit Enhancer

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum
  • 2 cups light-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

For the Cake

  • 2 1/2 pounds nectarines, plums, or apricots, about 10 to 15
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling fruit
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the fruit enhancer: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, maple syrup, dark rum, light-brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until well blended.

  2. Step 2

    Spray five 6-by-3-inch round cake pans or three 12-cup standard muffin tins with cooking spray; if using cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Divide fruit enhancer evenly among cake pans or muffin tins and spread with an offset spatula to make smooth.

  3. Step 3

    Slice fruit into 1/4-inch wedges. Starting from the inside and working outwards, arrange fruit slices in a fanlike, circular pattern on top of fruit enhancer, using about 2 to 3 pieces fruit per cake. If making mini upside-down cakes, slice fruit into circular, cross-sectional slices about 1/4-inch thick, using one round slice per muffin tin. You can also use thin wedges or slices for the mini upside-down cakes, and arrange in a decorative fashion.

  4. Step 4

    Make cake: Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  5. Step 5

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.

  6. Step 6

    Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes for the 6-inch cakes, or 20 to 25 minutes for the mini upside-down cakes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes, or 20 minutes for minis. Loosen side of cake with small offset spatula or paring knife. Invert cakes onto a rack set atop a baking sheet; peel off the parchment if necessary. Serve warm or cool.

Source
Martha Bakes, January 2011

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Reviews (4)

  • 29 Jan, 2014

    I am not sure why this recipe is for so many cakes... it looks beautiful and used up all my overstock of nectarines from my garden....but it is a bit ridiculous making five cakes at a time. I would suggest you at least half the recipe.

  • 8 Jul, 2013

    I never bake but always watch shows and finally decided to give it a try. It came out good. Not sure how it's suppose to taste but I got no complaints from my husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law or my greatest critiques, my kids. I will be making more upside down cakes for sure. I just wish there was a recipe for ONE upside-down cake versus three.

  • 22 Jul, 2012

    I modified this recipe to make an 8 inch cake in a cast-iron pan. I approximated 1/4 of all of the ingredients and found it to be too sweet. I used pineapple and apricots, and I think the apricots were very ripe and sweet, but in general I like to use less sugar than called for in desserts. Otherwise, this was a pretty easy recipe. I also didn't use a stand mixer, I did it all by hand and I think that was just as easy.

  • 19 Mar, 2011

    This recipe was awesome! I loved it. I made one six inch cake and one 4 inch. The rest of the batter I made the mini up-side down cakes. The fruit enhancer gave it the right touch. It sort of crystalizes with the juice of the fruit (I used plums) The presentation was beautiful. The only problem I had was with the mini up-side down cakes. It was really difficult to get out of the cupcake tins without it breaking apart. I will def try again another time. But overall great recipe.