Grapefruit Upside-Down Cake

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

Upside-down cake doesn't have to be made with pineapple. Grapefruit gives a bittersweet flavor to this rendition of a down-home classic.


  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 2 small pink grapefruit

  • 1 ½ cups flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup milk

  • Whipped cream, (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 4 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch round baking pan. Place the pan in the oven just long enough to melt the butter. Remove pan from oven; scatter 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.

  2. With a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit, removing all pith, and slice. Arrange the slices to cover the bottom of the pan.

  3. In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and allspice. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter until creamy. Add granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; beat until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

  4. Pour batter over grapefruit in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; turn cake out onto serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.

Cook's Notes

We made spice cake rather than the yellow cake typical of upside-down cakes. In place of grapefruit, you can use apricots, peaches, or plums in summer, and apples or pears in fall.

Related Articles