Triple Berry Upside Down Cake

berry cake Lon Binder


Upside down cakes are just genius! They have a technique that allows a baker to be creative with fruit toppings. Whether you bake them in a cast iron skillet or a bundt cake pan, or a deep pie plate, they seem to bake perfectly every time. Today, I baked Jackie Garvin’s Triple Berry Upside Down Cake, from her blog,, which is a website full of southern charm, stories, recipes and enticing food photography. The #cookclub, founded by the Editor of the Food and Travel sections of the Tampa Bay Times, Janet Keeler, is a group of people who love to cook and bake, who come together virtually to share cooking inspirations, recipes, and more. We are currently cooking some of our own favorite recipes. Janet recently took a pie-baking lesson from Jackie, who is an enthusiastic southern baker, and we are all anxious to try her upside down cake and to share our stories in a live twitter chat Thursday evening. Here is my cake, made following Jackie’s recipe.

I confess that mine is a double-berry topping, because my husband is not a fan of blueberries, and the recipe calls for frozen berries. I had dark cherries and Marion blackberries in the freezer. I also confess that I do not own a cast iron skillet. I may have to rectify that soon! So, I utilized a bundt pan, sprayed thoroughly with non-stick coating before pouring in the caramel, berries and cake batter. You just know that this is going to be a luscious cake when you see and smell the thick batter! Here is how to make it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Place 1 stick of butter in a skillet and melt over medium heat. Add 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and stir until the mixture is just bubbling, and the sugar appears dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and set aside.

Cake Batter Ingredients

5 Tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour (if you do not have self-rising, use all purpose or cake flour and add 1 teaspoon baking powder for leavening)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups mixed frozen berries

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar. In another bowl, measure the flour and lemon zest and mix. Lightly stir together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and some of the buttermilk mixture to the creamed butter and mix well after each addition. End with the dry mixture.

Place the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of the cast iron skillet or bundt pan or a 9 inch cake pan. Then, add the frozen berries. Next, spread the cake batter over the berries evenly. Bake at 350 F for about 55 minutes until the cake springs back when touched.

image source

*I have paraphrased Jackie’s recipe, so go to for the original.

The cake came out of the bundt pan beautifully when inverted, and has a beautiful appearance on a white platter. I decorated the platter with a bit of fresh berries. The topping had plenty of good fruit consistency–I had wondered how the frozen berries would hold up in texture. The crumb is moist, and the flavors of caramel, vanilla and lemon are prominent. Served with just a little scoop of vanilla gelato on the side! Thank you, Jackie Garvin!

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