Apricot Almond Upside Down Cake

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Hello there– Last week at Ani’s house, we slumped onto the couch after dinner and turned on “The Great British Bake Off.”  All those British accents made their cakes seem so much more fancy!  And the first challenge was to bake an upside down cake.  One of my favorites!

— It made me want to head to kitchen and whip one up.  So when I did get back home to our own kitchen a week later, that’s just what I did–  Made it for the the Monday friends who come in every week.  It’s such a simple cake.  Just put it together, bake it and you’re done.  No frosting or fuss involved.  And here it is…

APRICOT ALMOND UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

Topping:
2  14 oz. cans of apricots*
1/2 cup whole toasted almonds, cut in half
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar

Cake:
1  1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. amaretto (or vanilla)

 

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You start with the topping.  First spray a 9 or 10″ round baking dish** with cooking spray.  Then coat it with the melted butter, tipping the pan to cover all the bottom surface with the butter.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter.  Distribute the almonds over all of that.    Strain  the canned apricots to get rid of all the juice from the can.  Then arrange the apricots cut side down over the almonds and set the baking dish aside for a bit.

To make the cake, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.  Then mix in the milk, oil, egg and amaretto (or vanilla).  Stir just until it’s all blended and then pour it evenly over the apricots etc. in the baking dish.

Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until it is cooked through so that a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Then there is one little tricky part.  Take the serving plate you are using to serve the cake and set it upside down over the hot cake.  Tip the whole thing over– upside down!  The cake may fall down onto the plate, but usually I have to take a knife and lift up the baking dish just slightly and the cake detaches from the pan and falls to the serving plate.

It’s delicious eaten warm.  Or save it for desert with a big scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.  Bon appetit!

* You can use fresh apricots (about 10), halved and seeded, but this time of year all I have is canned and they work just fine.
** I used a glass tart pan.

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Pecan Baby Cakes


Hi all you bakers–  These mini up-side-down cakes, flavored with orange and brown sugar are a little like carmel pecan rolls disguised as cake.   With a little whipped cream they’d be perfect for dessert, or hot from the oven would be the star of a brunch. When you pull them warm from the oven, they smell heavenly!

PECAN BABY CAKES
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup honey
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 1/2 cups flour
1  3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
8 oz. carton sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla

In a heavy pan, combine the brown sugar, butter and honey.  Cook and stir couple minutes until it starts to simmer.  Stir in the pecans and orange peel.  Set aside

In a large bowl combine the eggs and sugar.  Beat them about 3 minutes with an electric mixer on high.  Then mix in the oil, sour cream and vanilla.  Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt, beating on low speed.

Next, spray 12 large size muffin tins with cooking spray and spoon in 2 tab. of the pecan mixture into each muffin hole.  Cover the pecan goo with about 1/3 cup of cake batter.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the tops are firm to the touch.

Take them out of the oven and let them sit and cool for about 5 minutes.  Ease them out of the muffin tin with a fork and if some of the pecan topping sticks in the muffin pan, scrape it out and spread on the extracted cake. If you want, garnish with the cakes a bit more orange peel and a sprinkle of pecans.   Eat warm or cool, yummy either way!