Weekend Food Prep–Individual Marmalade Upside-Down Cakes

Sticky caramel, crunchy walnuts and cake, it seems difficult to go wrong with upside down cake. Even still, it is often a boring, stodgy affair, soggy from bland canned fruit. I’ve updated the recipe with flavorful marmalade and turned it into single-serve sizes so I can enjoy a rich dessert without having it sit on my counter, calling my name for the next week. Made in cupcake liners, I can have some now and put the rest away into the freezer for later.

These cakes made with preserves first started as a solution to using up a batch of homemade pineapple marmalade that I’d made as an experiment one year and then decided it wasn’t nice enough for gifting to others. I’ve since made cakes with traditional homemade citrus marmalade, Cara Cara (blood orange) marmalade, and thick blueberry conserve. Of course, you could forgo the marmalade and use more traditional canned pineapple or some other thinly sliced fruit, if you prefer.

Individual Marmalade Upside-Down Cakes

If you want the cakes extra gooey, use the large quantities of butter and brown sugar.

one. Prepare a standard (8 oz) cupcake pan with 12 parchment baking liners. Do not use standard paper liners, as the upside-down cakes will stick to them terribly.

two. Preheat the oven to 350oF.

three. Stir together:
2 (or 3) tbs. melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 (or 3/4) cup brown sugar

four. Spoon about 1 tbs. of the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of each baking liner. Sprinkle each with about a few tsps. of chopped walnuts, totaling about:
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

five. Place on top of the walnuts about 2 tsp. of marmalade or fruit conserve, totaling about:
1/3 cup marmalade or fruit conserve

six. In a small bowl, whisk together:
2 large eggs
2 Tbs. plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla

seven. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixture, stir together:
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

eight. Beat into the flour mixture until mostly combined:
6 tbs. butter

nine. Add and beat just until smooth:
6 Tbs. plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk

ten. Pour into the flour mixture about half of the egg mixture. Beat until incorporated. Pour in the other half of the egg mixture and beat again just until incorporated. The batter will be smooth and airy.

eleven. Place about 3 Tbs. of batter over each of the baking cups, until they are nearly filled to the top. Bake at 350oF until the tops spring back when gently pressed and they are just becoming golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Photo description: Seven individual flat, golden cakes on a cooling rack. They are still in their paper liners.

twelve. Let the cakes cool in the pan 5 minutes so the caramel is no longer molten hot lava, then remove them carefully to a rack to fully cool.

thirteen. To serve, warm slightly and invert onto a plate, carefully removing the paper liner so the caramel stays mostly on top. Place a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream beside it, if you’re feeling fancy.

Yields: 12 cakes

Photo description: Part of an upside-down cake on a golden-orange plate. Drippy caramel and chunks of walnuts can be seen on and beside the yellow cake.

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