Apricot Upside-Down Cake
Apricot halves, baked in a faux caramel of melted butter, brown sugar and spices, burst with punchy flavor in every bite of this cake. The sticky topping complements the almost-tart, fleshy stone fruit, and offers a textural contrast to the buttery cake. A hint of almond further accentuates the apricot flavor. This rustic beauty is perfect by itself, but you can serve it with whipped cream or ice cream, if you want to be fancy.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 4tablespoons/55 grams unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
- Flour, for dusting
- ½cup/110 grams light or dark brown sugar, packed
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼teaspoon fine sea salt
- 8medium apricots, rinsed and dried (about 1 pound)
- 1cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
- ½cup/55 grams almond flour
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- ¼teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔cup/135 grams granulated sugar
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2large eggs, at room temperature
- ½cup/120 milliliters whole milk
Step 1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the topping: Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan or an 8-inch square baking pan. In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread the brown sugary mix in an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
Step 2Cut the apricots in half and remove the pits. Arrange the apricots, flesh-side down, evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Step 3Prepare the cake batter: Add the flour to a medium bowl. Sift in the almond flour, then use your fingertips to break up any clumps that don’t fit through the sieve. Add the baking powder and salt to the bowl and whisk to combine.
Step 4In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, or in a stand mixer with the paddle attached, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium until combined and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Step 5Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, mixing to combine. Continue alternating the additions of flour and milk and mixing, scraping down the sides of the bowl, just until all is combined. (Make sure not to overmix during this step.)
Step 6Spread the batter in an even layer over the apricot halves. Bake until the cake is set and doesn’t jiggle when shaken, is golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
Step 7Remove pan from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. With the cake still in the pan, turn the pan over onto a serving platter. Wait 1 minute, then remove the pan. This cake is excellent warm, but it’s also delicious at room temperature.