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    Easy Lemon Upside Down Cake

    If you’re looking for an irresistible cake that is quick and easy to make and doesn’t require any frosting, then this lemon upside down cake is it! A moist spiced cake topped with lemon and brown sugar caramel, this lemon cake will give you that warm and fuzzy feeling that honestly reminds you of your childhood! Best served slightly warm with a side of Greek yoghurt or whipped cream – YUM!

    lemon upside down cake

    What is a lemon upside down cake?

    A lemon upside-down cake is a variation of the classic upside-down cake where the fruit topping consists of sliced lemons instead of the more commonly used pineapple or apple. It’s a delicious dessert that features a soft, moist cake base with a tangy and caramelized lemon topping.

    Trust me – IT IS DELICIOUS and so easy to make!

    How to make lemon upside down cake

    Begin by preheating your oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 1 on recipe card below if you don’t have a fan function) and grease the sides of an 8 inch cake tin (I use my homemade cake release). There’s no need to grease or line the bottom.

    To make the topping, begin by placing a saucepan over a medium heat and add in butter and soft brown sugar. Keep gently stirring until all the butter is completely melted. Leave the mixture to heat up, and once it starts to gently bubble in the middle, leave it for another 10 seconds or so, give it a mix and then take it off the heat. We only want the mixture to caramelise a little and we don’t want it to get too thick.

    lemon upside down cake

    Immediately pour the mixture onto the bottom of the cake tin, and move the cake tin around in a circular motion to evenly distribute the caramelised sugar. Set aside.

    Slice two lemons in half and save one half for later as we’ll need lemon juice and zest later on in the recipe. Slice the remaining 3 halves into thin slices. Try not to make the lemon slices too thick otherwise this can leave a bitter taste in your cake. Choose one round slice to go in the center of the cake, and then cut the remaining round slices in half (see video for demonstration).

    lemon upside down cake

    Place the round lemon piece in the center of the cake tin on top of your caramelised sugar (the sugar should be a bit firmer now), and then place the remaining half slices around the outer edges and slightly over lap them. If you have any left over lemon slices, just pop them aside to use for something else :). Set your cake tin aside for now.

    Next is the cake. In a bowl sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, ground cloves and ground nutmeg. Mix together with a whisk or fork and then set aside for now.

    lemon upside down cake

    In a medium sized bowl add in butter, white sugar, oil and lemon zest (from the half lemon we saved earlier), and using a hand or stand mixer, mix on a medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

    Next add in your egg, and mix until well combined.

    lemon upside down cake

    Next add in the lemon juice (also from the half lemon we set aside earlier) and Greek yoghurt. Mix until well combined. Scrape the batter off your attachments as we’re going to mix the rest by hand.

    Add in your pre-sifted dry ingredients from earlier and using a spatula, gently fold until just combined and there are no streaks of flour running through the batter. Do not overmix.

    lemon upside down cake

    Pour the batter into the cake tin on top of the lemons and caramelised sugar. Tap the cake tin lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles and then bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

    lemon upside down cake

    Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin for about 15-20 minutes before turning it out onto your serving plate/cake stand. Allow it to cool for another 30 minutes or so before serving. Best served slightly warm with some Greek yoghurt on the side or whipped cream. Enjoy!

    lemon upside down cake

     

    lemon upside down cake

    Easy Lemon Upside Down Cake

    If you're looking for an irresistible cake that is quick and easy to make and doesn't require any frosting, then this lemon upside down cake is it! A moist spiced cake topped with lemon and brown sugar caramel, this lemon cake will give you that warm and fuzzy feeling that honestly reminds you of your childhood! Best served slightly warm with a side of Greek yoghurt or whipped cream - YUM!
    5 from 7 votes
    Print Pin Rate Watch Video
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 35 minutes
    Total Time: 50 minutes
    Servings: 12 people

    IMPORTANT: For accuracy, I would recommend using the gram measurements provided as those are the exact quantities I use. Cup measurements are given as estimates (based on US cup measurements) to make it easier for those who do not have a scale.

    Ingredients
     

    Topping (that goes on the bottom of the cake tin)

    • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter
    • cup (80 g) soft brown sugar
    • 2 medium lemons

    Cake

    • cups (180 g) all purpose flour
    • tbsp (11 g) cornstarch - also known as cornflour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp salt - omit if using salted butter
    • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
    • ½ tsp ginger powder
    • ¼ tsp ground cloves
    • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
    • 3 tbsp (43 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
    • cup (70 g) unflavoured vegetable oil - I use canola oil
    • ¾ cup (150 g) white granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 large egg - room temperature
    • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • cup (93 g) Greek yoghurt - full fat, room temperature

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 160 °C (320°F) with the fan on (see note 1 if you don't have a fan function) and grease the sides of an 8 inch cake tin (I use my homemade cake release). There's no need to grease or line the bottom.

    Topping

    • Begin by placing a saucepan over a medium heat and add in the butter and soft brown sugar. Keep gently stirring until all the butter is completely melted. Leave the mixture to heat up, and once it starts to gently bubble in the middle, leave it for another 10 seconds or so, give it a mix and then take it off the heat. We only want the mixture to caramelise a little and we don't want it to get too thick.
    • Immediately pour the mixture onto the bottom of the cake tin, and move the cake tin around in a circular motion to evenly distribute the caramelised sugar. Set aside.
    • Slice the two lemons in half and save one half for later as we'll need lemon juice and zest later on in the recipe. Slice the remaining 3 halves into thin slices. Try not to make the lemon slices too thick otherwise this can leave a bitter taste in your cake. Choose one round slice to go in the center of the cake, and then cut the remaining round slices in half (see video for demonstration).
    • Place the round lemon piece in the center of the cake tin on top of your caramelised sugar (the sugar should be a bit firmer now), and then place the remaining half slices around the outer edges and slightly over lap them. If you have any left over lemon slices, just pop them aside to use for something else :). Set your cake tin aside for now.

    Cake

    • In a bowl sift together your flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, ground cloves and ground nutmeg. Mix together with a whisk or fork and then set aside for now.
    • In a medium sized bowl add in the butter, white sugar, oil and lemon zest (from the half lemon we saved earlier), and using a hand or stand mixer, mix on a medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
    • Next add in your egg, and mix until well combined.
    • Next add in the lemon juice (also from the half lemon we set aside earlier) and Greek yoghurt. Mix until well combined. Scrape the batter off your attachments as we're going to mix the rest by hand.
    • Add in your pre-sifted dry ingredients from earlier and using a spatula, gently fold until just combined and there are no streaks of flour running through the batter. Do not overmix.
    • Pour the batter into the cake tin on top of the lemons and caramelised sugar. Tap the cake tin lightly on the counter to remove any large air bubbles and then bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin for about 15-20 minutes before turning it out onto your serving plate/cake stand. Allow it to cool for another 30 minutes or so before serving. Best served slightly warm with some Greek yoghurt on the side or whipped cream. Enjoy!

    Video

    YouTube video

    Notes

    Note 1. In this recipe I use an oven with the fan function turned on. The fan forced function cooks cakes faster, so if your oven doesn't have a fan option, then you will need to increase the baking temperature to 175°C (347°F) so that the cake bakes at the same rate as mine 🙂
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutritional information are estimates only as they are automatically calculated by a third party application. Actual values may differ based on brands and types of products used.

    Keyword: cake with no frosting, lemon cake, lemon spice cake, lemon upside down cake, meyer lemon upside down cake
    Tried this recipe?I love hearing from you! Tag me @cakesbymk.nz on instagram so I can see your amazing creations 🙂

     

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    6 Comments

    • Fiona

      5 stars
      AMAZING!!
      Can I post a pic of hiw mine turned out?

      • Cakes by MK

        Awesome! So so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe Fiona 😀 if you have Instagram or Facebook you can tag me on there 😀

    • Chuck Angove

      5 stars
      OMG!!!! This cake has wonderful favor!
      My husband had two pieces. The ultimate compliment!! I will probably never have pineapple upside down 🍍 cake again. This was so much better! Thank you for this wonderful recipe 👍👍👍 and spending the time and effort to put it out there for the world to enjoy
      Chuck USA. P.S. I baked at 350 with no fan. Came out perfect!!

      • Cakes by MK

        So so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe Chuck! 😀

    • Rosenah

      5 stars
      Looks appetizingbut is it too sweet?

      • Cakes by MK

        Hi Rosenah! 🙂 If you caramelise the topping just enough then it shouldn’t be too sweet as the lemon cuts through the sweetness 🙂 you can also reduce the sugar for the topping slightly if you prefer. Enjoy!

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    About me

    Welcome to my blog! My name is Maryam and I LOVE baking! :) I hope to provide you with the tools (i.e. simple, from-scratch, quality tested recipes), so that you can confidently bake up delicious treats to share with your family and friends!

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