Lemon Upside-Down Cake

"If you love lemons, what's not to like about this unusual lemon cake recipe that comes from the 2001 cookbook, Luschious Lemon Desserts"
photo by 2Bleu photo by 2Bleu
photo by 2Bleu
Ready In:
1hr 25mins




  • Make sure there is a rack in the middle of the oven & preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Trim ends from lemons & cut into slices 1/8" to 1/4" thick, discarding any seeds.
  • In an ovenproof, nonstick 10" skillet over medium heat, melt unsalted butter with the brown sugar.
  • Add lemon slices & increase heat to high. Boil & stir for 1 minute.
  • Remove skillet from heat & arrainge slices in an attractive pattern in the bottom of the skillet.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder & salt.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter until light & fluffy.
  • Add granulated sugar & zest, again beating until light & fluffy (& scraping down the side of the bowl).
  • Add egg yolks & vanilla & beat just until blended, then reduce speed to low & add flour mixture alternately with the milk, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition. Beat until just blended.
  • In a large clean bowl, beat egg whites with clean beaters on medium speed until just foamy, then increase speed to medium-high & add cream of tartar, beating just until egg whites form stiff peaks.
  • Add 1/4 of the whites to the batter & fold in using a whisk or rubber spatula ~ Continue to gently fold in the whites, 1/4 at a time, being careful not to overmix.
  • Pour batter over lemon slices & gently smooth the top, then bake 45-50 minutes or until top is golden brown & a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Loosen edge of cake with a rubber spatula all around, then invert it onto a serving platter, leaving the pan over the cake for 5 minutes.
  • Remove pan & serve cake warm, cut into wedges.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Outstanding! Only change was gluten free flour. Otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing. As Always, your recipes are the best. Would love to eat at your table. Grannydragon
  2. I made a half batch and used a 6" skillet. The only changes I made was I just added the egg whole and I removed all the rind from the lemon. The batter was sort of thick, so I had to carefully place dollops over the lemon in butter/sugar mixture. It took a little care and patience, but I got it together and it worked out nicely. I was unsure about the recipe b/c there was a lot of butter/sugar mixture surrounding the cake mix. But it worked out fine and was perfectly done in just 40 minutes. When it came time to flip it onto the plate, it stuck a little but this could be due to the fact that I removed the rind completely. The cake is delicious and the fresh caramelized lemons gave the top lots of pucker power, but is still fantastic. If you didn't want to pucker so much, you could serve it with a dollop of whipped cream. Great recipe. Next time I want to try it with oranges. Thanks for a keeper!



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