Blueberry upside-down cake is a simple dessert you can make with fresh or frozen berries. It’s easy to make and absolutely delicious served with ice cream!
Can we declare 2020 the year of the upside-down cake? Because I have about a thousand variations I plan on making in the months to come, starting with this one.
Blueberry upside-down cake! A soft, lemony cake is topped with a sweet, lightly cinnamon-y blueberry topping. And as an extra bonus it’s really easy to make.
This isn’t some fancy layer cake you need all kinds of special equipment and a full day to pull off—not at all. This is dessert for the non-baker. It’s simple enough to whip up on a Thursday afternoon but special enough to serve for Easter dinner.
And it’s just so GOOD!
Why you’ll love this blueberry upside-down cake:
- You can use fresh OR frozen berries!
- You don’t need a stand mixer to make it
- The ingredients are easy to find and you probably have them all on hand right now
How to make the cake
- Cream room temp butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in eggs and a few other ingredients
- Mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk
If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute whole milk mixed with white vinegar or fresh lemon juice; see the recipe card for exact proportions.
For the topping:
- Stir together topping ingredients EXCEPT berries
- Pour into a 9-inch round cake pan
- Pour the blueberries into the pan
- Gently pour the cake batter over the berries and smooth
Then you’ll bake the cake for about an hour. When the cake comes out of the oven, let it sit for five minutes, then carefully flip your cake onto a cake plate.
How to store your cake
Uneaten blueberry upside-down cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to two days. Wait to cover your cake until it’s fully cooled to room temp! Otherwise your cake will sweat.
The cake can also be stored in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to two months.
- If you don’t like lemon in desserts you can omit the lemon zest. Replace it with a half teaspoon of vanilla extract or even with a little orange zest or a pinch of cinnamon.
- Don’t care for cinnamon? Just leave it out of the topping!
- You can substitute maple syrup (the real thing, not pancake syrup) for the honey if you like.
How to zest lemons
Blueberry and lemon are an unbeatable combo, which is why I like to add lemon zest to this blueberry upside-down cake. But you want to be sure your zest is grated finely—no one wants to bite into a huge chunk of lemon rind.
When zesting lemons, you want just the outer yellow part of the lemon peel—DON’T go all the way down to the white part, which isn’t lemony at all.
You can buy special lemon zesters, which do an OK job but I think you still need to chop the zest before using it.
I use this microplane to zest lemons because it takes off just the outer yellow layer and grates that zest up so finely that it really just melts into the cake.
That’s what you want—all the lemon flavor, none of the weird lemon chunks that you sometimes get if your zest isn’t small enough.
Did you make this blueberry upside-down cake? Excellent! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. Then post a pic on IG–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your delicious creations!
Blueberry upside-down cake is a simple dessert that's special enough for holidays but easy enough for any day! It's absolutely delicious served with ice cream!
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk*
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
- Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, several minutes. Beat in the vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- With mixer on low, beat in half of the dry ingredients followed by half of the buttermilk until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Beat in the remaining dry ingredients, then the remaining buttermilk, again beating until just combined.
- Set the batter aside and make the topping.
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a small bowl and stir together to form a paste. Spread into the bottom of the cake pan.
- Scatter the berries in a single layer in the bottom of the pan and set the pan aside.
- Pour the cake batter over the berries and use a small offset spatula to spread the batter out (gently!) if necessary.
- Bake 55 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan a few times to loosen. Place a cake stand or large serving plate on top of the pan and flip.
- If the cake sticks, turn the pan back to right side-up and run your knife around the cake a few more times and use a small offset spatula to lift the cake (again gently!) up. Then invert onto the serving plate again.
- If any blueberries stick to the pan you can just remove them with the spatula and replace them on top of the cake.
- Cool for 20 to 30 minutes, then serve and enjoy.
- Uneaten blueberry upside-down cake can be stored at room temperature (covered) for up to 2 days. Be sure the cake is cooled completely to room temperature before you cover it.
- Cake can also be stored in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months.
*You can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before using in the cake batter.