Wrong Side Up = Oh So Right

Just over a month ago, my husband celebrated his birthday. He’s not one to be sensitive about his age, but just in case, I won’t actually spell out how old he is. Besides, I like to joke that despite the fact that he is getting…

Wrong Side Up = Oh So Right

Strawberry Upside Down Cake BerriesJust over a month ago, my husband celebrated his birthday. He’s not one to be sensitive about his age, but just in case, I won’t actually spell out how old he is. Besides, I like to joke that despite the fact that he is getting chronologically older, his mental age is at about 12. Ah, to be young at heart!

One of the good things about my hubby is that he’ll keep us laughing and youthful.

Each year, he asks for cupcakes for his birthday. If it were up to him, he would have cupcakes straight out of the box with frosting that comes in a can. I usually do, after all, he’s the birthday boy, and it’s a simple wish.

This year, for some reason, he did not want cupcakes or a dessert. But it’s hard for me to celebrate a birthday without baking something yummy, so I saw this as an opportunity to play with strawberries, since they have been so wonderful this season.

Strawberry Maple Upside Down Cakes with Maple Whipped Cream was my retort to his birthday cupcake denial, and even the birthday boy himself found himself eating his words…or his cake. There’s just something so compelling in this dessert; the cool creaminess of maple whipped cream juxtaposed over a warm, maple syrup infused cake with drippy, sugary strawberry juices is utterly delightful. This topsy turvy cake is not exactly photogenic, but believe me when I say, this homely cake has very sophisticated flavors.

Strawberry-Upside-Down-Cake

Strawberry Maple Upside Down Cakes with Maple Whipped Cream

makes 5 individual servings

  • 12-15 strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped (plus 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp maple syrup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange strawberries flat side down in 5 6-oz ramekins (about 5 strawberry halves per ramekin). In a sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Stir in brown sugar until blended and dissolved. Remove immediately from heat and distribute pour over strawberries in ramekins.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream 1/4 cup butter, and gradually beat in granulated sugar. Beat in egg, and add lemon juice, vanilla, maple syrup and grated lemon rind, mixing well. Add flour alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Use a large ice cream scoop to distribute batter over fruit in each ramekin (about 3.5 oz per ramekin). Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make Maple Whipped Cream. Whisk heavy cream, sugar and maple syrup until soft peaks form.

Remove baking sheet from oven and cool cakes on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen edge with a sharp knife and invert ramekin over a serving plate. Serve warm with spoonful of maple whipped cream on top.

{Make Ahead Tips}

  • Maple Whipped Cream can be made in advance and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • If you wish to bake the cakes in advance, you can warm each ramekin in the microwave before inverting and serving.

Comments

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  1. Kathy Diaz (foundbaking)

    Beautiful photos! I can’t imagine my husband one year to not ask me to make him chocolate chip pancakes (that’s one thing he asks for each year for a birthday breakfast). I am sure this did not disappoint your hubby. Watch out, he’ll ask for cupcakes and this Strawberry Maple Upside Down Cakes next year.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Mmm, chocolate chip pancakes is a wonderful way to start a birthday! I will say, if these upside down cakes become a tradition, I would be more than happy to oblige :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      I do love maple whipped cream right now – we had them on our buttermilk pancakes the other day. Along with bananas and maple syrup, I was in breakfast heaven.

      Reply
  2. Jenn [Defunkt Gourmet]

    Wow, did you fall off your chair when Hubby said “No cupcakes this year”? lol…. But at least you met the challenge with something so spectacular and beautiful :)
    I’m waiting for strawberry picking season. I think it’s soon later this month. I’ll definitely have to give this a go ;)

    Reply
    • Liren

      I did! But I’m not quite a good listener at the no dessert thing – luckily these turned out so well, so I think I’m forgiven. Hope you make this when you get your strawberries!

      Reply
  3. Betsy

    Saw your recipe on Foodbuzz. I’d just purchased some local strawberries and made this tonight. An amazing dessert!!! I didn’t have a fresh lemon so used a lime for the juice and zest. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Betsy, I really appreciate you telling me how it turned out! I’m always happy to hear when someone tries a recipe, and I am so glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you!

      Reply
  4. Stella

    Hey Liren! Me and my Mom are looking at this, and we are going to make something like it now with what we have-it looks so wonderful! The photos are really enticing.
    By the way, my Cauldron Boy is an eternal 12 year old (smile)…

    Reply
    • Liren

      Ah you have a 12 year old there, too? It’s a good thing – I appreciate it, that’s for sure. Did you and your mom make it? Can’t wait to hear how it turned out :)

      Reply
  5. Heather I.

    The strawberries look so ripe and juicy! What a cute idea- the ramekins make them extra special. Oh, and you can’t go wrong with maple!

    Reply
    • Liren

      So true, can’t go wrong with maple – it’s almost like having pancakes!

      Reply
  6. Annie

    These look wonderful! My strawberries are just ripening in the garden. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Rebecca! I’m sure he’s enjoying all his birthday greetings :)

      Reply
  7. Cristina

    I like smaller portioned desserts like this, there’s something more elegant about them. Then, that fruit is the main ingredient…befitting for the season and sounds like a real treat. Birthday wishes to Mr. Kitchen-Confidante!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Cristina, why is it that ramekins just make everything more elegant? Love that :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Oh good! I know, we’ve got strawberries coming out of our ears!

      Reply
    • Liren

      LOL, you’ll just have to make it yourself! You will LOVE it!

      Reply
  8. The Housewife

    Looks so great! Belated wishes to your husband.. he’s a lucky man! :)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Aw, thanks, he is a lucky man! Then again, I’m a lucky woman, too :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Yes, mom’s do know best! And it’s true – I love when my kids try their hand at decorating cupcakes – they look atrocious, but still taste so good :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Aw, thanks! I”m glad you think so. They’re a wee messy looking, but they sure taste good!

      Reply
  9. norma

    Young at heart is great….these look pretty good….interested in the maple cream…Happy Birthday to your Hubby!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Norma! Yes, young at heart is a good thing :) Hope you try these – they’re so delicious!

      Reply
  10. citronetvanille

    I believe every word you say when talking those gorgeous strawberry cakes! They look absolutely amazing…I can see the juice coming out through a little hole, so yummy! Oh well some men stay very young at heart for the rest of their lives ! LOL

    Reply
    • Liren

      Silvia, it’s funny you should mention the juices oozing out. When my husband saw that in the picture, he fussed that it looked messy. But I told him, “But it’s REAL.” That’s what I love about this dessert, too. It’s ooziness (is there such a word?).

      Reply
  11. The Cilantropist

    These are so cute in their individual dishes! And I am sure a nice departure from making the birthday cupcakes. ;) I hope your husband had a lovely birthday.

    Reply
    • Liren

      You know, it really was a nice departure from the usual cupcakes! I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this a lot in the future.

      Reply
  12. Jean

    What beautiful cakes! I really like that they were baked in individual ramekins.

    Happy Birthday to Mr. K-C! What a great wife you are.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks Jean! Mr. K-C, I hope you’re reading this! I try to be a pretty awesome wife, LOL.

      Reply
    • Liren

      Yes, the maple whipped cream is what seals the deal for me :) We also tried them with ice cream, and it works too (but I prefer the whipped cream) :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks!! Yes, I agree, I hope we do ALL stay young at heart :)

      Reply
    • Liren

      Lisa, I don’t think we’ll ever grow up. Sometimes I even forget how old I am!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Brian, they are cute, aren’t they? Even using 6 oz ramekins yield pretty generous servings, not that anyone around here complains. This can even be done as one big cake in a regular cake pan, but I like the idea of individual servings.

      Reply
  13. Debi(Table Talk)

    Ooh, these are so pretty~like individual cobblers! I really like Grand Marnier with strawberries….I bet a little tossed in the strawberries and maple syrup swapped out for a bit of orange zest would be fun too.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Debi – you’re right, they do look like little cobblers! Ah, that’s another post :) Love, love, love the idea of adding the Grand Marnier – now that would be sublime. I like the way you think!

      Reply
  14. gastroanthropologist

    My husband’s birthday is a few months away but he is a huge “fruit” dessert fan and spent a lot of his life in new hampshire and has even made his own maple syrup by tapping a tree and boiling it…. He too definitely has a mental age younger than his actual age and I think will love this. Sometimes the not so photogenic things are the best to eat! But, actually these look quite tasty.

    Reply
    • Liren

      It sounds like these cakes are just the thing for your husband, too! I’ve always dreamed of tapping maple trees for syrup – how fantastic – still hope to try that one day. Hope you get to make it for him!

      Reply
      • Kevin

        I don’t know how many can be found in the urban Bay Area but besides the famous Sugar Maple, the Big Leaf Maple (aka Brown Maple, Western Maple, Oregon Maple, etc) sap makes a very tasty syrup and it’s natural range extends down through central California. When I was a kid living in southern Oregon we had a neighbor who made maple syrup from Big Leaf Maple trees on his property, and it was very tasty! Which is to say, don’t let your geographic distance from the east coast discourage your desire to try tapping and making maple syrup.

        http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Bigleaf_Maple

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