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Blueberry-Lemon Upside Down Cake

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Secret Recipe Club

Whoop whoop!  I took a month off from the Secret Recipe Club and am so excited to be back with this recipe! My assignment this month was Evelyne’s blog, Cheap Ethnic Eatz.  As the title implies,her recipes are from around the world and affordable to make.  I nearly made her beautiful Peach Salsa since I’ve been on a salsa kick lately, but in the end, this beautiful cake won out.  When I read the titles of the recipes I was considering to my husband, including Strawberry Puff Pastry Pizza, Lazy Chocolate Raspberry Cake, Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding, Afghan Cardamom Pudding, and Peanut Butter Daifukumochi Balls (apparently I was really craving sweets when searching Evelyne’s archives-big surprise!), he absolutely insisted that I make this one.  I aim to please.

Well, thank you very much dear Evelyne, because this cake surely did please us both.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much.  Between the two of us, it only took us two days to polish off the entire cake.  While we do enjoy our sweets, this was ridiculous even for us, and a testament to how wonderful (and addictive) the cake is.

I did change it up by adding lemon flavor to the cake, because I really enjoy the combination of lemon and blueberry flavors .  It was amazeballs, as my friend, Jennifer, would say.  I think I also changed the texture of the cake as well by switching the baking powder for baking soda (the only science I’m any good at is baking science, and I knew the acid in the lemon juice was a perfect catalyst for baking soda, so I pulled the old switcharoo on my leaveners) and the cake was crazy moist to the nth degree.

I would probably try making this cake with the baking powder next time because although I did love the moist texture, with the juicy, dripping blueberry topping it wasn’t really necessary.  Another benefit of using the baking powder (which is baking soda with an acid mixed in (cream of tartar) to activate it) is that it wouldn’t take away the tartness from the lemon juice like the baking soda does (baking soda reacts with acids, which causes the bubbles and rising, and it neutralizes the acid in the process), so it might balance the sweet topping a little better.  But unless you hate sweet sweets, you will love this cake as is.  You know we did!

Blueberry-Lemon Upside Down Cake

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 lemon
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (12 oz) bag frozen blueberries OR 2 cups fresh blueberries
2/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Zest the lemon and set the zest aside. Squeeze the lemon and set the juice aside. In an 8 or 9 inch square cake pan, combine melted butter and brown sugar; spread evenly on bottom. Spread blueberries evenly over top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. If you are using frozen blueberries, put the dish in the oven for 10 minutes or until the blueberries are mostly defrosted. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing the cake batter. *It is OK if the dish is still warm when you add the batter.

Pour the milk into a 1-cup glass measure. Add enough of the leftover lemon juice to equal ¾ cups liquid. If you don’t have enough lemon juice, just add a bit more milk. Set this aside to curdle while you prepare the batter.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. In a separate larger mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, beating for about five minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour). Spread batter evenly over blueberry layer.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out on to a large flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe source: adapted from Cheap Ethnic Eatz



P.S. Happy 12th anniversary, sweetheart! I’m testing him to see if he’ll read this without me telling him he should.  :)  And happy birthday to my itty bitty sweetie who turns eight today!

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

53 responses »

  1. I just got the best blueberries at the store, I might have to try this. Happy anniversary!!

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  2. happy anniversary!
    this cake looks really like something I would love, with that massive amount of blueberries and the spongy texture. I love the color as well, probably due to the brown sugar? definitely something to bookmark (although I may be just as bad as you guys and eat it way too quick).
    is that a traditional sweet (asking because of the ethnic name of the original blog)

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    • The texture wasn’t spongy at all, or at least not by my definition. I think of spongy as dry and bouncy, like a sponge cake. I don’t know how else to describe this but over the top moist, not light but not heavy either. I’m glad you asked about the color b/c I wonder if my computer color settings are off–what does the color look like to you? On my computer, it looks very dark purplish blue on top and yellowish cake. If that’s what it looks like to you, then the color is just the natural color of cooked blueberries–they leak their juice and you get a very dark color, just like if you made a blueberry pie. This recipe originally comes from a Canadian magazine so you could call it ethnic, and it is not a traditional sweet at all, though to me it’s just a spin-off of the classic American cake: pineapple upside down cake. If you make it, be sure to do it when your family is all home so that if it all disappears in one sitting, you won’t be completely to blame. LOL!

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  3. So awesome you made this cake. I know too it has a tendency to disappear lol. Love the lemon idea and the whole baking soda vs baking powder theroy. Really happy it was a sucess.

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  4. Love blueberries, this looks good V! Happy Anniversary! and Happy birthday to Jessie :)

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  5. I can make this without any substitutions and it looks so so good! Happy Anniversary!

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  6. Happy anniversary!! This cake looks awesome – I love the lemon/blueberry combo too!

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  7. Happy Anniversary! I do wish that I wasn’t allergic to blueberries as your cake looks fab. Great pick.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC entry Candied Popcorn.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  8. Happy anniversary! And that cake looks wicked awesome. The pile of blueberries in there looks too scrumptious for words.

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  9. I love lemon and blueberry together! Great pick for SRC!

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  10. Wow! That is packed with berries and looks amazing. Great pick for the SRC.

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  11. Happy anniversary my friend – celebrating in blueberry heaven is one of the best ways to go :D

    Cheers
    CCU

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  12. Happy Anniversary! Ok, I read the description but after the recipe I just skipped to the comment section, so I guess a kind of failed :(

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  13. I am SO making this cake!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!
    ♥¸¸.♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ Happy Anniversary to Y’all ♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪.¸¸ ♥
    ♥¸¸.♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ Happy Birthday to Jessie ♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪.¸¸ ♥

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  14. Happy anniversary! Cheers to many more years of love together. Happy birthday to your little one, and many blessing to all. I like your recipe today, first time for me to see a blueberry upside down cake, I am sure it had to be delicious!

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  15. I think the lemon was genius. This looks definitely like it could pass for a breakfast cake too!

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  16. What a great looking cake! Yes to the lemon/blueberry. I have never thought of blueberries for an upside down cake.
    Happy Anniversary.

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  17. I love Ev;s blog and I LOVE this cake – I bookmarked it when she posted it : Whenever I think of blueberry with lemon in baking, I want to dump a ton of poppy seeds in it..love that combo! Great choice, Veronica!
    By the way – loved your comment! I feel EXACTLY the same way you do. All that work and time, then the worries about ‘is it good enough?’. I never think it is – seriously, but the funny thing is..when I think it sucks, people like it, and when I think it’s good..no dice lol

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    • Haha, ain’t that the truth? You never know what’s going to be popular so maybe we just worry too much, right? And you really need to make the cake, with poppyseeds would be cool!

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  18. Wow, look at all those blueberries! Gorgeous!

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  19. happy anniversary! this cake sounds fabulous!

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  20. Veronica this cake looks scrumptious! I love the addition of lemon and I think I’d stick with baking powder but I’m definitely making this one!

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  21. This looks phenomenal! Love that first photo so so much. My fave cake is pineapple upside down cake so this is right up my alley.. new to me but right up there! I bet it IS amazeballs :) And thanks for the little baking soda vs powder lesson. I have no science knowledge, not even baking science!

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    • I really did not excel in science but I’ve been slowly learning baking science from cookbooks that include it, online reading, and from experience. It’s kinda neat!

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  22. This cake looks amazing! Does anyone have a cake recipe that I could substitute that does not contain milk or butter? Thank ahead of time. :)

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  23. Just got a computer and am looking around. So glad I found you (by looking for waffles). This cake looks like a wannamake to me . Tell me please would you sub the entire amount of soda for powder? Thanks. Peace.

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  24. Was the original measure for the Baking powder the same as the 1 tsp soda you made it with? Thanks. Peace.

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  25. Pingback: Lemon Meringue Pie | Veronica's Cornucopia

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