Boozy Upside Down Skillet Cake

April 10, 2020

Boozy Upside Down Skillet Cake

These days are so uncertain. What we need more of is comfort. And what could be more comforting than an old school upside down cake? Well, this recipe has all the memories of days gone by with a lush and boozy modern kick of bourbon! So grab a cast iron skillet and get ready to enjoy a sweet slice.

Makes About 8 Servings


For the caramelized topping...

4 Large Ripe Bananas or 2 Cups another fruit---like Apples, Peaches or Pineapple 

1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Salt (our go-to all purpose is Rose Mountain)

2 Tablespoons Bourbon*

For the cake...

1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

3/4 Teaspoon Salt (sometimes, we like Pink Hawaiian too!)

1/4 Teaspoon Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg or may we suggest PS...LUV?)

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Large Eggs, room temperature--gives best rise to baked goods

1 Cup Buttermilk, room temperature--so easy to make your own. take 1 cup of milk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. let set about 15 minutes until slightly thickened. 

Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream for serving.*



1.  Preheat oven to 350º.

2. Melt the butter in 10" cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar and salt and cook until melted stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and decoratively press the bananas --flat side down into caramel. Or if using another fruit like canned pineapple rings, space fashionable. Or, if using peaches or apples, slice and arrange in a circle. Be creative! Set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spice. 

4. In a larger bowl, whisk together oil, sugar and vanilla. Then add eggs and whisk until smooth. Then add buttermilk and whisk again! 

5. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix using a wooden spoon until combined. Do not over mix!

6. Pour the batter evenly over the fruit & caramel.

7. Bake 35-40 minutes, rotating halfway through time so cake bakes evenly, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

8. Immediately run a paring knife around the edge of pan to loosen cake. Let rest for 15 minutes to set topping, then carefully invert cake onto a serving platter. If bits stick to pan, gently scrape them off and replace on top of cake.

9. Let cool until caramel sets, about 30 minutes or to room temperature. Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


Don't care for bourbon? Try spiced rum with the pineapple or even a smoky mezcal with apples.

Feel the need to abstain? Omit the bourbon or other chosen spirit.

What about nuts? At Sleepers, we like things a little nutty so feel free to add 1/4 cup of your favorite chopped nuts to the caramelized topping mixture. Or if you're inclined to toast for a deeper flavor, do this in your skillet BEFORE you melt butter.

Feel the urge to kick it up? Add another tablespoon of bourbon to the whipped cream before topping the cake!


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