A Southern Grace: nuts about nuts

December 5, 2013

nuts about nuts


In all my life, I've never seen an upside-down cake that didn't involve some sort of fruit.

Granted, I've only really been paying close attention to such things for about 6 years (egadders, have I been blogging that long?*), but still, have you ever encountered or heard of such a thing?

*My pictures may still be lacking, but boy, I've come a long way.

I promised you that this one was coming, and here it is in all its glistening glory. Sweetened and crunchy slices of almonds sit atop a surprisingly moist cake that has some amazing caramel seeping right down into it. You know I've recently become the upside-down cake's biggest fan, and this version just solidifies that stance. Seriously, this is my favorite one to date. Pfffruit.

Other ideas with which I'm toying include a coconut and macadamia nut version (with or without some pineapple) and a black-forestesque chocolate-cherry combination. I sure do love when the possibilities are endless.

Fruit-Free Almond Upside-Down Cake
For topping:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-1/4 cups sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted
For cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Make topping:
Thickly butter a 10-inch round cake pan. Pour the melted butter into the cake pan and swirl to coat the bottom then sprinkle in the brown sugar. Drizzle in the honey and sprinkle the almonds evenly over the bottom.

Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture alternately in batches with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until just combined.

Bake cake:
Heat topping in skillet over moderately high heat until it starts to bubble, then gently spoon batter over topping and spread evenly. Quickly transfer to oven; bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around inside edge of pan, then invert a serving plate over pan and invert cake onto plate. Cool completely on plate on rack, 1 hour. Serve cake at room temperature.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Heavenly! I love nuts too.



Becki's Whole Life said...

Love it...as much as I like fruit for an upside down cake, there is something about just the cake and a nutty yummy topping. Macadamia would be good, too...you could do a little white chocolate drizzle with it like the cookies.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Who needs fruit?

Joanne said...

That nut topping is so pretty!! I think even prettier than it's fruit counterparts. And, obviously it's all about the aesthetics. :P

Rosita Vargas said...

Me encantan las tortas de frutas y su miga me parece fantàstica,abrazos.

Judit + Corina @WineDineDaily said...

We both adore everything with nuts, and this cake is perfect for the Holidays with all that nutty goodness!

Gloria Baker said...

look amazing and delicious Grace!

Gloria Baker said...

look delicious and amazing!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I love this. I have just never been real big on the whole fruit coated cake. This just sounds addictive!..... Isn't it fun to look back at our old pics and see how far we have come?!

pam said...

Oh, I agree, I think I would like the nuts one much better!

~~louise~~ said...

I don' think I have ever seen an upside down cake minus the fruit, Grace. Now I'm curious as to where the whole concept came from in the first place. I'm sure the notion of fruit was most likely a marketing ploy by some fruit advertiser eons ago.

Your "nutty" version sounds remarkably refreshing and the thought of "seeping" caramel makes it just perfect!

The Coconut Macadamia Nut version, minus the pineapple, sounds pretty darn good too!!!

Thanks for sharing, Grace...

lisa is cooking said...

I'm loving the nutty, caramely, upside downness of this! And, I want to see (and taste) the coconut, macadamia, pineapple version too.

Anonymous said...

cute,beautiful and delectable slice of cake...can almost feel the heavenly aromas in this treat...gorgeous food,thanks for sharing :-)

vanillasugarblog said...

Yes please, I love having a bit of texture in my cookies, muffins and most cakes.

CQUEK said...

Yes yes save some for me please

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...


Nutmeg Nanny said...

This is beautiful :) I love almonds!! I bet this tastes absolutely amazing

Caroline Taylor said...

This sounds great, I love the generous amount of nuts.

Marjie said...

It looks simply delectable. I do believe my hungry hordes would also consider a topping of peanuts and chocolate chips to be an exciting alternative.

Rosita Vargas said...

Absolutamente delicioso y con abundante nueces que adoro muy bueno,abrazos.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I have one relative who is totally averse to fruit so this would be her ideal replacement for an upside down fruit cake! :D

Blond Duck said...

The fruit always gets soggy, so I think nuts rock!

Barbara said...

I am making this ASAP! Love the photo with the top view...guess we all LOVE almonds! This looks fabulous, Grace.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

Oooohhhh - I think this looks absolutely delicious! I love nuts, so this looks really perfect to me!

Pam said...

We've both been blogging for 6 years & your blog was one of the first I ever visited. :)

I am NUTS about nuts so this cake has me drooling. Seriously.

Erica said...

I love nuts!What a delicious cake, Grace!

I Wilkerson said...

How inspired! This has to be amazing!