Upside Down Cake Recipes

This collection of retro upside down cake recipes features Grandma's favorite cake desserts. These timeless classics allow you to experience the caramelized flavors that have stood the test of time: banana, peach, pineapple, apple, cherry, and more.

Whether you're a seasoned baker or new to the world of retro desserts, these homemade upside down cakes are bound to be a hit at any gathering or family meal. So, grab your apron, and get ready to bake up a taste of the past with these beloved cake recipes!

Favorite Upside Down Cake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (1920s)

Banana Upside Down Cake

Homemade Banana Upside Down CakeEnjoy a Homemade Banana Upside Down Cake
(Source: © studio66/

1-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons softened shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 firm yellow bananas

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add shortening. Mix together egg, milk, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring until all four is dampened. Beat vigorously for 1 minute.

Melt butter in pan (8x8x2 inches). Add brown sugar and stir until melted and syrup is formed. Peel and slice bananas and arrange slices in syrup. Pour batter over bananas. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) about 50 minutes, or until cake is done.

Loosen cake from sides of pan with knife or thin spatula. Turn out onto serving plate. Serve hot, upside down with bananas on top. Makes 1 dessert cake.

Super Goober Upside Down Cake

Peanut Butter Upside Down Cake RecipeRetro Peanut Butter Upside Down Cake Recipe
(Source: Unknown Magazine Clipping)

This "Super-Goober" peanut butter upside down cake recipe is for peanut-butter fans of all ages! It's the tenderest, most delicious upside down cake you ever tasted, topped with a peanut butter and peach slices concoction that sets your taste buds singing.

Peanut Butter Mixture:

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peach juice
1-3/4 cups well-drained canned sliced peaches

Cake Batter:

1 package Instant Cake Mix (or alternative)
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/4 cups milk
2 egg yolks, unbeaten


Combine butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and peach juice in 9 1/2-inch iron skillet or 9x9x2-inch square pan. Place over low heat and stir until butter is melted and mixture is blended. Remove from heat. Arrange well-drained peach slices on mixture. Set aside.

Turn the cake mix into bowl. Add sugar and 1/2 cup of the milk. Blend, then beat 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup more milk. Blend, then beat 1 minute. Then add egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup milk and beat 1 minute longer. (Beat cake vigorously by hand or at medium speed of electric mixer.)

Pour batter carefully over fruit mixture. Bake in moderate oven (375°F) 35 to 40 minutes for skillet, or about 50 minutes for pan. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes. Then invert pan on serving plate and let stand 1 minute before removing pan. If desired, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Bob Hope's Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down CakeBob Hope's Favorite Peach Upside Down Cake
(Source: Unknown Magazine Clipping)

1 No. 2 1/2 can (3-1/2 cups / 28 ounces) cling peach slices
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
Maraschino cherries
1 Party Cake Mix package

Drain peaches thoroughly and dry on paper towels. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in bottom of 9-inch square pan. Arrange peaches and halved maraschino cherries on sugar mixture.

Mix party cake mix according to directions on package. Pour 1/2 of batter over fruit in pan. Bake in moderate oven (350°F) about 35 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and invert over serving plate. Allow pan to stand over cake for a minute before removing. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.

Use remaining batter for cupcakes or for small single layer cake.

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Cherry Upside Down CakeOld Fashioned Cherry Upside Down Cake
(Source: Unknown Magazine Clipping)

Cherry Mixtures:

2/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 No. 2 can (2-1/2 cups / 20 ounces) sour red cherries
Liquid drained from cherries

Mix the 2/3 cup sugar, and the cornstarch in a pot; add the liquid drained from the cherries; cook until thick and clear. Add the cherries. Pour into a greased cake pan, size 8x8x2 inches.

Cake Batter:

1/4 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make Cake Batter as Follows: Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and baking powder together and add to butter and sugar mixture alternately with the milk, to which the vanilla has been added.

Pour batter evenly over the cherry mixture and bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes, until done. Loosen the sides of the cake, turning it out carefully, upside down onto a serving plate.

Fruit Upside Down Muffins

Seeking a change from the typical upside down cake recipes? Enjoy all the fun and caramelized flavor in a Muffin!

Fruit Upside Down MuffinsHomemade Fruit Upside Down Muffins for a Change
(Source: © alisafarov/

2 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup salad oil
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Drained fruit of choice

Sift the dry ingredients together. Combine salad oil, eggs, milk, and add all at once to the dry ingredients, mixing just to moisten. Divide butter and brown sugar into muffin cups and place drained fruit in each cup.

Some fruit suggestions are: apricot halves, crushed pineapple, pineapple rings, and mandarin orange slices.

Fill cups with batter to about 2/3 full. Bake in 375°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and turn out of muffin pans, serving with the fruit side up.

Chocolate Upside Down Cake

Chocolate Upside Down CakeHomemade Retro Chocolate Upside Down Cake
(Source: Old Magazine Clipping)

1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 egg, well beaten
6 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 square Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups sliced canned peaches (or see suggestions)

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt, and sugar, and sift together three times. Add butter. Combine egg, milk, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring until all flour is dampened. Add chocolate and blend; then beat vigorously 1 minute.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in 8x8x2-inch or deep 9-inch round pan; add sugar and cook and stir until thoroughly mixed. On this arrange peaches. Turn batter out on contents of pan. Bake in moderate oven (350°F) 50 minutes, or until done.

Loosen cake from sides of pan with spatula. Turn upside down on dish with peaches on top. Serve warm with plain or whipped cream.

Suggested Fruits: Canned apricots, pears, or pineapple, or bananas may be substituted for peaches.

Aunt Sammy's Upside Down Cake Recipes

Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes (1927)


Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes were some of the most popular recipes broadcast from October 1926 to June 1927 in the "Housekeepers' Chat" programs of the United States Department of Agriculture radio service.

Aunt Sammy's 1920s Desserts:

  1. Chocolate Souffle
  2. Hard Sauce
  3. Rocks (Cookies)
  4. Baked Caramel Custard
  5. Apple Dumplings
  6. Sour Cream Pie
  7. Date Pudding
  8. Pumpkin Pie
  9. Applesauce Cake

(7:02 min.)

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Retro Pineapple Upside Down CakeHomemade Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake
(Source: © natalia_ch/

Pineapple Mixture:

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
3 slices pineapple

Stir the sugar in a smooth frying pan until it's melted, then allow it to brown. Add the butter and the pineapple juice and cook until a fairly thick sirup is formed. Place the sections of pineapple in the sirup and cook for 1 or 2 minutes or until they are light brown, turning them occasionally.

Have ready a well-greased heavy baking pan or a baking dish, place the pineapple on the bottom, and pour the sirup over it. Allow this to cool so it will form a semisolid surface, then pour in the following cake batter:

Cake Batter:

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups soft wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

Cream the butter, add the sugar, the well-beaten egg, and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together twice and add alternately with the milk to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Pour this over the pineapple. The batter is rather thick and may need to be smoothed on top with a knife.

Bake slowly in a very moderate oven (300° to 325°F) for 3/4 of an hour. Loosen the sides of the cake, turn it out carefully, upside down. If the fruit sticks to the pan, lift it out and place it on the cake in the place where it should be. Serve with or without whipped cream or hard sauce.

Upside Down Apple Cake

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups sifted soft-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 to 4 apples, depending on size
Sugar and cinnamon enough to sprinkle

Cream the butter. Add the sugar, the well-beaten eggs, and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together twice and add alternately with the milk to the first mixture. Use a square or oblong baking dish or a very heavy pan. Put a thick coating of butter on the bottom and sides of the dish or pan.

Wash, pare, and quarter firm-fleshed apples. Slice them rather thin, and place them so that the slices overlap and form even layers, covering the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle well with sugar and cinnamon which have been well mixed. Add another layer of apples placed with equal care, and flavor with cinnamon and sugar.

Pour the cake mixture over the apples. The batter is rather thick and may need to be smoothed on top with a knife. Bake slowly in a very moderate oven (at a temperature from 300° to 325° F) for 3/4 of an hour.

Loosen the sides of the cake, turning it out carefully, upside down, and the top will be covered with neat layers of transparent apples. Serve hot with hard sauce or whipped cream.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Canada's Prize Recipes (1930)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients for Pineapple Mixture:

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 can pineapple slices, drained

Ingredients for Cake Batter:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
3 or 4 egg whites, beaten
1 cup crushed nuts
Whipped cream

Melt the 4 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a frying pan until a rich golden brown, taking care that they do not burn. Lay the slices of pineapple in the caramel thus prepared and then cover with the
batter made as follows:

Cream the 1/2 cup butter and add sugar gradually, beating until smooth and light. Sift the dry ingredients and then alternate them with the milk into the creamed mixture. Fold in the stiffly beaten whites of eggs and bake in moderate oven (350 degrees).

When the cake leaves the sides of the pan, turn out on a plate and garnish with the chopped nuts and whipped cream to serve.

Ryzon Upside Down Cake Recipe

Ryzon Baking Powder Book (1912)

Mock Caramel Upside Down Cake

Dissolve 1 level tablespoonful (1/2 ounce) butter in a large iron frying pan. Sprinkle 1 level cupful (1/2 pound) brown sugar over the butter, also 1/2 cupful (2 ounces) of nut meats—not too small. Have the brown sugar and nuts evenly spread in pan and set aside until the following is mixed in a large bowl:

1 level tablespoonful (1/2 ounce) butter
1 level cupful (1/2 pound) granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 level cupfuls (1/2 pound) flour
2 level teaspoonfuls Ryzon baking powder
1 cupful (1/2 pint) milk
1 level teaspoonful vanilla or any desired flavor

Spread this mixture evenly over the butter, sugar, and nuts and bake in the frying pan like a loaf cake in a moderate oven (325°F). When done turn onto a cake plate upside down to serve. Sufficient for one large cake. —by Miss. M. Deller, Milwaukee, Wis.

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