slices of upside down cake on a gold wire rack

About This “Any Kind Of Fruit” Upside Down Cake

This “Any Kind Of Fruit” upside down cake recipe makes a moist buttermilk vanilla cake, topped with the berries or stone fruit of your choice! The recipe makes an 8-inch simple cake in a square pan. The cake batter comes together super quickly, with just two bowls and a whisk—no stand mixer required!

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Here are all the reasons to make this delicious and moist fruit upside down cake:

The recipe comes together quickly.

I developed this recipe to take advantage of the wonderful, summer produce available in my part of the world. Oregon grows and harvests some of the best stone fruit and berries in the country.

That being said, I don’t *love* taking on complicated baking projects in the summer heat. Instead, I want something quick and easy. Like this recipe! The recipe is an almost one bowl recipe (you need two bowls total), and comes together with just a whisk. All you need to do is whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, and combine them. That’s it! The batter takes just 5 minutes to pull together.

The recipe is infinitely customizable.

When I developed this recipe, I wanted to be able to use whatever fruit I happened to have on hand. I wanted a moist and fluffy vanilla cake that would be able to stand up to the slightly sour, tanginess of fruit like nectarines and sour cherries, as well as the lusciousness of berries like blueberries and more.

And folks, the vanilla cake recipe for this upside down cake does exactly that! These ingredients give the cake a tangy flavor that holds up well against any fruit. You can use either ingredient interchangeably to truly customize the recipe and come up with your own combinations.

photo show upside down cakes on wire rack showing off the cake crumb

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make this upside down cake recipe, here’s everything you need to make it:

Shopping List For Upside Down Cake Recipe

  • fresh berries OR stone fruit
  • unsalted butter
  • light brown sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • rum
  • pure vanilla extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • large eggs
  • buttermilk
  • canola oil

And let’s talk about some key ingredients and potential substitutions:

Common Ingredient Substitutions For The Recipe

Here are common substitutions for the ingredients in the recipe:

  • Unsalted Butter. You can substitute the unsalted butter with salted butter without any noticeable difference in taste.

  • Brown Sugar. I recommend using light brown sugar for the topping, especially if you’re using a light colored stone fruit like peach or apricot. Dark brown sugar will work, but will drown out the fruit’s colors!

  • Rum. Skip the rum in the recipe if you want the cake to be booze-free.

  • All-Purpose Flour. Substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite 1-1 Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I like the ones by Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Baking Company) to make the cake gluten-free!

  • Buttermilk. Check out this post on how to make buttermilk at home with ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and/or pantry.

  • Canola Oil. Other neutral-flavored oils (like vegetable) will work instead of canola oil. Coconut and olive oil could work too, but will impart their flavors in the cake.
photo of hand reaching for a slice of cake on wire rack

How To Make The Recipe

Here are the basic steps to make this “Any Kind of Fruit” upside down cake recipe from scratch:

  1. Prep the ingredients for the fruit topping and cake base. (Prep Time: 15 minutes)

  2. Make the fruit topping. (Work Time: 5 minutes)

  3. Make the cake batter. (Work Time: 5 minutes)

  4. Assemble the cake. (Work Time: <5 minutes)

  5. Bake the cake. (Bake Time: 32 minutes)

  6. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. (Work Time: <5 minutes)

Best Recipe Tips

Ingredient Tip

  • The weight of the fruit will vary significantly depending on the type of fruit you use, what season it is, and other factors. As a result, this is one of the few recipes where I encourage you to use a measuring cup (but only to portion out the fruit for the recipe—I still am an ardent believer in weight measures for everything else!).

How To Customize The Recipe

  • You can use a combination of berries and stone fruit if you prefer. Just make sure that their volume combined (once the fruit is sliced and prepped) totals around 1 ½ cups!

More Upside Down Cake Recipes

Get the Recipe: Any Kind Of Fruit Upside Down Cake Recipe

This “Any Kind Of Fruit” upside down cake recipe allows you to customize the cake with the berries or stone fruit of your choice! The recipe is almost one bowl, with a batter that comes together in 5 minutes with just a whisk. 
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For The Fruit Topping

  • 1 ½ cups fresh berries (e.g. blackberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, and more) OR 3 medium sliced and pitted stone fruit (e.g. apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, and more)
  • 4 Tablespoons (½ stick or 2 ounces or 57 grams) unsalted butter
  • cup tightly packed (2.5 ounces or 71 grams) light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For The Buttermilk Cake Base


  • Prep the oven and pan. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. Spray the parchment, too.
  • Make the fruit topping. In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the topping. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the rum and vanilla.
    Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and arrange the fruit on top of the mixture.
  • Mix the dry ingredients for the cake. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Whisk the sugar and wet ingredients for the cake. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, buttermilk OR sour cream, oil, and vanilla.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Finish assembling the cake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top.
  • Bake the cake. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with few crumbs attached.
  • Invert the cake. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack. After 15 minutes, place a serving plate over the cake and flip the entire thing to turn the cake out of its pan and onto the plate. Peel off the parchment paper if necessary.
  • Serve and store. Serve warm, or at room temperature. The upside down cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
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