Apricot Upside-Down Cake

by Sarah on July 3, 2012

I returned from my vacation and was greeted by two big bags of apricots from my neighbor’s yard.  I knew I wanted to transform some into jam.  I also had guests coming to dinner and wanted to provide them with a delicious dessert. Whatever to do?

I took a hint from the millions of mid-century housewives of the nation and decided to make an upside-down cake.  Using a yellow cake mix.  Don’t hate! You know how I love my boxed cake mixes y’all.

Feel better about using the cake mix by preparing the fruit and brown sugar topping.  It’s like real cooking!

I used to live in this great house in Midtown Sacramento with a huge backyard.  I had a big old persimmon tree, a gnarly old orange tree and an apricot tree. Unfortunately, some dimwit had pruned the apricot tree so that all of the fruit grew about 20 feet in the air and only the squirrels could get to it. They taunted me every summer, knocking apricots on or near my head while I was sitting at my rickety little picnic table underneath.

I swore my revenge but never got it.

I’ve since daydreamed about planting my very own apricot tree here in Hollywood Park, but I seem to have my hands full with plums, cherries, Asian pears, mandarin oranges and dog poop.  Maybe one day.

It’s lucky for me that most of my neighbors also have fruit trees galore.  I guess all I need to do is start to beg at the beginning of summer.  Who has fruit?!?  Asian pears and plums are GREAT but a girl needs some variety once in a while.

 That’s what Facebook is good for.  Begging for fruit.

Did I mention that this cake takes about ten minutes to prepare?  That’s part of what makes it so awesome.

Flipping it onto a plate is probably the most complicated part.  I secured the strong arms of my child to do the flipping for me.  Just put a plate on top and flip it quick.  Helps to have a non-stick pan for this one.  If a piece of fruit sticks to the pan–don’t fret!  Just pick it off and stick it back on the cake.  No one will ever be able to tell.

 See?  I bet you can’t even tell which apricot stuck to the pan.

I recommend serving with ice cream.  Cake mix, I just can’t quit you.

Apricot Upside-Down Cake


  • Approximately 10 apricots, halved and pitted
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 box yellow cake mix, mixed according to box directions--MINUS 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond liqueur (I used a cream almondcello, but amaretto would be fine too)


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Heat the butter over medium heat until foamy.
  • Add sugar and let cook three minutes undisturbed.
  • Nestle in the apricots, cut side down.
  • Mix the cake batter together, using the box directions, but replacing 1/4 cup of the water with the liqueur.
  • Gently spoon the batter over the apricots.
  • Place the skillet into the preheated oven. (You may want to put a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drips).
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Serve with ice cream.

Related posts:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Fatal error: Cannot assign by reference to overloaded object in /home/content/99/14039299/html/wp-content/themes/thesis_18/lib/classes/comments.php on line 176