{recipe} Spiced Blueberry Upside Down Cake

I don’t know what it is about me, but if something can be made 1) rainbow or 2) upside down, I am most likely going to go ahead and do it that way. I had never thought of blueberries going upside down, but then it hit me – why the heck not? And while we’re at it, why not punch them up in a cake spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, vanilla, and cloves?

This cake is equally at home on the brunch table or the dessert plate. If you’re serving it for dessert, whipped cream or ice cream will dress it up a bit.

The blueberries turn almost a shiny black in their caramelized, upside down form, which makes for a very elegant cake, no matter what time of day you’re eating it.

I like to use a bit of whole wheat flour, for added texture, but you can use 100% white flour if you prefer. Also, I’ve used the terms scant and heaping in the spice measurements. In case you’re not familiar with those old-timey modifiers, scant means use a little less, and heaping means use a little more.

I used a 9-inch round cake pan, but you can really use whatever you like (within reason.) An 8-inch round, small square, springform pan, etc. should all work just fine.

Recipe: Spiced Blueberry Upside Down Cake
makes one 9-inch cake


  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated finely on a microplane
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (can substitute white flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • scant 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • scant 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • heaping 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine melted butter, brown sugar, and grated ginger. Spread mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. 
  • Distribute blueberries evenly across the mixture. Set pan aside.
  • Cream softened butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine well.
  • Add flours, baking powder, salt, and spices and stir just to combine. Add milk and stir until batter is smooth.
  • Pour batter over blueberries and spread evenly over them.
  • Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, until  cake is cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan. Carefully invert cake onto serving plate. Remove pan and let cake cool before serving.

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