Lemon Blueberry Upside-Down Cake – Ugly but Delicious

July 16, 2009

One of my all time favorite cakes is a blueberry lemon almond upside down cake. This moist delicious cake has a delicate lemon and almond flavor with a sugary crunch on top from caramelized blueberries that makes you want just another little slice more. It can make normally restrained people decide that cake makes a perfectly respectable breakfast.

The only problem is that the cake is not the most attractive thing in the world. In our house we refer to it as the ugly cake, because the blueberries turn the whole thing a strange shade of purple. It is certainly more homely than elegant. I hesitate to serve it after an elegant meal, but it is good enough that I often want to. This past weekend I made the cake for a barbecue and it was the perfect kind of unpretentious summer dessert to follow an all american meal of burgers, hot dogs and chicken. I absolutely need to make it again before blueberry season is over.

The only change I made to the original recipe is to use margarine instead of butter to make it parve, so I am just posting a link to the original recipe here.

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  1. Just curious about this: do you buy almond paste or make your own to go into this cake? I guess I won't get your response (if any) in time for yom tov, when I plan to serve this. Looks like a great recipe, anyway!

  2. I always use store bought almond paste (Solo brand). I don't know how the cake would turn out with homemade, but if you try it I would love to know.
    I hope you enjoy the cake over yom tov. One thing I forgot to mention in the post. Don't be alarmed if there is quite a bit of liquid when you turn the cake out. It reabsorbs the juice as it cools.
    Chag sameach.

  3. Looks ugly as promised… tastes heavenly (I sliced an inconspicuous sample off the side for dh to taste). But I don't love the margarine in the butterscotch – gives it a slight aftertaste. Anyway, I'm sure it will be well-received. Thanks for the inspiration!
    (p.s. Do you use Jewish-brand or mainstream-brand pareve margarine for baking? Do you have an opinion on which offers a less unpleasant aftertaste, and a better baked-goods experience?)

  4. I hope the cake was a success over yontif.

    I only use mainstream-brand margarine because I find that it has a better flavor and texture. My favorite margarine in terms of flavor is Smart Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread. It is a tub margarine, but works well in most recipes when measured by weight rather than volume. The only problem is that it is salted, so if there is a high margarine to other ingredient ratio in a recipe it may turn out too salty.

    When the salt matters, or texture is really critical like in frostings, I use fleichman's unsalted margarine.

  5. I haven't seen the Smart Balance here in Toronto; will keep an eye out for it. We usually use fleischman's.

    Made this cake last week and honestly, it has the POTENTIAL to be great. With butter, it would probably be extraordinary.

    With margarine, perhaps because there's so much of it in the recipe, I found it had a cloying aftertaste. Guests didn't request seconds, which is also a good indication… 🙁

    I will definitely make this again as a special DAIRY dessert treat when I have the time for such a potchedik recipe. I suspect it will definitely be worth the effort with real butter.

    Sure did succeed in the ugly department, though! Pics here:

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