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1 cup (100 grams) pecans or walnuts

1/3 cup (70 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons (55 grams) melted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (25 grams) cream or milk

1/2 cup (45 grams) dried coconut (can use sweetened or unsweetened - shredded or flaked)


1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup (80 ml/grams) full fat (whole) milk, at room temperature

4 tablespoons (55 grams) melted butter, at room temperature

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Easy Upside Down Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) an 8 inch (20 cm) round baking pan.

Topping: Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then coarsely chop.

In a bowl, mix the brown sugar with the melted butter, cream, dried coconut, and chopped pecans. Evenly spread the mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan.

Cake: In a bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the egg with the vanilla extract, milk, and melted butter. Stir or whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter on top of the pecan topping, smoothing with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (The edges of the cake are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.) Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a greased wire rack and let cool.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Makes one - 8 inch (20 cm) cake.


Cakes don't have to use exotic ingredients, be difficult or time consuming to make, in order for them to be delicious. This Easy Upside Down Cake is just that. It uses everyday ingredients that are simply mixed together by hand, and it tastes really good. Perfect dessert for a busy weeknight. I just love its sweet and gooey brown sugar/pecan topping which goes so well with the vanilla flavored butter cake that has a wonderfully soft and moist texture.

"The Fannie Farmer Baking Book" by Marion Cunningham is a treasure trove of baking recipes. It covers everything from cakes to yeast breads. Recently when browsing through her book I came across this Easy Upside Down Cake. After making it a few times, I did change her recipe somewhat. For the topping I increased the amount of nuts, toasted them, plus I didn't add the chocolate chips called for as I found the chocolate flavor over powered the flavor of the cake. I also reduced the amount of sugar in both the topping and cake batter, as well as increasing the vanilla extract, and using milk instead of water.

This cake is topped with a sweet and gooey mixture of brown sugar, melted butter, dried coconut and toasted pecans. Because the topping is made with brown sugar it has a caramel-like flavor which goes very nicely with the dried coconut and toasted pecans. You can use either sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut, shredded or flaked. And while I have used pecans, you could use walnuts, hazelnuts, or even almonds.