Cakes & Bakes: Rhubarb upside-down cake

Slice of home-made rhubarb upside-down cake with cream | H is for Home

We planted a rhubarb crown in a dolly tub in our garden about 3 years ago. Gardening/allotment experts say you should allow a young plant at least a year without harvesting to encourage vigour. We’ve finally felt able to pick a few stalks this year.

Rhubarb plant in a vintage dolly tub in our garden | H is for Home

I’d normally use it to make a crumble however, I’ve never made a rhubarb upside-down cake before and thought it would go down a treat.

Soft brown sugar and butter in a cast iron skillet | H is for Home

I tweaked a recipe I found on the Guardian website. The results were so delicious, I’m already planning on reusing the recipe to make a pear upside-down cake next week.

Sliced rhubarb in a cast iron skillet | H is for Home

I love the pretty patterns that you can make with fruit on the ‘top’ of upside-down cakes.

cake batter ingredients | H is for Home

The cake batter is one of the easiest I’ve ever thrown together. It calls for vegetable oil instead of butter, a couple of eggs, caster sugar, flour and baking powder – just mix the wet into the dry ingredients. It takes all of about 3 minutes!

Cooked rhubarb upside-down cake still in the skillet | H is for Home

The soft brown sugar and butter in the base of the skillet came together to form the most wonderful, chewy caramelised edges.

Home-made rhubarb upside-down cake | H is for Home

It was lovely with a little pouring cream but it would be equally good – hot or room temperature – with vanilla ice cream or on its own.

Save the recipe to Pinterest here!

Rhubarb upside-down cake
Serves 8
  1. 80g/3oz diced unsalted butter and a bit more for greasing
  2. 140g/5oz soft brown sugar
  3. 4-5 stalks rhubarb
  4. 150g/5¼oz caster sugar
  5. 175g/6oz plain flour
  6. 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  7. 150ml/5 fl oz sunflower oil
  8. 2 large eggsHome-made rhubarb upside-down-cake ingredients
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  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 30cm/12-inch cast iron skillet with a little butter
  3. Scatter the brown sugar and butter over the bottom of the skillet and put it in the oven for 5 minutes
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven and press the raw rhubarb into the melted butter and sugar
  5. Mix the sugar, flour and baking powder in a large bowl
  6. In a measuring jug, beat the vegetable oil and eggs together
  7. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well
  8. Pour the batter over the rhubarb in the skillet and return the pan to the oven for about 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean
  9. Allow the cake to cool in the skillet on the top of the stove before running a sharp knife around the rim and carefully turning the pan upside down on to a plate
Adapted from The Guardian
Adapted from The Guardian
H is for Home Harbinger

Cakes & Bakes: Banana upside down cake

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slice of banana upsidedown cake on vintage Turi Tor Viking plate

Cold, winter weather makes you crave hearty, warm, delicious puds. This easy to make banana upside down cake fulfils the criteria!

We’ve posted a few recipes that use bananas as an ingredient, they’re a daily staple in our diet chez H is for Home – even Fudge loves them!

This banana upside down cake is delicious served warm or at room temperature, with extra butterscotch and/or custard.

Banana upside down cake

Banana upside down cake


  • cake mix
  • 3 large bananas
  • 250g/9oz plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g/3oz butter
  • 125g/4½oz soft brown sugar
  • 150ml/5fl oz milk
  • 1 capful dark rum
  • butterscotch sauce
  • 100g/3½oz soft brown sugar
  • 150ml/5fl oz double cream
  • ½tbs golden syrup
  • 12g/½oz butter
  • 1 capful dark rum


  1. Peel & slice 2 of the bananas
  2. Grease the base of an 18cm/7in loose-based, deep cake tin, line the base with the banana slices, overlapping slightly
  3. Put all the butterscotch sauce ingredients into a small saucepan
  4. Stir over a medium heat using a wooden spoon until the mixture is well combined and begins to bubble
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Pour enough of the sauce into the cake tin to almost cover the bananas
  7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F/Gas mark 4
  8. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy
  9. In a small measuring jug, lightly whisk the eggs
  10. Slowly add the eggs to the sugar & butter mixture, stirring continuously
  11. Add the rum and vanilla essence and mix until combined
  12. Sift the flour and baking powder into a small mixing bowl
  13. Add the flour in 3 batches to the batter, alternating with adding the milk, stirring continuously, until well combined
  14. Chop the last banana into cubes and gently fold into the batter
  15. Pour the mixture carefully & evenly over the butterscotch-covered bananas
  16. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes away clean
  17. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before running a sharp knife around the circumference of the cake tin and carefully flipping it over onto a plate
  18. Lift off the cake tin outer rim, run the knife carefully across the tin bottom before lifting it off
  19. Serve warm with the rest of the (reheated) butterscotch sauce

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Cakes & Bakes: Persimmon & date upside-down cake

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Home-made persimmon & date upside-down cake | H is for Home

My friend Duncan came over to visit for my birthday last week and, along with birthday presents, he came bearing a gift of persimmons. I’m ashamed to say that in my nearly half a century on this earth, I’ve never tasted persimmon!

I scoured all my recipe books but couldn’t find a single recipe – I didn’t know what other kind of food they go with or anything. I hit t’internet and found a few recipes and decided I liked the sound of persimmon & date upside-down cake. Here’s my take…

Cakes & Bakes: Persimmon & date upside-down cake

Yield: Makes 8 slices

Cakes & Bakes: Persimmon & date upside-down cake


  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 25g/1oz granulated sugar or brown soft sugar
  • 220g/8oz brown soft sugar
  • 55g/2oz butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½tsp vanilla
  • 120ml/¼pt milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 155g/5½oz plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼tsp ground all spice
  • 3 persimmons (2 sliced into ½cm/¼'' slices and one chopped into cubes
  • 12 dried dates dates pitted & chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4 (slightly lower if your oven is fan assisted)
  2. In a cast-iron frying pan, heat the 25g/1oz butter until melted & bubbling
  3. Add the 25g/1oz granulated sugar/brown soft sugar and caramelize (my caramel split TWICE - here are some good tips to to bring it back from the brink if it happens to you!)
  4. Pour the caramelized mixture into a 20cm/8'' round spring form cake tin and spread it evenly across its base
  5. Lay the persimmon slices flat on top
  6. Beat the 220g/8oz brown soft sugar into the softened butter using an electric mixer or by hand until fluffy
  7. In a small measuring jug, whisk together the egg and vanilla essence before slowly adding it to the sugar & butter mixture until fully incorporated
  8. Add the milk, mixing well
  9. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice
  10. Bit by bit, carefully fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture
  11. Fold in the chopped dates and cubed persimmons until just combined
  12. Pour the mixture onto the persimmon slices in the cake tin, taking care not to disturb the pattern
  13. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes away clean
  14. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake tin before releasing the clasp
  15. Lay a large, flat plate on top of the tin and, using oven gloves or a tea towel, flip the cake over onto the plate
  16. Carefully run the sharp knife around the cake tin base easing it away and off of the cake
  17. Ta da! ?