Strawberry Upside-down Cake with Cardamom



I thought upside down was one word.  I was wrong.

You knew it wasn’t one word.  You’re smarter than me.

Let’s learn a lesson… because I just learned it, and I want to share it with you.

Upside down is two words when you write something like “Oh crap… that pie just landed on the floor upside down!”  Adverb nation.  Wait… right?

Upside-down is hyphenated when it’s used as an adjective like, “Oh crap…  Joy is totally obsessed with strawberries right now, and that Strawberry Upside-down Cake looks major.”  Upside-down describes the cake… working overtime in adjective land.

… And this… this is why I’m not an English teacher.

Class dismissed.


I shoved this cake in my mouth on Sunday morning as I was rushing off to church.

I wasn’t late.

Ok… I wasn’t that late.


My point is that this cake is super easy to throw together on a Sunday morning.

And!  It’s best eaten warm (when you’re in a hurry).


The cake batter is a simple brown sugar and sour cream cake.   It’s sweet and moist, with a delicate but sturdy crumb.  How’s that for food words?

Easy, uncomplicated, summer weekend dessert.

If you wanted to experiment with other berries for this recipe, I’d totally support you!


Strawberry Upside-down Cake with Cardamom

makes: one 8-inch cake

Print this Recipe!

For the Topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup sliced strawberries

For the Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

I used an 8-inch round with 3-inch tall sides.  You can also use a 9-inch round with 2-inch sides.

Place butter in the cake pan and place in the oven.  When butter is melted, remove pan from the oven.  Using two pot holders, tilt the pan around and around, coating the sides of the pan with butter.  Once sides are coated, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed.  Cream until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg and vanilla extract.  Beat for 1 minute.

Turn the mixer off, scrape the bowl, and add the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed while adding the sour cream.  Beat until the batter just comes together.  Batter will be pretty thick.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar into the melted butter in the cake pan.  Sprinkle strawberry slices over the butter and sugar in a single layer.  Spoon batter over the strawberries and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cake rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting the cake onto a cake plate.  Serve warm with sweetened sour or whipped cream.

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331 thoughts on “Strawberry Upside-down Cake with Cardamom

  1. Well Wimbledon starts soon and I am always looking for a new twist on stawberrys. Sorry I know you are a long way from London so just to explain in the UK Winbledon Tennis Championships are synonymous with strawberry season.

  2. Dear Joy!
    Here raspberries are too many for my family. Some are even getting rotten without being picked.
    What do you think about a raspeberry upside-down tart?

  3. I love the idea of combining the sweet taste of strawberries with cardamom and I can imagine this cake holds up really well to the ‘goo’ of the fruit. Yum! Thanks Joy.

  4. oh i like it! I like cardamom in sweet stuff, i tried a cardamom coffee crème brulée and it was delcious. have to try this one, maybe with different berries because (alas) i’m allergic to strawberries :(

  5. Mmmmm, like strawberry shortcake without the last minute composition! I’m always afraid to bake with strawberries because I’m afraid they’ll make everything too wet…is this the solution, putting them on top instead of in the cake? Would it work with blueberries too? I have made several blueberry coffee cake-type things and they never seemed to get all the way done on the inside because the blueberries leaked and made the batter all wet, then they fell apart later on even though the tops and edges were done. Still tasty, but looked a mess! Maybe this is the solution?

  6. I’m pretty sure that cardamom makes everything better. :) i was late to church, too. I was busy photographing hamburger buns as I rushed out the door. :) Such is the life of a food blogger on her way to an after-church-bbq. :)

  7. Upside-down cakes are everywhere right now, but cardamom makes this totes unique and fantastic-sounding (I should also not be an English teacher). I want some of this cake for breakfast tomorrow! Alsooo that cake batter looks like absolute heaven. And strawberries! I love the look of the sliced strawberries! It’s blackberry time here in Texas…might sub in some of those.

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