This definitely isn’t your grandmother’s upside-down cake! Made with yogurt, this almond nectarine upside-down cake is lighter, fresher, and highlights in-season fruit.
When you think of upside-down cakes, do you think about rings of pineapple covered in a sticky sugary gloop, dotted with fluorescent maraschino cherries? Well, step aside, old fashioned cakes, because this is a far cry from your grandmother’s pineapple upside-down cake.
Traditional upside-down cakes have a brown sugar glaze covering the fruit, adding a sticky and sweet syrupy coating. This cake is all about fresh, light, summery flavors — adios, glaze! Ripe, in-season fruit is sweet enough, no glaze necessary.
Since we’re eliminating that extra sugary layer, let’s add a little extra flavor: almond. A slightly denser coffee cake, flavored with vanilla and almond, and lightened up with some yogurt.
If you’ve been following along with my kitchen experiments for any length of time, you know that I’m a huge fan of swapping in Greek yogurt in salads and casseroles – just check out my extra-crunchy broccoli salad, corn, crab, and tomato salad, or horseradish dill coleslaw.
So let’s go ahead and continue that trend, and bake some Greek yogurt into this nectarine upside-down cake! Why do we include Greek yogurt in cakes? It’s time for a little… kitchen chemistry!
Greek yogurt is a great way to lighten up a cake, providing similar results to heavy cream or sour cream with a lower fat and calorie content. But why not use regular yogurt? Regular yogurt has a much higher water content, which can directly impact the development of gluten in a recipe. Too much liquid = a more irregular crumb or a tougher end product. The more dense, solid consistency of Greek yogurt results in a finer crumb. But always go off the recipe — if it calls for regular yogurt, use regular — if written correctly, the rest of the ingredients should compensate for the extra liquid!
This cake is easy. As in, mix everything by hand, easy. As in, one mixing bowl, one whisk, and one rubber spatula to wash easy. I debated if I wanted to do a more cookie or pound cake texture by beating the butter with the sugar, or a more muffin-like approach with melted butter.
I was leaning towards the former, but then realized that nope, I wasn’t in the mood to use my mixer and wash all those extra things, so I went with the melted butter, mix-by-hand version. An easy peasy nectarine upside-down cake, to boot!
You could certainly use any in-season fresh fruit with this nectarine upside-down cake. Peaches are an obvious swap, but berries, plums, or fresh cherries would be awesome substitutions as well.
I’m already daydreaming about making this in the fall with some apple slices and a hearty shake of cinnamon mixed into the batter (but maybe that’s just because I’m desperately craving the cooler temperatures!).
And you know what? It came out perfectly.
Oh, and just in case you were on the fence about whether or not to make this cake, I dropped off a big slice to a friend in the neighborhood, and this was the response:
So yeah, you should probably go ahead and make it. Enjoy a nice big bite of summer while nectarines are still in season. You should probably have a slice for breakfast and dessert, to make sure you get your fruit servings in for the day.
Other Easy Coffee Cakes:
This definitely isn’t your grandmother’s upside-down cake — lighter, fresher, with in-season fruit.
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol