Upside Down Strawberry Lemon Cake

I wore a white tee shirt to Target today and within seconds of being in public, I dribbled coffee down my front.  I do this constantly.   I have this problem even with straws…Lord help me. 

From here on out I am only wearing shirts that match the color of my beverage.  

So today, I ran errands with coffee stains on my shirt.  I wanted to explain to everyone what had happened, that the shirt wasn’t dirty when I put it on, that I am just a clumsy 28 year old. 

Actually, it might be a bit of karma kicking me in the butt.  See, I am generally grossed when I see people who could have possibly used their shirts as place mats.  Grease stains, ketchup stains ( I pray its ketchup), pop, chocolate (again praying its chocolate), coffee – you get the idea.  Maybe they too are clumsy or have small children with sticky fingers or they hit a pot hole while they were drinking their morning coffee.  It is all possible and I need to cut them some slack, because today I needed that same slack. 

Coffee culprit…

Where does cake come into this?  It doesn’t.  Nope not at all other than I was at Target buying a cast iron skillet because my old one grew legs and ran away.  Why a cast iron skillet?  Because that is the only thing I bake upside down cakes in.  You can use normal cake pans, but I love how the cast iron skillet bakes evenly and creates a bit of a crispy edge.  So if it wasn’t for this cake then I wouldn’t have been in public today and the coffee on my shirt wouldn’t have mattered.  However, I wouldn’t have been reminded to cut people some slack…

Anywho…lessoned learned.  Lets back this rad (I miss that word) cake. 

You will need some butter.

Some sliced strawberries…

Layer the strawberries over the butter and brown sugar.

Spread the batter evenly and pop it in the oven.

It will look something like this once out of the oven and you will brush on the glaze like so. 

Inversion…this can be tricky.  Watch out for that handle – its screamin’ hot!

Give it an old flip-a-roo.  Don’t you like my mickey mouse pot holder?  They make me smile.


 Upside Down Strawberry Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake adapted from Ina Garten -Barefoot Contessa Parties! and inspired by Joy the Baker


  • 1 stick plus 5 Tablespoons Butter – at room temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 Cups Strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Zest – about 4 to 6 lemons
  • 1 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 + 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk


  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice – about 2 to 3 lemons




  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a 10 inch cast iron skillet (or cake pan), melt 5 Tablespoons of butter either on top of the stove or in the oven.  Be careful – the skillet handle will be hot!!!
  3. Scatter brown sugar over melted butter and stir to incorporate.  Spread mixture as evenly as possible over bottom of pan…it will be patchy. 
  4. Arrange strawberry slices over brown sugar and butter in a single layer.  Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon zest, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  6. Cream together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar.
  7. Beat in eggs ,one at a time, to the butter and sugar combo – mix well.  Then mix in vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice.
  8. Beat  in the flour mixture alternating with buttermilk.  Begin and end with flour mixture.  ( i.e.  add half the flour mixture and blend until just combined.  Add all the buttermilk – blend to combine.  Blend in remaining half of the flour.
  9. Spread evenly over strawberries.
  10. Place in preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes – or until toothpick comes out clean.
  11. While cake is baking – make glaze.   Combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice in a small sauce pan and place over low heat and cook until sugar dissolves.  Set aside.
  12. When is cake is done, remove from oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Poke holes all over cake with a toothpick. 
  13. With a basting brush, brush the lemon glaze  over the cake. 
  14. Once this is complete, invert the cake onto a cake stand ( try to center it – I failed at this! ) If baking in a cast iron skillet – do not grab the pan handle , it is still screaming hot and no one looks good with a burn on their palm in the shape of a pan handle – trust me!
  15. Eat warm or let cool.   

Published by Mallory

A twenty - something (at least for a little while longer) trying to squeeze the most out of life...but mainly baking/cooking up a storm in my kitchen while watching Netflix.

9 thoughts on “Upside Down Strawberry Lemon Cake

  1. I don’t buy white shirts for me or my daughter anymore hardly for this reason! LOL! I figure I’m a klutz enough without adding a 2 year old to the mix!!

    And I like your Mickey Mouse gloves too!


  2. WOAH, this looks divine! I want, but am yet, to make a strawberry cake but i am succchhhh a lemon fan im sure that elevates this cake to a whole other level! oh i am so very tempted to make this, it looks gorgeously moist and flavoursome. Thank you for the lovely recipe 🙂


    1. Yes, after the butter is melted, remove from heat, mix in the brown sugar and then arrange the strawberries on top. Sorry for not being clear. Let me know if you have any other questions!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: