Adulthood – Rosemary Citrus Upside Down Cake

citrus upside down cake 4

I used to hate mustard. Quasi-neon yellow squiggle down a mystery meat hot dog. Smeared into a revolting brown-red stain with the ketchup on a flabby white hamburger bun. A putrid puddle on a plate next to a lukewarm corn dog.

Now that I think about it, perhaps it was the lackluster foods that served as mustard’s delivery vehicle that caused my hate for it to blossom and grow over the years. Intriguing.


Almost as suddenly and unobtrusively as my hatred began, it vanished. And now I find myself hoarding jars of whole grain Dijon mustard in my cupboard and slathering copious amounts of spicy brown mustard on whole wheat.

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I love mustard.

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So without further ado, I present to you a rosemary citrus upside down cake that I made quite a few moons ago when supermarket bins overflowed with citrus and little else.

There isn’t any mustard in it.

It is, however, a cake my childhood tastebuds would have rebelled against. There are a few things about adulthood that have been difficult to accept – no more kid’s meals on airplanes, adult prices for ski lift tickets, and hearing young children call me auntie Claire, to name a few – but mature tastebuds are not one of them. Bring on the mustard and papaya and rosemary and candied citrus!

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Upside Down Citrus Cake

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
An assortment of citrus, sliced into rounds  (I used oranges, limes, and kumquats)
1-2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place a 9″ baking pan or skillet over low heat and melt 3 tbsp of butter. Stir in the brown sugar and chopped rosemary. (If you don’t want little flecks of rosemary on the surface of your cake, add the rosemary on top of the fruit instead.) Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Make the cake batter by creaming the 12 tbsp of butter with the granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) until light and fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Beat well between each addition.
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
  7. Arrange the citrus slices in the pan on top of the sugar topping, then spoon the batter over the top. Smooth the batter out with a spatula before baking.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool just slightly on a wire rack. If you allow it to cool completely, the bottom will solidify and you will not be able to remove it from the pan. After a few minutes, run a knife along the edges of the cake and flip it out onto a plate.
  10. Serve the cake slightly warm or at room temperature.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. tentimestea says:

    I went through a similar thing with mustard…and also olives. This citrus and rosemary cake sounds delicious–and now I can feel so mature saying that! 🙂


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