Berry “Upside-Down” Cake {Gluten Free}

berry upside down cakeYesterday, No. 1 son asked me if he could borrow my car for a little while. I, of course, let him and didn’t think another thing about it until later when I discovered he had taken my filthy car through the car wash AND filled the wiper fluid reservoir (which was empty)! What a kid! :-)

I’m not sure what I did to deserve that…but I have a suspicion it was a “thank you/I’m sorry” gift for the puppy messes I had to clean up when I was babysitting our grandpuppy Milo. ;-)  Whatever the reason, I was very touched…and grateful!

As a Thank You to his Thank You I decided to make him his favorite dessert…Berry “Upside-Down” Cake. I was taking out the ingredients when it occurred to me that I haven’t ever posted about this recipe. Since this is one of our family’s very favorite desserts, and one I’ve loved since I was a little girl, I figured it was high time I shared it!

When celiacs entered our lives a couple of years ago I stopped making this dessert. But several months ago I thought I would give a gluten-free version of it a shot and was thrilled with the results. I am learning that there are just some recipes that lend themselves to gluten-free transformation much better than others. THIS is one of those recipes!  I served it to 8 people for dinner yesterday (including my mother-in-law who is visiting) and EVERYONE loved it.

Here is the recipe from my Mom’s files:

berry upside down cakeBerry Upside-Down Cake


1/2 cup softened butter
2 cups sugar (divided)
1 cup milk
2 cups flour (I use Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can berries (my mother always made it with canned boysenberries, but I can’t ever seem to find those in the store, so I make it with blueberries or blackberries. This time I used blackberries, because it’s what I had on hand, but blueberries are probably my favorite.)


With a handheld electric mixer (or in a stand mixer), cream the softened butter and 1 cup of the sugar together. Add the milk, mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.

berry upside down cake

Pour the batter into a 9 x 11 baking dish, spreading it out to cover the bottom. Pour the can of berries (including the juice) over the top and then sprinkle the other cup of sugar on top of that.  Bake at 350 degrees or 30 minutes.

When it comes out of the oven you’ll see why WE call it “upside down” cake (unfortunately I forgot to snap a picture at this point!) because the cake batter on the BOTTOM of the pan will have bubbled up through the fruit layer and is now on TOP.  Traditionally an “upside-down cake” is a cake that is baked in a single pan, then turned over and eaten upside-down, but we like OUR version of “upside-down”. :-)

Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then serve with vanilla ice cream. Or MY favorite way to eat it is with half and half poured over it! Not quite so sweet!

Be prepared for lots of silence while people eat it with fervor and abandon, followed by lots of mmmmm’s and ahhhhh’s and “I love this stuff!”


berry upside down cake

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  1. says

    In the south, we call this a “lazy man cobbler.” Works best with peaches and cherries; does okay with blueberries; but a blackberry cobbler gets an altogether different treatment that’s much more labor-intensive. These “lazy” cobblers truly are easy even for novice cooks.

    • says

      That is a good name for this dish! I was telling the hubster that “upside-down cake” isn’t really an ACCURATE name for this recipe….but it’s what we’ve called it all my life…so I’m sticking with it. ;-)

  2. Tammy says

    OMG! THAT looks like heaven on a plate! I’ve had something similar that my southern co-workers make with canned peaches. I think I will like your version better!!!!

  3. Joy says

    I don’t usually buy canned fruit, I just use frozen fruit. How much would I use? Also do I need to let them thaw before making it so there is possibly some juice?

    • says

      Yes, I would definitely allow them to thaw first so you will have some juice. Might even need to add a little bit of liquid since the stuff in the can comes in “light syrup”.

  4. susan says

    This looks wonderful. I assume if you are making it non-celiac you use regular all purpose flour? thanks susan P.S. Happy New Year, good luck with all your projects and thank you for providing such a useful and entertaining blog.

  5. CTY says

    Hmmm, I think I smell it from here. Wondering if I could use my DIY Bisquick in place of Pamela’s flour.