My Mom’s Berry Upside-Down Cake Is The Ultimate Easy Dessert

Berry Upside-Down Cake

Traditionally, an “upside-down cake” is a cake that is baked with its toppings at the bottom of the pan. After baking, the cake gets turned out onto a plate so the toppings end up face-up. I mention this because while I will be sharing my mom’s upside-down cake recipe with you today, this recipe doesn’t actually meet any of the traditional requirements I just mentioned!

This dessert is actually more like a fruit cobbler than a cake, but my family has called it “berry upside-down cake” since I was a little girl! I believe we called it that because of the way the cake batter and the fruit layer swap places while it bakes. And that almost counts as an upside-down effect, right? ;-) But no matter what you want to call it, this berry-filled dessert is one of my family’s all-time favorites for a reason!

Related: This Pineapple Dessert Will Take You Back To Your Grandma’s Kitchen

Berry Upside Down Cake

I’ll often make this dessert if we’re having people over for dinner, because it’s easy to throw together and makes enough to feed a crowd. It also tastes amazing, thanks to the combination of sweet and tart berries and warm cake. This recipe is also quite forgiving, so it’s easy to make adjustments! For a GF version, just use a gluten free baking mix in place of the flour. And feel free to use whatever berries you like! (Boysenberries are a family favorite, but blueberries come in at a close second.)

Give this easy dessert a try, and I’m sure your family will love it as much as mine does! :-)

Berry Upside Down Cake

Berry Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can berries (of your choice) in light syrup*

*Note: My mom always used canned boysenberries in this recipe, but I often have a hard time finding canned fruit in stores (though you can buy them online!) When I can’t find them or I’m feeling impatient, I just use frozen fruit instead. It’s an easy swap and they taste just as good! Simply swap the can of berries for a 16-ounce package of frozen berries. Let the berries thaw completely before using, and don’t drain any of the liquid off.

Directions:

Berry Upside Down Cake

Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to cream together the softened butter and 1 cup of sugar. Add the milk and stir until smooth. Then add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until combined.

Berry Upside Down Cake

Pour the batter into the bottom of a 9×11″ baking dish, and spread it out to form an even layer.

Berry Upside Down Cake

Pour the berries (including any liquid) over the top of the batter layer.

Berry Upside Down Cake

Finally, sprinkle the remaining cup of sugar over the top of the berries. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Berry Upside Down Cake

Allow the cake to cool for 15-30 minutes to help it set up, then serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream (or my personal favorite, a splash of half and half!)

Berry Upside Down Cake

Berry Upside-Down Cake

Jill Nystul
This dessert is actually more like a fruit cobbler than a cake, but my family has called it “berry upside-down cake” since I was a little girl. But no matter what you want to call it, this berry-filled dessert is one of my family's all-time favorites!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling: 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 317 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 15 oz can berries (of your choice) in light syrup

Instructions
 

  • Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to cream together the softened butter and 1 cup of sugar. Add the milk and stir until smooth. Then add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the bottom of a 9x11" baking dish, and spread it out to form an even layer.
  • Pour the berries (including any liquid) over the top of the batter layer.
  • Finally, sprinkle the remaining cup of sugar over the top of the berries. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 15-30 minutes to help it set up, then serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream (or my personal favorite, a splash of half and half!)

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 128mgPotassium: 249mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 285IUVitamin C: 2.2mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 1.3mg

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I have made this dessert now twice. Once with frozen blueberries and blackberries. It was delicious. And the 2nd one I used frozen cherries! Oh my goodness, what a great dessert! Not to sweet and with whipped cream it was a crowd pleaser! Thank you for sharing Jillie.
    Cynthia

  • Thanks for another delicious recipe, Jillee. I am wondering why the picture of the cake doesn’t print out when you print the recipe. It shows on my computer screen, but not on my printed page. I like having the picture with my recipes. Help! Pat

  • Hi, Love your site! 9 x 11″ pan seems like an unusual size. Have you or anyone tried a 9 x 13″ or even a smaller pan? I’m sure it would work, I was wondering about cooking time differences.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. My teenagers aren’t that keen on cake with icing so this would be a wonderful substitute come dessert time.

  • Hi Jillee, love your site but was wondering about this recipe because berry desserts are my favorite dessert. In the pictures it looks like a lot more berries than one 15 oz. can would be in that size pan.

      • Hi Jillee: I would ake this with the frozen berries as they do not have added sugar. I am interested in the Nutrition facts, though. Are the nutrition facts given based on the bag of frozen berries or on the canned fruit in syrup (much more sugar)? I need to know so that I can figure the PointsPlus. I am diabetic and on Weight Watchers. Thanks for your help.

  • Hey Jillee,

    My hubby is diabetic. If I used a boxed sugar free yellow cake mix and the frozen berries would it have the same consistency as yours? Too easy not to try, right?

    Thanks for sharing!
    Angie

  • This sounds incredible, my husband loves blueberries, but I’m gluten free. Do you suppose it would work with GF flour? I was wondering if you had tried that since I know you have a family member who is also gluten free. Thanks for a get website.

    • “For a GF version, just use a gluten free baking mix in place of the flour.” Hey Karin, this is what Jillee said in the paragraph right before the recipe :-) She does have a great site, doesn’t she!? I love it!

      • I have done the same and sometimes use a little applesauce in the batter to replace the sugar. No one has noticed for 30 years of baking and I get asked to bake all the time.

  • Can you use fresh fruit that’s in season? How much and what about the “syrup” that comes from cans? How do you replace that? Thank you! Always looking for great ways to use our berries!!!

  • My sweet mother-in-law used to make this recipe. It’s really good with peaches or pineapple too. Thanks for reminding me of it. I haven’t had it since she passed away.

    • I found this for you doing a google search for, “What is the equivalent for half and half in the UK?” Here’s the answer: It’s known as “half cream”, but isn’t that easy to find. In practice, if I’m using a US recipe that calls for it, I use a 2:1 mix of “single cream” and “full fat milk.” US “half and half” has typically a 12% fat content. UK single cream has an 18% fat content.

    • Half and Half. + Larger Image. A combination of equal parts milk and light cream that contains up to 15 percent milk fat. Half and Half will typically range between 10% to 18% fat content.“ Cheers!

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