Upside-Down Salted Caramel Cake

Upside-Down Salted Caramel Cake -

I have a confession. ‘Ahem’… I’m terrified of making caramel. Yes, I have a caramel-making phobia. There’s no scientific name for it, but I swear it’s real. But here’s the thing, I loooove caramel. Like love love love it. Previous attempts at making caramel have resulted in my husband doing a serious workout on our stairs, and rushing down the stairs to my panicked screeches, only to go back upstairs when he has reassured me all is well, to rushing back down to more panicked screams and in the end just making the caramel himself. True story.

Upside-Down Salted Caramel Cake -

Anyway, today I was determined to attempt caramel again and to conquer my fear. Armed with a brand new pan that promises “no hot spots” and a step-by-step photo tutorial from Bon Appétit, I was all set to go and I was successful! On my first try! Woohoo! I can’t even begin to describe how accomplished I feel at having successfully made caramel. Giving myself some serious pats-on-the-back.

Upside-Down Salted Caramel Cake -

Okay, now on to the part of this post you actually care about reading: the cake. This cake is seriously delicious. The cake part of this cake is a super simple milk based cake that is meant to allow the caramel to really shine. It provides a wonderful base for the caramel to soak into. The light cake is the perfect balance for the rich caramel. Bonus, once you get the hang of making caramel, this cake comes together in no time. Enjoy!

Upside-Down Salted Caramel Cake -


Note: I had some issues with the lighting which made the caramel appear super dark in some pictures. Your caramel should look a little lighter, like the one in the picture right above this note. 


Upside-Down Salted Caramel Cake:

Makes one 9-in cake

Salted Caramel Sauce:

1 cup sugar

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

3 tbsp water

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 tsp salt


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 tbsp baking powder

1 cup milk

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 (generous) tbsp melted butter

  1. For the caramel sauce, follow this step-by-step picture tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide For Making Caramel Sauce.
  2. Allow your sauce to cool to room temperature. You can accelerate this process by placing it in the fridge. If it gets too thick, you might have to warm it up in the microwave until it’s pourable.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Lightly butter a 9-in round cake pan (you could try square but I can’t vouch for the result).
  4. Pour approximately 3/4 cup of your salted caramel sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan, swirling the pan to make sure it coats the bottom evenly. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cake and whisk until smooth (see didn’t I tell you this was easy?). Pour the batter over your caramel, spreading it evenly with a spatula, if needed.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and allow to cool in pan for 20-30 minutes.
  8. Place a plate over the top of your pan and flip it upside-down. The cake should come right out. If any caramel sticks to the bottom of the pan, just scoop it out and put it back on your still very warm cake. I recommend slicing it now so that the caramel can ooze  down into the cake slices.
  9. Serve warm or room temperature and enjoy!


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