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Upside down cake mania is upon us once again. It raises its heavy head in Kamloops about the time the apricots and peaches are ripening. Diehards will continue well into the plum season, not me, I never made an upside down plum cake. I’m talking about that heavy nonsense people call cake that has to be doused with whipped cream and then the next day gets tossed into the trash. This year, dear friends, I took it upon myself to rid the world of heavy upside down cakes and set out to develop a more palatable version. I felt the pressure to keep the flavour, but the texture definitely needed improvement and a lot of it. Jim enjoyed my several intermittent failures and was rather disappointed when the one before my last attempt was declared a failure. [You mean you won’t make THAT again?] But just as well, because number 5 turned out to be the keeper.

This recipe will work provided you don’t substitute and follow the instructions faithfully. The texture is wonderfully soft yet stable; in fact it’s so pleasant, it can be eaten without the whipped cream. I baked mine in 7 inch spring form pans. It made a bit of a mess in my oven, so next time I will place a drip pan on the lower rack to catch whatever wants to leak out of the pans. A regular cake pan will work too, but then be sure to line the whole pan with parchment paper.

10-12 apricots
1 cup buttermilk
6 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sweet whipped cream [optional]

• Preheat oven to 350 F.
• Fully line two round cake pans with parchment paper.
• Spray the bottom and the sides generously with cooking spray.
• Wash the apricots, cut them in half and remove the stones.
• Lay the apricots with cut side up inside the two cake pans.
• In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs whites and vanilla extract. Set aside.
• Whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and the salt.
• Rub the butter and the shortening into the flour mix until mixture resembles wet sand.
• Add half of the buttermilk mixture and beat at medium speed for 1-1/2 minutes.
• Add remaining buttermilk mixture and beat for an additional 30 seconds only.
• Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and pour on top of the apricots.
• Gently smooth out the batter and bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
• Let the cake rest for 30 minutes before serving.
• Cover the cake pan with the cake plate and invert the cake onto the plate. The cake is now right side up.
• Oh what the hack, serve it with the whipped cream.
• This upside down cake will be as nice the following days as it was the day you made it.


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