Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Calling all lemon lovers! This is one cake you must try—it will tantalize your lemon loving palate like no other. The cake tastes super lemony with intermingling sweet and tart notes. The lemon slices arranged on the bottom of the pan become an impressive top once the cake has been baked and inverted. Every time I bake this cake, I hardly keep myself from peeling off the caramelized lemons on the top and slyly popping them into my mouth before the cake even has a chance to be served. They are so good!

Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Lemon Upside-Down Cake
Adapted, barely, from Luscious Lemon Desserts, by Lori Longbotham


3 medium lemons
3/4 cup (1   1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1   1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Trim the ends from the lemons and cut the fruit into slices 1/8 inch thick with a very sharp knife or a mandoline. Discard any seeds.

Melt 1/4 cup of the butter with the brown sugar in an ovenproof, non-stick 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the lemon slices, increase the heat to high, and boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and arrange the sliced in an orderly pattern in the bottom of the skillet.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

Beat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the granulated sugar and zest and beat, scraping down the side of the bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat just until blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternatively with the milk, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition and beating just until blended.

Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Beat the egg whites with clean beaters on medium speed in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Add one quarter of the whites to the batter and fold in using a whisk or a rubber spatula. Continue to gently fold in the whites, one quarter at a time, being careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter over the lemon slices and gently smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Loosen the edges of the cake with a rubber spatula all around, invert it onto a heat-proof serving platter, and leave the pan over the cake for 5 minutes. Remove the pan and serve the lemon upside-down cake warm, cut into wedges.


Leave a Reply

  1. I wish I had the time to try them all!!!!

  2. So tempting and delicious!



  3. looks stunning and so good!

  4. It looks awesome, must be delicious.

  5. Beautiful cake, Farida. I am going to try this some day (soon I hope).

  6. Wowwww!!! Delicious!!!


  7. Nice looking,Lemon Upside Down Cake is a delicious cake

  8. What a flavorful cake!

  9. Farida
    Love your cake and the looks of it! I used to eat lemons with some salt when I was a kid and this cake reminds me of this habit! It also reminds me of a cake by Gaston Lenotre but his had oranges instead. Anything citrusy is great, I think!

  10. Beautiful cake, Farida

  11. What a gorgeous cake! I looooove lemon desserts, so this is just perfect for me.

  12. thats a very new and interesting one. lovely presentation and click!

  13. Wow, what an impressive presentation! I love everything to do with lemon, so I must try this cake soon! Thank you so much for sharing! =)

  14. I’ve never seen Lemon Upside down Cake. I love lemon!

  15. sounds delicious…we are lemony fans too..must try this.thanks a ton for sharing.

  16. So beautiful. I must try this! Please clarify the amount of butter though. The list of ingredients says: 1/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks). Thanks!

  17. CHARLENE: Ahh, my mistake. Thanks for catching. It should be 3/4 cups butter, not 1/4. Just corrected it.

  18. These look absolutely delicious. I may have to try this out as my guilty pleasure on this birthday..

  19. You called?
    Lemon fanatic at your service.

    Fari, I think you kicked this one out of the ballpark!
    That golden cake is making me pucker just looking at it. Yum.

    I once made a similar topping for cheesecake, but the thought of caramelized lemons on a cake takes this dessert to a whole new level.
    Are you still munching on the chewy lemon slices? I doubt I could stay away from them.

    I hope your Valentine’s Day was as delicious as that cake!

  20. This up side down lemon cake sure looks gorgeous…love everything lemony 🙂

  21. YUm! Cant wait to try this 🙂

  22. Oh look how beautiful that is!

  23. Gorgeous Fraida, citrus is right up my alley, and this cake is calling my name! Beautiful!!

  24. Lovely Lovely just Lovely!

  25. this cake is totally calling out for me to make it! your lemon upside-down-cake looks soooooo soooo so good!

  26. I needed to find some way of using all the lemons on our tree and tried this today and it is absolutely delicious!

  27. Thank you all for your comments.

    Sarah, so glad you tried the recipe!

  28. how high the temperature in the oven should be? 180?

  29. SIMA: Yes, 350F equals 180C.

  30. This lemon cake was fabulous, Farida. I have Meyer lemons on a tree in my yard, and they were ever so good in this. The taste is sweet and sour at the same time. We had 7 adults at our table last night, and everyone LOVED it. I served it with sweetened whipped cream. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’m posting it on my blog tomorrow (March 9th) referring to your blog and recipe.

  31. Genius !!! This is my fav category and I loved the new thing i learnt about lemon 🙂 thanks a lot for the post.

  32. This cake looked so delicious that I tried it. It is excellent. The only part I would change just a bit is to boil the lemon slices longer than one minute. They were too bitter and we ended up throwing them out, even though a slight bitterness is usually welcome. I loved the cake! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

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