Star Fruit Upside Down Cake

This winter, I discovered a star fruit tree by my mom’s house in Florida. Abundant in its bearing, I was inspired to reinterpret this classic cake with some added flavors. The results were delicious. And, of course, there is no refined sugar in this dessert. It is sweetened with coconut sugar, which gives the cake an extra unctuous earthy element. 

star fruit upside down cake

Star Fruit Upside Down cake with Orange Zest and Roasted Almonds

Serves 6-8

Topping:
3 star fruits, thinly sliced
3/4 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped
Batter:
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cup coconut sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp cointreau
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
2 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla powder

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and grease a 9-inch round baking sheet. For the topping: Heat a large skillet over high heat. Melt the butter. Once butter is melted, add coconut sugar. When sugar dissolves, add star fruit. Saute for 5 minutes, until star fruit is softened and coated. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, arrange star fruit slices on the bottom of the baking dish. Pour extra sauce on top. For the batter: Cream butter and coconut sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and almond extract. Slowly pour in cointreau, orange juice and orange zest. Mix until combined. At this point, the batter might appear slightly curdled. That’s fine. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sea salt and vanilla powder. Add half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir. Add the rest of the dry into the wet. Stir until just combined. The batter will be thick, almost cookie-dough-esque. This is a good thing. Pour the batter  on top of the sauteed star fruit slices. Bake cake for 30-40 minutes, until cake is firm. Check at 30 minutes. Do not overcook. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, place a plate at the top (which will soon be the bottom) of the cake. Invert the cake onto the plate, keeping the cake firmly pressed until completely loosened. Arrange any sticky bits back onto the top of the cake. Enjoy!

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