If you can find a recipe that allows you to switch the ingredients according to what you have, you prefer or is seasonal, then I’d say you have a keeper.

These little upside-down cakes fit that profile perfectly. Blueberries too pricey? Replace with strawberry halves. Don’t like chocolate (what!!!) then use this butter patty cake recipe instead. The bottom line is, you decide which fruit is going to feature and what flavour cake batter will be supporting it.

Apricot halves and peaches make a delicious base and as we have just launched into the stone fruit season, they are right at our fingertips. The tender baked fruit that becomes the topping of your cakes provides the moisture and sweetness that icing would normally account for.

For those who are explorers by nature, I’m sure you will come up with some startling combinations.

Over to you.

30g butter, melted
1 tbsp brown sugar
125g blueberries
125g butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
11/4 cups SR flour
1/3 cup cocoa
2/3 cup milk

makes 12

  1. Distribute melted butter evenly between muffin tins. Sprinkle brown sugar over the base of each. Drop approximately seven blueberries into each hole.
  2. Cream the remaining butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Fold in the sifted flour and cocoa alternately with the milk until combined.
  3. Spoon over the top of the blueberries.
  4. Bake in a moderate oven 160°C for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested. Cool before turning out of tins.

Postscript: Packet cake mix has come a long way in recent times. If you need these babies in a hurry, complete the fruit step and spoon the packet mix over the top.



When life gives you roses – make rose petal cakes.

We are seriously in danger of disappearing into a cloud of rose petals here, as for some climatic/random reason this season has been a bumper one for rose blooming. Not complaining.

They are such perfect specimens to observe and there are only so many vases you can place around the home. Cakes seemed the obvious next choice. If you have the time, rose petals can be dipped or painted with egg white and coated in sugar. Left to dry for an afternoon, they will become frosty little treats to plant on your icing before it sets.

If, like me, you are impatient, fresh is fine but best to lay to one side of the plate before plunging in – mouth first.

125g softened butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups SR flour (sifted)
2/3 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place patty cases into muffin or patty cake tins.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar with electric beater until light and creamy.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well.
  4. Gradually add flour and milk alternately and mix gently until smooth.
  5. Spoon into paper cases and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden on top. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. When completely cold, top with icing and a rose petal. Makes 12

1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp softened butter
tiny drop of red food coloring

Sift icing sugar and add butter. Beat until smooth. Add the tiniest drop of food coloring for a really soft pink. If the mix is a little stiff, add a few drops of water for spreading consistency.