Maple Blueberry Upside Down Buttermilk Cake

How’s that for use of yummy cake adjectives?

I met three young girls a couple Saturday mornings ago, at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery (you must really go one Saturday morning at around 10:30 am) and I wrote their names down, in case I forgot. And then I did, and I’ve spent the past half hour going through the mountain of papers on my desk, and I can’t find it, and I so wanted to say hi! But girls, you know who you are, if you were at Aviv’s two Saturdays ago and you made raspberry buttermilk cake for the first day of school.

I’ve been thinking of raspberry buttermilk cake since they reminded me of it. Well, not the whole time, but almost.

And I never did manage to get raspberries. But I did get a flat of blueberries – bloobs, as W calls them – and I managed to rescue enough from him to freeze for future muffins and to make a cake.

Rather than mix them into the batter or scatter them on top, which is what I’d normally do, W requested an upside down cake, which was delicious even though blueberries are a bit fragile to hold their own on the bottom of an upside down cake. It did turn into a soft maple-y goo, so if you don’t mind scraping the ones that stick on the bottom of the pan (it’s OK, they’re nice and soft, not at all sticky or hard to retrieve) and replacing them on top of your cake, you should make this. Otherwise just do the batter, scatter the berries overtop and bake.

How could you resist something so appealingly purple, that says I love you in a totally not-Barney sort of a way? Thanks for the reminder girls!

Maple Blueberry Upside Down Buttermilk Cake


September 18, 2011



1/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1-2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


1/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup buttermilk or thin plain yogurt


1Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8" or 9" round cake pan and put the brown sugar, butter and maple syrup in it - put it into the oven as it preheats and then stir with a fork until smooth and scatter with the berries.

2In a largish bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3By hand or with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, mixing each time just until combined. Spread the batter over the blueberries the pan, smoothing the top.

4Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.

5 Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack or plate, or eat warm, straight from the pan.


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21 comments on “Maple Blueberry Upside Down Buttermilk Cake

  1. Lauren O.
    September 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Looks fabulous Julie! This is what I’ll make with the rest of the blueberries in my fridge from the Heritage Park harvest fair last weekend. 🙂

  2. Mika
    September 19, 2011 at 4:47 am

    wow! Looka amazing! I must make this…….

  3. Cheryl
    September 19, 2011 at 7:22 am


  4. Lori
    September 19, 2011 at 8:28 am

    This is the recipe I have been looking for!
    I have a freezer full of frozen saskatoon berries (that I picked my own self, thank-you-very-much) and one day I wondered about an upside down cake.
    I couldn’t find a recipe so I was plotting to re-do another upside down recipe. Now I don’t have to!

  5. JulieVR
    September 19, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Lori, that’s brilliant!! I have saskatoons in my freezer too – and they would hold up even better than blueberries!

  6. Stephanie
    September 19, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I have a freezer full of blueberries and I am a big fan of apple upsidedown cake so I will be putting this on my “to-bake” list

  7. the other Al
    September 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I’m feeling terribly guilty now because i took your cake home last night after we finished up at the rink and proceeded with the boys to devour the whole thing! Now I know why it was soooo damn good! I stole bloob candy from your baby (W) shame shame shame on me.
    but, um, hey… thanks

  8. bev
    September 20, 2011 at 12:47 am

    What do you think, can we substitute some oatmeal and whole wheat flour in here and make it into breakfast, maybe eat it warm with yogurt? It looks delicious, but I really only think of chocolate as dessert so we have to make this into main course…

  9. Melissa W
    September 20, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I made this last night. It ruled. I used a whole pint of blueberries (as they were heading towards TooSoftVille) and that might have been a leeeeetle much, but it was still awesome.
    I wished the whole cake were made of the crispy, chewy edge bits. DELISH.
    Like bev’s idea too, for breakfast cake.

  10. Jan @ Family Bites
    September 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Yum and yum!

  11. CathyH
    September 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Looks delicious! And must I say, your little guy has the cutest mouth!!

  12. Anonymous
    September 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I have four sons and rarely have I seen such a sweet picture of a little boy!! I love your blog

  13. Dana
    September 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Maple and blueberry sound like delicious makings for a cake.

  14. Words Of Deliciousness
    September 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Wow, it looks delicious. I love blueberry.

  15. Anita
    September 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    That was US!!! Alexandra – 5, Victoria – 7, Katherine (the resident baker) – 11! The girls were thrilled to see your post just now. And it’s especially relevant because the cake was so popular that Nana wanted to find the recipe on line and couldn’t! We were at Aviv’s again this Saturday with Nana but we just missed you this week. :O) See you around Julie!

  16. JulieVR
    September 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    YAY!! I’m so glad you saw this!! I almost remembered their names right, except I was remembering Violet.. or Veronica?? Victoria! So glad to hear from you guys!!

  17. Cheryl
    September 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I’m Kate, Tori and Ali’s Nana. I loved the bakery and pleased to get the blueberry recipe as well as the famous raspberry one too. I know it has to be good to be the first day of school cake!!! YUMMM

  18. Julie
    September 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I am envious of that big “crate” of blueberies sticking out of the corner of the photos. WOW!! Here in Perth, Australia we are currently paying $5.98 for 125g of fresh blueberries. Imagine how much that box would cost here!!!

  19. Summer
    September 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    We made this tonight and it was a hit all around – everyone loved it! Thanks for the recipe – it’ll become part of my permanent collection.

  20. Ashley
    September 27, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Just made this last night with my garden huckleberries and it was delicious! Thanks so much 🙂

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