Every month or so, I post a story on Instagram (@abeebakes) with my latest “baking fails.” All of my recipes are adapted or inspired by others, and sometimes the changes that I make (reducing sugar, changing fruit, adding spices, using healthier ingredients, etc.) don’t always work, or at the bare minimum, require quite a bit of experimentation. This nectarine upside-down cake was one of them and so it was shown as a failure in one of my “baking fails” story. The benefit of posting these experiences, is that people like you, can and do offer advice!
The picture I shared was a pretty cake with a sunken, raw center. It was a disappointment because the circumference of the cake was not only good, but absolutely delicious. A basic butter cake, softened with buttermilk and topped with a mix of yellow and white nectarine slices. I ended up cutting the center of the cake out, and enjoyed it as an albeit, sloppy, bundt cake. I baked the center-mush into a cobbler so nothing, that was not pretty enough to share.
Obviously I didn’t post the recipe but I did share the failed photo. The advice flooded in.
- Dab the wet fruit in the future with a paper towel to dry it as much as you can before baking.
- Sprinkle the fruit with cornstarch or tapioca flour to absorb any excess moisture which will create a soggy cake.
- Bake the cake on a lower oven rack to prevent the top of the cake from cooking too quickly before completely baking the center.
And so, I did not one, but all of these things. And guess what? It worked. Beautifully.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This cake is perfect. Vibrant, soft, and celebrating fresh nectarines that are bathed in butter and brown sugar for the ultimate finish to any meal. Also, I’d use only yellow nectarines in this because the color is more intense, but you can use any you want.