Lemon Gingerbread Upside Down Skillet Cake2014-12-17
- Yield : 1 10" cake
- Servings : 8-10
- Prep Time : 10m
- Cook Time : 45m
- Ready In : 1:15 h
Subtle gingerbread spices, a gooey topping with tart lemon slices make this cake a Christmas star! The lemon slices mellow in the sugar syrup making them supple yet snappy with delicious tartness to counterbalance the warm moist gingerbread cake.
- Lemon Layer:
- 2-3 large lemons, **see NOTE
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 TB unsalted butter Cake:
- 1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TB fresh minced ginger, optional, but recommended
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup whole milk
Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Topping: Cut ends from lemons and discard. Slice each lemon into 1/4” rounds (you’ll get about 8 slices per lemon).
Melt butter in a 10” cast iron skillet. Add granulated sugar; cook until sugar is melted. Remove from heat.
Arrange lemon slices on top of sugar mixture overlapping each slice to completely cover skillet bottom. If you have extra slices, just create another layer.
Batter: Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, and salt.
Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in fresh ginger, and vanilla.
Add half of flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended.
Add milk, mix just until it disappears, then add remaining flour mixture, mixing just until blended.
Spoon batter over lemon topping; gently spread over lemons. The melted butter may ooze up along the sides. It’s no problem.
Bake cake in middle of oven until golden, about 40-45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. If toothpick comes out clean, cake is done. Let cake rest in skillet 5 minutes.
Using hot pads or ov’ gloves, invert a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together).
Replace any lemon slices that may have stuck to bottom of skillet. Let cake cool about 20 minutes before cutting to allow topping to settle.
NOTE: Having made this cake several times, I have observed the following: The rind on the lemon slices becomes chewier as time passes. The first 24 hours are pleasantly soft. After 24 hours, they are pleasantly chewy, and after the second day, it is more of a jerky type of chewiness that is impossible to cut with a fork. Therefore, if you will serve the entire cake the first day, definitely leave the rind on the lemons as it is a wonderful unexpected tartness which plays perfectly against the gingerbread cake. If you will be eating this cake over the course of a few days then zest the lemons, remove the white layer (pith) and discard, cut the peeled lemons into 1/4” rounds. Mix the zest into the sugar/butter mixture. Place the lemon slices over top of the sugar/butter mixture. Proceed with the recipe.
TIP: If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, it works in a regular 10” stainless steel skillet. It can be made in a deep dish pie plate, or even a 10” cake pan. It is a fallacy, that acidic ingredients shouldn’t be cooked in a cast iron pan. If the dish, or in this case, cake is promptly removed, there is no metallic aftertaste. Rinse the cast iron pan in hot water, dry with a towel, stick in the still warm oven to completely dry.