Papaya Upside-Down Cake
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pecan pieces
- 1 large papaya, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1-inch wedges
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
- Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees F.
- Melt the 6 tablespoons butter in an ovenproof 9-inch skillet over moderate heat.
- Add brown sugar and cook, stirring until it is dissolved and bubbling. Remove from
- F you are baking in a 9-inch cake pan instead of the skillet, pour the
mixture into the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom evenly.
- Sprinkle the
pecan pieces over the bottom of the skillet or cake pan or skillet.
- Arrange papaya
wedges in a tight pinwheel around the outside of the pan, filling in the center
with any broken or odd-shaped pieces.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper. Sift
2 more times to mix and aerate.
- Put remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer
and beat at high speed for 2 minutes, or until well combined and smooth.
- Add eggs
one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Continue beating 5 more minutes.
- With the mixer on the lowest setting, or using a rubber spatula, beat or fold in
one-third of the flour mixture.
- Beat or fold in vanilla extract and half of the
buttermilk, then another one-third of the flour mixture.
- Beat or fold in the remaining buttermilk and then the remaining flour mixture.
- Spread batter evenly over the papaya wedges.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden
and the center springs back when lightly pressed.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan and place a serving platter on top of
the pan. Carefully flip the entire thing over. If any papaya is stuck to the pan,
scrape it off with a knife and rearrange on top of the cake.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.