Apricot Upside-Down Cake

White, Chocolate, Carrot…it doesn’t matter, if it’s cake, I’ll take it! Strawberry Shortcake is awesome too and so is another favorite at our house, Upside-Down Apricot Cake! What? Never heard of it? I think I know why…

First, let me tell you about my Grandma. Her mother was a Native American born in Oklahoma before it was a state. My grandma grew up in a small house with her parents, older brother and two sisters. They had no electricity, and they only had running water if they ran for it.  She was 10 years old when she saw her first refrigerator and she had been married some time before she used a washing machine.

Grandma remembers doing all the wash by hand. “You had one tub of hot water to scrub the clothes on the wash board, and another tub of rinsing water. After wringing out the clothes by hand,” Grandma emphasized, “you would hang them out to dry.”

One of the things Grandma enjoyed doing was gardening. She also liked canning the “extra” produce to serve the family all year long. Grandma knew what it was to be resourceful.

When she lived in Washington, that’s where Dad was born, she had such an abundant supply of apricots on her hands that she decided to use apricots in place of the pineapple in pineapple upside-down cake. It was a big hit…especially with my dad.

This cake is one of our family favorites. Served warm or cold, with ice cream, whipped cream or plain, it’s hard to beat Grandma McFie’s wonderful Upside-Down Apricot Cake. (We call it Ape Cake for short!) And now that you’ve heard about it, you’ll have to try it. It might just become one of your favorites too.

Apricot Topping:

  • 30 apricot halves (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

Melt 1/2 cup butter in saucepan. Pour butter into lightly greased 9×13 baking pan. Add brown sugar to the melted butter and spread evenly in bottom of the pan. Place apricot halves pit side down in the butter sugar mixture.

For the cake, combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add softened butter, milk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and bet for 2 more minutes. Pour cake batter over apricots and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

When cake is cool, run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake from the sides. Invert onto a plate and serve.

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