Individual, little desserts you don’t have to share are so much fun! These apricot upside down cakes are baked in a muffin pan to make adorable, single serving tea cakes. And they are gluten-free too! Almond flour, eggs, and apricot jam make for a batter that is both moist and tender.
Recently I became enamored of the idea of upside down cakes. However, I didn’t want to make a pineapple upside down cake. It’s been done and done some more. I wanted something different! I thought about it and kept it in the back of my mind, until I was at the store recently.
What did I see?
Beautiful, soft, and juicy apricots. The moment I saw them, I knew that was the flavor I wanted. The variation on the classic which would make upside down cakes fresh and interesting for me, and I hope for you as well! 🙂 So, I scooped up some apricots and grabbed a jar of apricot jam and got to work on my cakes.
After I got home, I pulled out the flour and the other ingredients I would need to make a batter, when I had another thought.
Why not make them gluten-free?
Why not indeed! I had just happened to be looking at recipes for Italian almond cakes, and in the possession of almond flour – a main component in my gluten-free crisp recipes: Blueberry and Pear. This meant it was time to experiment. I love experimenting in the kitchen!
Tip: If the apricots decide to shift when you are getting the cakes out of the tin, or even fall off entirely, it is not the end of the world. Just pat them back into place (carefully – they’re hot!) and no one will ever know.
A few things I learned in my experiments:
- Peel the apricots! Peels weren’t the end of the world, but the peels make the cakes messy and hard to eat. The apricots are so soft and lovely, that the extra resistance of the peels throws the whole thing off. Luckily, apricots are easy to peel. Like peaches.
- Large slices of fruit which fill the whole muffin well are much prettier than smaller wedges.
- The batter needs no oil in it since the almond flour already has plenty of oil.
- However, a mixture of butter and brown sugar in the bottom of each muffin well is important! The cakes release so much easier with a little dab of what is basically butterscotch sauce. And, you know, it’s yummy.
- You don’t need a mixer, but you do need a good arm to whisk up the eggs until they are light and frothy. I gave this job to my daughter and she did an excellent job.
- Give the muffin tin a few good taps once the wells are filled. This allows the batter to settle and removes air pockets. The batter is very light and no tapping means you get funny looking cakes at the end. 🙂
As for finishing the cakes, there are a number of options. You can dust them with some powdered sugar (my favorite option), drizzle them with Grand Marnier (my husband’s favorite), or serve them up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (my daughter’s favorite). Or, do all three! Drizzle with the Grand Marnier, then dust with powdered sugar, and add a scoop of ice cream to the plate. Yum!
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Tip: Do any dusting with sugar just before serving. The cakes are quite moist and the sugar will dissolve if given the chance.
Gluten-Free Apricot Upside Down Cakes
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 apricots
- 2 cups (6 oz) almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp orange liqueur
- Preheat oven to 325F. Butter a 12-well standard muffin tin.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is melted and the butter and sugar are well combined into a sauce. Divide the sauce among the 12 wells of the muffin tin.
- Fill a bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the apricots and let them boil for 1 minute. Immediately transfer them to the ice water. Once they are cool, peel off the skins. Carefully cut each apricot in half (THEY ARE SLIPPERY!) and remove the pit, and then slice each half into two round slices. Each apricot will yield 4 slices. Put one slice into the bottom of each muffin well.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs vigorously until they are light colored and frothy and full of tiny bubbles. Whisk in the jam and zest, then whisk in the orange liqueur. Add the dry ingredients and whisk in.
- Divide the batter among the muffin wells. Tap the tin sharply a few times to help the batter settle to bottom and remove air pockets around the apricot slice. Bake the cakes for 18-22 minutes.
- Transfer the tin to a cooling rack and let the cakes rest for about 10 minutes. Run a knife or spatula around the edge of cake to loosen it from the muffin tin. Then carefully invert the tin onto the cooling rack by putting the cooling rack over the top of the tin and then flipping them both over. Serve cakes as is, or with any combination of orange liqueur, powdered sugar, and vanilla ice cream.
- It is important to whisk the eggs until they are light. This keeps the cakes from being heavy and dense.
- If you don't have or don't want to use liqueur in the recipe, substitute an equal amount of orange juice.
- The peeled apricots are SLIPPERY! To make the slices completely even, you can trim the rounded top off the end slices and use that to fill in the hole in the inner slices (where the pit was).
- To save time, make the sauce while the water is coming to a boil for the apricots.
- Almond flour is available in many supermarkets, or from Amazon.