I made this raspberry marshmallow upside-down cake today — the exact one pictured here. I dusted it with some powdered sugar — both for the photo op and cause I like it — scooped out a generous spoonful and dribbled it with a bit of heavy cream. Then I ate it. And peeps, it was pretty over-the-top amazing. Like maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten. NOT KIDDING and NOT EXAGGERATING. Something about the combo of the warm fluffy yellow cake, covering a thick oozy layer of tart, slightly sweetened raspberries and, brace yourself, caramelized melted marshmallows (!!!) made me completely ballistic. In a good way.
Truth be told, if I hadn’t spent the weekend at my niece’s wedding, partying perhaps a tad too hard for a 47-year-old mom, I would have gone back for more (my desire to detox — at least today— won out over my desire to eat the entire cake). And, you know, my resident taste-testers will thank me for saving them some, as this is one of those desserts that will please the one with the uber-sweet tooth who basically enjoys everything (love him), and the one who has been known to stop mid-dessert, push his plate away and tell me it’s just too sweet. He’d be fired if he required a salary.
I’m not going to spend a ton of time telling you about how this cake came to be, but I will tell you this: I first read about an upside-down cake with fruit and marshmallows on Edible Living, like a super long time ago, and I am the kind of person (you may have already figured this out) who reads about a cake calling for marshmallows as an ingredient and gets incredibly excited (as opposed to those who kind of get grossed out). A bit of googling revealed that back in the day, there was a marshmallow cake made with rhubarb and strawberry jello that was awfully popular. Then, lo and behold, I discovered said cake (without the jello) in one of my vintage recipe booklets (“250 Classic Cake Recipes”) from 1940. This is a long way of saying that this cake is a classic, or should become one, or at least is one in my book.
It is super easy to make (the cake is a riff on my lemon velvet cake, minus the lemon, obvs) and super delicious. I am planning on watching the cake disappear tonight and already have plans for making another one tomorrow that I plan to share with my book club. And here’s the thing about this cake: I think you could sub out the raspberries with almost any fruit you so desire (although raspberries are spectacular in it). You could use rhubarb (a la the classic), or bananas, as I have done and plan on devoting an entire separate post to, or mixed berries or maybe even apples . . . you get the picture.
So, give this cake a whirl (if you’re cool with the whole marshmallow in a cake thing). It’s kind of the perfect, easy weeknight (or any time of day or night) dessert and it’s kind of a crowd pleaser — like beyond.
Raspberry Marshmallow Upside-Down Cake
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup 2 tbsp oil (I use a mild olive oil)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 yolk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups raspberries frozen are fine
- A generous 1 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows and a few more for scattering on the cake before baking, optional
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, and salt together, whisk briefly to ensure the leavener is well incorporated. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, and vanilla, vigorously, until well combined. Add the egg and yolk, and whisk again. Add the sour cream and whisk again.
- Using a rubber spatula, add the dry ingredients and gently fold the dry into the wet, until no streaks of flour remain.
- Combine the raspberries, marshmallows, and brown sugar in a small bowl, stir together, and place in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour/scrape the cake batter over the berries and marshmallows, spreading it with a small offset spatula if necessary. Sprinkle the top with a few extra marshmallows, if using, and place the pan in the oven.
- Bake for about 50 minutes, rotating the pan after 25 minutes. Begin to check on the cake with a wooden cake tester after 40 minutes. The cake is done when the tester comes out clean or with a moist crumb or two.
- Let the cake cool briefly on a wire rack, and then use a serving spoon to scoop out pieces, flipping the pieces over on the serving plates, so that the fruit is facing up. Dust with powdered sugar and dribble with heavy cream.
- The cake will keep covered in plastic wrap for a few days on the counter, but is best served the day it is made.