Kumquat Upside-Down Cake
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What do you do with two pounds of kumquats? Why you make a kumquat upside-down cake, Silly. What else would you do.
No, seriously, what else would you do? I have been getting them every week in my CSA (which has been awesome), but had it not been for the lovely Huebscher, who pointed me to this recipe, those kumquats would still be sitting in my fridge.
I mean seriously, there’s only so much no-face* you can play with these tart little gems, though I have found them more bearable in the past few weeks. Plus, having a kumquat upside-down cake in my repertoire has made all the difference.
This cake, which starts in a cast iron skillet stovetop then finishes in the oven, is sweet and tart and totally delicious, a perfectly citrusy cake to make all winter long.
Fortunately, kumquats keep well in the fridge and do make a fabulous upside-down cake. That said, I wouldn’t mind exploring some other uses. My mother and I were thinking they might make a nice addition to a braised dish or a Moroccan tagine or something of the sort.
As I suspected, another little baggy of kumquats arrived in my CSA today. I will stash them away until I hear back from you.
PS: Orange and Olive Oil Cake, another favorite winter cake.Print
Kumquat Upside Down Cake
- Total Time: 1 hours 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
Source: Beauty Everyday
- 1½ lbs. kumquats, halved
- 1 stick (4 oz | 113g) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 3 T. honey
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 cup (8 oz | 226g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Melt butter in a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the butter. Add brown sugar and stir until mixed. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, honey and salt, and stir to combine.
- Add the fruit to caramel mixture — fit as much as you can inside. (WARNING: I used about 1½ lbs. of kumquats, and squeezed them all in. About half-way through baking, the syrup bubbled up and spilled out onto my oven floor. Smoke was everywhere. So, you can either place the kumquats in just one layer, or you could take your chances and maybe place a cookie sheet on the rack below the pan to catch any over flow.)
- Make the batter: Put softened butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating on high. Add vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.
- Carefully spoon or pour batter over kumquats, taking caution not to disturb the fruit. Carefully smooth the batter.
- Place cake in oven on the middle rack. Bake for about 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. Test the cake with a toothpick, making sure it is cooked in the middle. Take a butter knife and loosen edges along the pan. Put cake on a wire rack and let it cool for about 30 minutes.
- Put a large platter face down over cast iron pan and flip.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hours 5 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Skillet, Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: kumquat, upside, down, cake, winter, citrus
*No-face: Invented circa 2001 by a Canadian hockey player, no-face is a game that requires participants to take shots of particularly offensive high-octane combinations. Whoever makes no face, wins. Kate Ling, if I recall correctly, is reigning champion.
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67 Comments on “Kumquat Upside-Down Cake”
that’s an original upside-down cake! I love the flavor of kumquats!
Ooh, when I saw that first pic I knew it was going to a beaut! That’s gorgeous, Ali 🙂 The Tartine cookbook inserts candied kumquats into its pecan pie to cut the sweetness. In Dessert Fourplay, Iuzzini adds chopped candied kumquats to cream cheese pastry cream as a filling for doughnuts 🙂
How about a nice salad dressing. Olive oil, kumquat juice, garlic, salt, pepper a hint of champagne vinegar and fresh thyme
MMMMM…a tarte tatin with kumquats! How lovely & original! Great dessert!!
I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with all those kumquats, but I am certainly glad you did. This looks so lovely…and your photos are gorgeous!
Now I feel totally inspired and it’s barely 10 a.m. They’re so pretty to look at and I never really knew what to do with them – now I do – thanks for this recipe.
That looks delicious! Great way to use those kumquats up! Kumquats are a big deal on the island of Kerkyra (Corfu) from which my mother-in-law is from and there they make Greek spoon sweets (a sort of preserves where the fruit is kept whole) with the kumquats or they also candy them whole.
I can’t say I am a HUGE fan of kumquats but that recipe may just lead me to try some 🙂 Our friend is in love with kumquats and has one planted in a pot, so I may have to refer them to this upside down cake! The colors are brilliant!
The last picture is great. Never had a kumquat, but we do love any fruit in an upside down cake, so why not the kumquat!
This looks so delicious. I love the pics of the kumquats with the cast iron pan. The contrast in color is very eye catching!
sadly, i’ve never tasted a kumquat. i can tell you this, however–i want my introduction to be a recipe much like this–it looks and sounds delectable!
Holy wow! This looks incredible. I’ve made a pineapple-plantain upside-down cake in my skillet, but this moves me to new levels of invention and decadence. Thanks for the great post!
Very original! Unfortunately, I just went through all my batches of kumquat from my garden. Do you think I could use my preserved kumquats or it’d be too sweet?
Your upside down cake is beautiful!! Here’s a recipe for you!
Cranberry Kumquat Relish
1 cup honey
2 tbsp. crystallized ginger
12 oz. fresh cranberries
2 (4 inch) cinnamon sticks
1 cup chopped kumquats
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1. In a 4 quart sauce pan, heat honey, cinnamon sticks and ginger to boiling.
2. Add chopped kumquats and simmer until just soft.
3. With a slotted spoon, remove the kumquats and the cinnamon sticks.
4. Discard the cinnamon sticks.
5. Add cranberries to honey mixture in sauce pan and cook until the cranberries burst.
6. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and allow to cool.
7. Stir kumquats back into the mixture and spoon it into jars.
Looks great as always! I usually make a kumquat jam with sliced kumquats, sugar, honey and vanilla beans.
Gorgeous! I’ve never seen a kumquat cake before, it looks delicious!
I didn’t even know kumquats existed!
Gosh those freshly cut kumquats look gorgeous! And the cake. I don’t think I can get kumquats here in London so I’m wishing I could taste via computer screen.
Candied kumquats–I had these on a cheese plate & loved them so much, I bought fresh kumquats for the first time this spring & walked around work with them, coercing people to taste them. Now I want to try your beautiful cake.
I started to see kumquats here.I usually made candied kumquats, but, honestly I am bored to make the same recipe.
I love the recipe and I certainly will try it
OMG, that looks delicious! Your photography is truly gorgeous.
It turned out beautiful. How about a kumquat wine reduction sauce for some meat or chicken?
They make a really lovely marmalade, if you get sick of the cake. And I don’t know why you would, because that is a gorgeous cake!
That’s such a great idea. I love kumquats, but I never know what to do with them besides eat them raw.
I’ve never had kumquats but am thinking I could probably eat your entire cake. So it’s all just as well!
gorgeous, gorgeous photos. kumquats always seem to multiply once brought into a home, they’re never finished. if you have any leftover, i like the Moroccan inspiration- maybe preserved like lemons, then chopped fine in couscous.
Ali! The photos are amazing. Tell me, for those of us on the east coast without this beautiful fruit, would the recipe work with the garlic scapes I keep getting in my CSA?
huzzah! hope it tasted heavenly! gorgeous piccys.
That cake looks so yummy. I have fond memories of popping kumquats like candy as a child. My mother was from Paraguay and missed them so much when she was living up here in the Northwest. whenever she found them up here she bought all she could. As others have mentioned Kumquat marmalade is wonderful, especially with a touch of lime. I found this site though that has a wealth of recipes for kumquats.
ohyeah…the use: I’m a fan of rustic small-batch marmalades. pretty little cross-section kumquat slices and a teeny bit of chai spice (vanilla bean, cinnamon, clove, star anise & black pepper). really nice on yogurt, served with cheese, or spooned onto a chocolate cake.