Meyer Lemon Upside Down Cake w/ Rosemary

What is with me and these upside down cakes?
I love them.

Visually, they are so attractive, and there is something wonderful about that candied fruit on top that makes me happy.
I am weird, but we know this already.

My neighbor brings me back Meyer lemons from her mom's tree in Arizona every winter, and what a treat!
Fresh picked from the tree to me.

Here, I made an upside down cake w/ the sweet, huge lemons.
You can use blood oranges here too if you like, like I did last year, or any other citrus.

I used a little more butter than the original recipe calls for to assure a super moist cake, and added in fresh rosemary, because herbs and lemons go well together.

This is a much tarter cake than my blood orange upside down cake, you have to be a lemon lover......just a heads up!

Pucker up!

Meyer Lemon Upside Down Cake: (adapted from Food Librarian & L.A. Times)

3 large Meyer lemons
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup), divided
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tbsp of freshly chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Slice the lemons into thin slices and remove pits....not fun, but it goes quickly. I suggest a serrated bread knife to slice thru the lemons for even cuts.

Heat 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter in a 9 1/2 inch cast iron skillet until melted.
Brush the sides of skillet with a little of the melted butter. Add the brown sugar, stir until it is combined with the butter and spread it into an even layer with a silicone spatula. It will look like a nice caramel.

Arrange the lemon slices, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom of the skillet. Set aside.

Cut the remaining 8 tablespoons butter into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until creamy. Add the white sugar, vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
You know I rarely take out my mixer, you can do this with your muscles.

Add half the flour mixture and beat until blended. Add milk and beat until combined, then add the remaining flour mixture and beat until blended.

You will have a nice creamy yellow batter. Using the silicone spatula, carefully spread the batter over the lemon slices in the pan.

A good idea is to place a cookie sheet on the bottom shelf of your oven, to catch any sugary caramel spills (which always happens to me when making upside down cake).

Place cast iron skillet in oven, on middle rack.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden.

Let rest ONLY 5 minutes, or it will surely stick and be difficult to release from pan.

Using 2 oven mitts, (careful the pan is VERY hot!), invert onto a cooling rack.
Mine came out of the skillet like a dream.

This cake is best after a few hours, when the candied lemon slices have firmed up a bit.

Cut with a serrated knife for easier slicing.

This is the PERFECT winter cake.



Anonymous said…
I LOVE lemons so this looks great to me.

I made your blood orange upside down cake last year.

Excellent, but I'm not the biggest cornmeal fan - this recipe using only AP flour is more to my taste.

You are making me consider buying a caste iron skillet. You'd have to close your kitchen down without it! You use that thang CONSTANTLY!

I love my Lodge pans but don't own this configuration - could you please tell me the dimensions of this skillet?

We are on a Charlie Chaplin film jag in our house. One of the funniest scenes in THE GREAT DICTATOR takes place in the Jewish ghetto, and Paulette Goddard keeps boinking the Gestapo on the heads with an enormous black skillet. Chaplin includes the most terrific sound effect.

AGAIN, off topic, but an amazing must see film - if you haven't seen it.
Stacey Snacks said…

I use a 9.5 cast iron skillet (I think it's a LODGE), for cakes only.....I also have a 10" for savory foods..........but I like the cast iron best for baking, would rather use All Clad or Le Creuset for dinner.

Bebe said…
Ha! Prescient you just answered my question. My good old Wagner cast iron skillet is redolent of meat. I was going to ask the dumb question: What to do when you want to bake a cake? (Buy another skillet.)

Thank you….

I am curious about something. I have a new supply of Meyer lemons due to a neighbor’s tree having to be unloaded (construction nearby). Manna! Meyers here are quite sweet. Much less tart than the blood oranges I’ve had in the past. ????
This lemon cake looks delicious! Right now I have a lemon period in my life. I add a lemon almost to every meal I cook. So this cake recipe is just in time for me! Hope I'll manage to bake it right and tasty.
Anonymous said…
Thanks so much for the dimensions!
Carolyn said…
This looks absolutely amazing!! I have never baked with lemons with the rind on. I always think of the rind as bitter...not so because of the candied effect??
Anonymous said…
Hello Stacey!

This cake is gorgeous! Hope you survived the snow storm...
Quick question the brownies you posted on Instagram look outrageous!
Was it your Hepburn brownie recipe?? and which nuts did you use??

They look sooo perfect and yummy!!!
thanks Stacey...

Stacey Snacks said…
Here is the link to the peanut butter swirl brownies......
Anonymous said…

Thank you!!

Unknown said…
Lemons are also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, and magnesium, and are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and copper, as well as folate and potassium.

Mrs. Christina L. Miller said…
Trying this out and realized that you never say when to add the rosemary! I added it last to the batter...?