Quince upside-down cake.

Warm, rich, floral and jammy, with a bit more zing than standard pear or apple.

Quince upside-down cake

‘Burdened’ with a bowl of my dad’s ultra-vanilla-poached quinces, I searched foodgawker for ‘quince upside down cake’. And the only answer, amazingly, was by pikelet and pie, an IRL friend and former colleague. It was meant to be.

This recipe is based on Lili’s (which is based on David Lebovitz’s) and I used those syrupy quinces, but you could poach your own or use any other leftover cooked fruit you have lying around.

1 cup poached quinces
113 g caster sugar (or less if the quinces are already very sweet)
30 g butter

210 g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
115 g butter
150 g caster sugar
2 eggs
125 mls milk
2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 190° C and butter and a springform tin and line the bottom with greased baking paper*. Place the tin on a baking sheet (to catch any leaks later) and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan (or, if you’re lazy and/or tired like me, a microwave-safe bowl) and heat the poached fruit, first portion of caster sugar and 30g butter until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture starts to thicken. Then set aside.
  3. While the fruit is cooling slightly, prepare the cake batter. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking power and salt. Set aside.
  4. If the butter is cold, zap it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, then cream together with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with hand beaters).
  5. Add the eggs one by one, beating until the mixture is fully incorporate after each one.
  6. Slow down the mixer(s) and carefully add half the flour mixture, followed by the milk and vanilla.
  7. Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir until fully combined.
  8. Take the fruit mixture, and pour it out into the bottom of the cake tin, making sure to distribute the fruit evenly.
  9. Pour the cake batter on top, and gently spread it out to the edges, making sure you completely cover the fruit.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until a bamboo skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Don’t worry if you get a crack (or rift) or two – this will eventually be the bottom of the cake.
  11. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then gently flip the cake out onto a cooling rack**, fruit side up. Serve warm, with vanilla-bean ice-cream.

Upside-down quince cake served

*The paper is important, or the caramelised fruit and the tin will becoming inseparable buddies (like mine did).
**Keep the baking tray underneath, in case the fruit tries to make a getaway.

4 thoughts on “Quince upside-down cake.

  1. Ooh lovely! My mum makes beautiful quinces too but they always get gobbled up too quickly with custard. This would also work with the cake part of my pineapple treacle upside down cake, which is very eggy and has some almond meal for extra richness. X


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