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Starfruit Upside Down Cake

Adapted recipe and original photo by Oakley Boren / Food.OakMonster.com


Special equipment: A well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet

Cardamom-infused Rum

3 tablespoons dark rum
3 cardamom pods

Crush cardamom pods in a small bowl. Add rum. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. Discard the pods and seeds.


1 large Frieda’s Starfruit or 2 small ones
3/4 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cardamom-infused rum (recipe above)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tablespoon cardamom-infused rum for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly wash Starfruit and slice it crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat until sugar is melted and the mixture is sticky, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Arrange Starfruit on top of sugar mixture.  Set aside.

Sift together flour, making powder, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually add sugar, and eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cardamom-infused rum. Add half of flour mixture and beat just until blended. Beat in pineapple juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. (Batter may appear slightly curdled.)

Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly. Bake until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in skillet 5 minutes. Put a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate. Replace any fruit stuck to bottom of skillet. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of cardamom-infused rum over cake and cool on plate on a rack.

Serve cake just warm or at room temperature.