Cozy up with this Grape Upside Down Cake using black grapes and syrupy balsamic vinegar. The vanilla cake is made with extra virgin olive oil and rosemary. Find more olive oil cake recipes here. Sponsored by California Grapes.
As the days shorten and the weather cools, I am soaking in everything that I love about fall. And since San Diego doesn’t instill fall-like images of trees laden with coats of red and gold leaves, I look for fall in the produce aisle! There’s one fruit I enjoy cooking with that you may not associate with autumn: grapes from California.
Grapes are a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols that may contribute to a healthy heart. My kids love them cold, rinsed, right out of the fridge, straight off the stem. And since they are available May through January, there’s no excuse not to include them in your menu.
We all enjoy fresh picked grapes. They can be thrown into green salads and are great simply dipped in chocolate. But have you ever cooked or baked with grapes?
Grapes sweeten when roasted and they bake beautifully. So when I was asked to develop a dessert using California Grapes, I decided to make a Grape Upside-Down Cake.
Believe it or not, this cake is super easy to assemble and requires minimal cake decorating skills. Those are two essential requirements for my baking recipes! Black grapes turn a stunning purple hue when cooked and make a sweet topping on the vanilla cake.
I always like to add a special twist, so some thick, syrupy balsamic vinegar was added to the grapes, and the cake included a hint of rosemary. Not all desserts for the holidays need to be a high maintenance pie.
- 1 ¼ lb black California grapes
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBS unsalted butter
- 2 TBS light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp thick balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Wash and remove grapes from stem.
Coarsely chop the grapes, roughly quartering them, and reserve.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together sugar and olive oil until sugar is dissolved.
Whisk yogurt, eggs, rosemary and vanilla into the sugar mixture until combined.
Using a 9-inch cast iron skillet, heat over medium-high heat and melt butter.
When butter is bubbly, stir in brown sugar.
Cook until sugar has dissolved into the butter and starts to melt.
Stir in the grapes and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Gently press down on the grapes with a spatula to release some of the juices.
Stir in balsamic vinegar and cornstarch with the grapes.
Remove skillet from heat.
Mix flour mixture into yogurt mixture and whisk until combined.
Slowly pour batter over the grapes, using a rubber scraper to spread the batter evenly.
Place cake in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The top of the cake will be lightly browned.
Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
Run a knife blade along the sides of the cake to insure a clean removal. Place cooling rack over the cast iron skillet and carefully invert the cake. Keep the skillet over the cake until the cake cools, about 1 hour.
Slowly remove skillet and allow cake to finish cooling to room temperature, about 30 more minutes, before serving.
Serving Suggestions: Serve alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Cooking Tips: Green and red grapes can also be used for this cake, but the color may turn out a little... off.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g