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Lemon Caramel Upside-down Cake

Lemon caramel upside down cake on Afternoon Express

Lemon Caramel Upside-down Cake

Recipe by Ishay Govender-Ypma 
Caramel Sauce
80g cold unsalted butter
¾ cup Selati Castor Snow
Juice of 1/2 lemon (zest lemon and set aside for cake)
1 t vanilla extract
Lemon Topping
2 medium lemons, washed, dried and sliced thinly
1 heaped tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for decoration
¼ cup caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) Selati Castor Snow
4 extra-large eggs, separated
1 t vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup (310ml) cake flour
2 t baking powder
For the caramel

  1. Heat a 26-28 cm Teflon coated frying pan or skillet (with a metal handle) and add butter and sugar to pan on low heat. Ensure pan is dry and wiped well. Allow to melt, swirling pan gently now and then.
  2. Add lemon juice, vanilla and increase temperature slightly – mixture will start to bubble already. Swirl pan and watch liquid as it starts to colour. In 5-8 minutes it will turn a lovely caramel colour, and will continue to colour off the heat. Remove from heat and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Place the lemon slices in concentric circles over the caramel. Sprinkle caster sugar all over the lemon slices. Scatter the thyme leaves over the lemon and caramel.


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy in an electric mixer or by hand – 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix.
  4. Sift flour and baking flour and fold into mixture. Add lemon zest. Batter will be thick.
  5. Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form.
  6. Fold egg whites gently into batter in three parts, with a rubber spatula. Spoon batter evenly over lemons in caramel. Tap the pan to ensure batter is smooth and evenly spread out.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Cover with heavy foil after 15 minutes, and pierce foil a few times with a skewer. Bake covered until last 10 minutes, then remove foil.
  8. Remove cake from oven and leave in pan for 5- 10 minutes to cool.
  9. Turn cake over onto a wire rack carefully. Add sprigs of thyme and serve still warm
  10. Serve with a dollop or crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt. 

- A Teflon coated pan is essential so the cake slides out easily. I use one by Le Creuset 
- Covering the cake after 15 minutes is important, as it starts to brown at top quickly
-If you like marmalade, you'll like the topping on this cake, as lemons can be a little bitter. (This is what we also sprinkle extra sugar over them).
Cake is versatile and you can use oranges, or stone fruit - pitted, in season. 

Recipe by:Selati

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