Autumn-Spiced Pomegranate Upside Down Cake Recipe

If you're tired of sweating your way through summer and you've been longing for a return to everything fall, why not kick off the season with this autumn-spiced pomegranate upside down cake? This sweet and spiced cake, developed by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye, is a classy and modern take on the super retro and utterly delicious pineapple upside down cake

With its comforting mixture of warming autumnal spices and fresh, juicy bursts from the pomegranate seeds, this cake is sweet, spiced, and fruity, with a light, moist crumb — not at all heavy. It is perfect for serving as a dessert, or maybe as a mid-morning or afternoon pick me up, accompanied by a nice cup of tea or coffee.

This cake has a pretty unique look with its pomegranate bejeweled top, making for a really colorful and eye-catching dessert that doesn't need much to make it look fancy. This autumn-spiced pomegranate upside down cake is a sweet treat that will bring the cozy feel of the fall to any time of year, so if you're looking for something a bit different from the typical pumpkin spice style of dessert, this beautiful cake will surely deliver.

Gather the ingredients for this autumn-spiced pomegranate upside down cake recipe

To begin this recipe for autumn-spiced pomegranate upside down cake, first you will want to gather the ingredients. You will need the usual ingredients for a classic cake batter: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. You'll also need some of the big fall flavors to give the cake its delicious spiced taste: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom. If you like, you could also swap in other autumn flavors like cloves or all spice, or you could even substitute in a pumpkin spice mix. You'll additionally need brown sugar, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and some fresh pomegranate seeds too.

Prepare the cake tin

The first step is to select and prepare your baking tin. Normally, you would line a cake tin with baking paper, but for this recipe, as the bottom of the tin becomes the top of the cake, instead you will want to spread a mixture of butter and sugar inside the tin to line it. This technique helps to cook the fruit, adds sweetness to the mixture, and keeps the pomegranate seeds from sticking to the base of the baking tin when the time comes to turn it out.

Add the pomegranate seeds

You can buy pomegranate seeds ready to go, or buy whole pomegranates to de seed. Either way, fresh is best for this recipe. If you have opted for the whole pomegranate route, now is the time to chop it open and harvest the vibrant red seeds inside. There are a few different techniques for removing pomegranate seeds which range from easy and mess-free, to more complex and impressive. For a simple and clean approach, you can slice the pomegranate apart in a bowl of water to keep the seeds from flying off in all directions. Alternatively you can cut it in four and split the quarters apart to reveal the seeds. Or, if you're feeling up for a challenge, there is the fanning method. Cut the pomegranate in half, and cut each half into four slices. Place something underneath to catch the seeds, and pull the slices apart. The seeds should just fall out.

Whichever way you opted to extract the seeds, once you've got them, you'll want to place them into the cake tin. Make sure the spread them out into an even layer.

Prepare the batter

With the pomegranate seeds ready and waiting, it's time to make the cake batter. Start by whisking together the dry ingredients until they are combined. Then cream the butter and sugar together, either in a stand mixer, or using an electric hand whisk. Next up, beat in the eggs, one at a time before adding the vanilla. Lastly, mix in the combined dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Mix it all together to form a smooth, even batter.

Bake the cake

Once the batter is ready, carefully spread it out on top of the pomegranate layer in the cake tin, and then place it into center of a preheated oven to bake for about 40 to 45 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top is a beautiful golden brown color, and when you touch it, it springs back. Wait for around 10 minutes for the cake to cool, and then carefully turn it out onto your chosen plate.

You can serve the autumn-spiced pomegranate upside down cake straight away, still warm from the oven, or serve it cold. The cake goes very nicely with some thick cream, and is especially delicious served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream while still warm.

Autumn-Spiced Pomegranate Upside Down Cake Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
Just in time for the turn of the season, this autumn-spiced pomegranate upside down cake looks just as good as it tastes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Autumn-Spiced Pomegranate Upside Down Cake
Total time: 1 hour
  • ⅔ cup + ¼ cup butter, room temperature, divided
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
Optional Ingredients
  • whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix together ¼ cup of butter with the brown sugar, and then smear this around the base and ¼ of the way up the inside of an 8-inch cake pan.
  3. Spread the pomegranate seeds out evenly in the cake tin on top of the sugar and butter mixture. Set the tin to the side.
  4. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, and ground nutmeg.
  5. In a stand mixer or using a handheld electric whisk, beat together ⅔ cup softened butter with the granulated sugar for 3 to 4 minutes until it is pale and creamed.
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract.
  7. Fold in half of the spiced flour mixture until just combined with the wet ingredients, then mix in the buttermilk. Finish off by folding in the remainder of the flour mixture.
  8. Transfer the completed cake batter to the cake tin over the pomegranates, smoothing out the top.
  9. Place the cake tin into the center of the preheated oven and leave it to cook for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and springs back to the touch.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes, before carefully turning it out onto a plate or a cake stand.
  11. Enjoy warm or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream as garnish.
Calories per Serving 335
Total Fat 18.5 g
Saturated Fat 10.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 82.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 40.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 28.8 g
Sodium 183.9 mg
Protein 3.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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