Quince Upside Down Cake

Quince makes an unusual but scrummy upside down cake. Upside down cakes can be prepared with many different fruits, summer berries such as blueberries work well, poached sliced apples and pears also make an excellent cake. This cake is delicious hot or cold with thick cream or ice-cream.

6-8 Servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 60 minutes



  • 3 quinces, peeled, decored and quartered
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 125g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 100ml milk
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 150g self raising flour

To Serve

  • thick cream
  • or vanilla ice-cream


  1. Poached Quince: Preheat an oven to 150°C. Place the sugar and water in a casserole pan over a moderate-high heat and mix it until the sugar dissolves. Place the vanilla pod in the syrup and leave it to gently simmer for 5 minutes. Add the quince to the syrup, place a lid over the pan and put it on the centre shelf of the preheated oven. Leave them to cook slowly for 4-6 hours, until they are tender and red. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the quince to cool thoroughly in the syrup (this is best prepared the night before baking). Carefully remove the quinces from the syrup when ready to make the cake (any leftover quinces can be stored in the syrup and served as a dessert on their own or with other poached fruit). *Syrup: Split the vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into the syrup and store the syrup in a jar in the refrigerator to poach fruit or reduce down for a dessert sauce or reduce until sticky to glaze fruit tarts.
  2. Cake: Lightly butter a 20-25cm wide cake tin (the size will vary the amount of quinces you need and the depth of the cake). Place the quince quarters tightly around the base of the cake tin, cut side facing upwards.
  3. Batter: Place the butter, vanilla essence and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat them together until light and creamy. While mixing add 1 egg at a time until well combined. Gradually mix in the almonds until well combined. Then slowly mix in the milk and mascarpone until they are well combined with the mixture. Finally while mixing slowly add the flour, beating the mixture until light and smooth.
  4. To Cook: Preheat an oven to 175°C. Evenly spread the batter over the apricots. Place the cake tin in the preheated oven. Cook the cake for around 45 minutes until the cake has risen and is golden brown on top. To test if the cake is cooked place a skewer in the centre of the cake and if it comes out clear it is cooked. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool briefly and turn it out onto a plate. Serve it hot or cold.
  5. To Serve: Serve slices of the cake hot or cold with cream or ice-cream.