Savoury cake may seem an unusual concept. Think ‘cake’ and it conjures sweet, spongy, iced and fruity images. But it doesn’t have to be…… This gluten free Savoury Summer Upside Down Cake is incredible…… Easy to make, perfect for lunch, picnics and garden eating and full of the flavours of a Mediterranean summer.
I first posted the original upside down sponge three years ago when inspired by a savoury themed cake linky (Love Cake) from Ness at Jibber Jabber and although it got some attention at the time, I decided that I would revisit the recipe as it is one of my favourites and three years on, I am hoping it may reach more of my lovely readers and inspire them to enjoy it too….
I have updated the photographs (the originals were frankly dire (although I am not sure these are much better)) and have also updated, tweaked and improved the ingredients slightly….. adding some red onion, testing it with my rice-free home-mixed flour blend, and using psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum to improve the crumb and texture.
When you think savoury ‘cake’, the first thing that usually comes to mind is savoury muffins, but when I first developed this recipe, I absolutely wanted a big cake……. one that was summery and fancy and mimicked all the prettiness of a decadent sweet sponge.
Several restless nights later, mulling over every possible option from layered vegetable cakes to weird combinations of cheesy-savoury toppings, I came up with this…… an upside down savoury cake….
The next dilemma was what to do for the sponge ‘base’ and what veg to use which would be both attractive and succulent, without ‘mushing’ the sponge. In the end, I settled for making a cheesy-polenta bake as I thought this would be firm and dense enough, whilst still being fluffy and cake-like. Some grated courgette has been added to keep it moist and to give additional texture and colour. I have made it a number of times, using either green or yellow courgette and both work equally well. Wanting the cake to ooze the flavours and scent of mediterranean warmth, it also contains a sprinkling of finely chopped fresh oregano and basil (although dried herbs are good too, if that’s what you have to hand).
The ‘upside down’ base is just beautiful…… vibrant in colour and so, so pretty. It brings instant interest and intrigue with anyone who sees or tries it and would definitely be a prize candidate for ‘showstopper’ in any savoury category.
It sings summer, warmth and all that is good for you. Sweet yellow, red and orange peppers that have been roasted to intensify their flavour, mingle with equally yellow sweetcorn, caramelised roasted red onion and savoury olives, all nestled into rich red roasted home-grown cherry tomatoes. The sponge is slightly cheesy with a soft, creamy but fluffy texture. The polenta gives it greater depth and texture, but the cake is no less light for its inclusion.
Indeed, this has to be the healthiest cake I have ever made. It is a fantastic savoury alternative to dishes like pizza, yet is perfectly scrumptious either hot or cold. That makes it ideal picnic and packed lunch fodder and a great alternative to sandwiches.
Although this upside down cake is made with summer roasted vegetables, you could substitute these with pretty much anything. I previously made Miss GF a bacon, sweetcorn and cheese version, which went down a storm….. and knowing that she was also eating hidden courgette reassured me my parental duty was attended to.
I am sharing my updated gluten free Original Savoury Summer Upside Down Cake with :
Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching For Spice
Free From Fridays with Le Coin De Mel and Free From Farmhouse
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum
The What’s For Dinner? link-up with The Lazy Gastronome
Savoury Summer Upside Down Cake (makes 1 x 9 inch cake)
1 small red onion – thinly sliced
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7. Either base line (with baking paper) a 9 inch cake tin (square or round) or I used a silicone cake mould.
- Roast the halved tomatoes, sliced onions and sliced peppers (separately) in roasting dishes in the oven with a sprinkling of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, stirring intermittently, for 30 to 40 minutes or until they begin to char slightly on the edges. Remove from the oven, set aside and cool whilst you make the cake batter.
- Turn the oven down to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, polenta, psyllium husk, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper, making sure any lumps are completely broken down (I weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously).
- Add the herbs and cheese and stir through.
- Beat the eggs, oil, yoghurt and milk together until light, airy and evenly blended.
- Add the grated courgette and fold to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and fold until evenly mixed.
- Arrange the vegetables on the base of the cake tin – olives and sweetcorn, followed by peppers and onion.
- Lastly, drain the excess juice from the roasted tomatoes, before also placing them in the base of the tin on top of the other veg.
- Spoon the cake batter on top of the vegetables and smooth the top (if you have any excess batter, use to make small muffins).
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (15-20 minutes for muffins) until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for at least 15 minutes before turning onto a plate. Serve warm or cold.