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Ishay Govender-Ypma’s Apricot-Thyme Upside-Down Cake

  • 20 min
  • 50 min
  • 8
  • Medium
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Recipe Ingredients


  • 80g unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juice set aside (keep zest for cake batter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 to 12 apricots, halved and stoned (stones smashed and kernels inside slivered and set aside for cake batter)
  • 1 heaped tbsp thyme
  • leaves


  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Recipe Directions

1. To make the caramel, use a 26cm to 28cm frying pan with a metal handle. Heat on medium and add the butter and sugar to melt. Swirl the pan gently now and then.

2. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract, and increase the temperature slightly. The mixture will bubble. Swirl the pan and watch the liquid as it turns a nice caramel colour after a few minutes. Remove from the heat; the liquid will darken when it's off the heat too. Stir with a wooden spoon.

3. Add the apricots, cut-side down, in two concentric circles to cover the base. Scatter thyme leaves over. 

4. For the cake, preheat oven to 180°C. 

5. Place the butter and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream until light and fluffy.

6. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and mix.

7. Sift flour and baking powder, and fold into the mixture. It will be thick. Add the kernels and lemon zest.

8. Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form.

9. Fold egg whitesthroughthe cake mixture with a rubber spatula. Spoon over the apricots and smooth with a spatula.

10. Bake the cake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. After 30 minutes, check at 5- to 10-minute intervals.

11. Remove cake from the oven and leave in pan for 5 minutes.

12. Turn onto a plate by holding the plate over the pan and inverting the pan and plate at the same time – strong arms!

13. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt.

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