Baking with Brian

March 20, 2021 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Virtual cooking

Want to print the recipe? Here is the PDF:

BAKING WITH BRIAN (printable version!)


March will bring us “Baking with Brian” where we will have a virtual baking class that will be fun for the entire family.


Strawberry-Mandarin Upside-Down Cake with Brown Sugar Yogurt

A version of an Alice Waters classic cake that we found in the SF Chronicle over a recent holiday. I hope you like it as much as we do. (serves 10)


-3/4 cup (4 Tbsp. + 8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter -2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
-1 large container strawberries
-2 small mandarin oranges

-3/4 cup all-purpose flour -1/2 cup whole wheat flour -1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp sea salt

-3/4 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 cup (1/2 cup + 1/2cup) plain yogurt – we prefer full fat, Greek yogurt (it’s a dessert after all 😉)


-hand mixer or counter-top standing mixer with whisk attachment -cake pan, mixing bowls, spatula, bread knife

Baking tips:

  1. 1)  It is super important that the eggs and butter are at room temperature when you start the recipe. If either are cold, it really makes it hard to blend them together. I leave them on the countertop for 30- 45min prior to starting the recipe.
  2. 2)  Read the recipe over prior to starting. It really helps to know where you are going, and how one step impacts the other steps prior to starting.
  3. 3)  Have fun. Nothing more rewarding than baking a delicious treat from scratch to share with your family and friends.


Mise en place (MEEZ ahn plahs) –

A French term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, and grated into small bowls before you start to bake.)
This optional step makes me feel like I’m on the Great British Baking Show.

a) Measure out all ingredients in separate bowls/containers if you can.

STEP 1: Prep Fruits –

a) Grate zest from the mandarins with a fine grater and set aside. b) Peel the skin off mandarins, separate segments and set aside. c) Cutstrawberriesinhalfandsetaside.

STEP 2 (not optional) –

a) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

STEP 3: Prepare/Decorate Top/Bottom of Cake –

  1. a)  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch by 3” round cake pan (this is important to allow the cake to drop out of the pan when flipped). Put aside.
  2. b)  In a medium saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp. of water and stir until sugar melts (2-3 min).
  3. c)  Scrapethemixtureintothebottomofthebakingpan.
  4. d)  Place strawberries into the bottom of the prepared pan in circles from the outside to the center.

I prefer to put cut-side down, with points aimed at center of the pan.

e) Press the mandarin wedges into the bottom with the strawberries. I like to run a mandarin circle between circles of strawberries. (the pattern you layout here will be the decorative top of the cake).

STEP 4: Mix Dry Ingredients –

a) In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

STEP 5: Mix Wet Ingredients – (using mixer)
a) Cream together 8 Tbsp. butter (at room temperature) with sugar.

b) Beat in the eggs (at room temperature) one at a time, until well combined.

STEP 6: Fold Together –

  1. a)  Fold in the dry ingredients with the wet until smooth.
  2. b)  Fold in 1/2cup yogurt and mandarin zest.The result should be a thick batter that’s easy to spread.STEP 7: Pour the Cake –

a) Scrape the batter into the pan over the strawberries and oranges so it covers them from edge to edge. I usually start with a rubber spatula and use a bread knife for the final smoothing.

STEP 7: Bake the Cake!

a) Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cake is browned, the sides have started to pull away, there’s some bubbling juices and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean (35-40 min.).

STEP 8: Let it Cool –

  1. a)  Let the cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 min.
  2. b)  Run a knife around the edge to loosen if, if needed.STEP 9: Prepare Brown Sugar Yogurt Topping –

a) Mix 1/2cup yogurt with 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. Add sea salt.

STEP 10: Flip It –

a) Invert the cake onto a platter/plate. A large, flat surface is best. I hold the plate over the pan, support the pan from the bottom and quickly flip it over onto the platter/plate. It should just fall easily onto the plate.

At this point your decorative fruit placement will be revealed in all of its beauty!!

STEP 11: Yum Yum –

a) Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.
b) Drizzle slices with yogurt topping for additional decadence!