Recipe: Chocolate Upside Down Cake.

chocolate upside down cake recipe | the stripe

This post is from 2017 but I made this cake again last week and wanted to give it a little refresher and recirculate as it needs to be shared and made by as many people as possible. The BEST.

Do you have a favorite family recipe? This (amazing! easy to make!) upside down cake is definitely an Atwood family favorite. My grandmother made it for my mom, my mom made it for my sisters and I, and now I am handing the recipe down to you? I love to bring this cake to friends’ houses when they cook a big brunch or dinner. It is SO good and one of my favorite desserts of all time. It’s best served warm so if I have a dinner party (gah remember those?) I will pop it into the oven during appetizers so that it’s cooling by the end of dinner. It’s great with vanilla ice cream… or any ice cream, for that matter.

My Grandmother’s Chocolate Upside Down Cake Recipe

I will admit and warn you that that it isn’t the prettiest dessert but it is a) incredibly easy to make and b) completely, utterly, delicious!!! Every time I make it, friends end up going back for seconds and even thirds. The built in chocolate sauce topping is definitely the best part. I personally like the vanilla cake/chocolate frosting combination but if you are a die hard chocolate cake person you could absolutely make it with chocolate cake.


  • 8″ square or round baking pan
  • waxed or parchment paper
  • electric mixer (totally optional, I don’t have one!)


  • one cup chocolate chips
  • one cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk or light cream
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening (or butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

easy dessert recipes


  • Line an 8″ square or round pan with waxed (or greased parchment* paper). This step is important, without it, this recipe can get quite messy and the bottom of the pan will be very hard to clean.
  • Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler** or the microwave. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and 1/3 cup evaporated milk.
  • Pour chocolate mixture into your prepared pan.
  • Sift flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter/shortening, vanilla, and sugar until fluffy.
  • Add one egg and beat.
  • Slowly blend flour mixture into butter/sugar mixture.. alternate adding the milk and the flour mix until creamy.
  • Pour cake batter over chocolate mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake rises to the top and is a light golden brown. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes and then invert. Remove waxed paper immediately (using spatula to help chocolate off of paper; spreading over cake!)

For extra credit, serve warm with a big scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

* I freaked out as I forgot to buy waxed paper. My mom told me I could use parchment paper, greased with butter, and it worked just fine!!!

**A double boiler is when you take two pans and stack them… the bottom has boiling water and then the chocolate mixture goes in top and melts – it keeps it from burning. My mom got me this double boiler pan set a few years back and it’s so great.

chocolate upside down cake recipe | the stripe easy dessert recipes chocolate upside down cake recipe | the stripe

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  1. I agree that we need to indulge a bit from time to time – everything in moderation. The upside down cake sounds so interesting, and delicious!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    6.28.17 Reply
  2. This looks delicious! You’re welcome to bring this to my place anytime 😉

    6.28.17 Reply
  3. denise:

    It came out beautifully, wish Grandma could see!
    Love you!

    6.28.17 Reply
  4. Hi Grace! I can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks really good. So glad you share so many different things on your website. This is exactly why I love your blog. It has all my faves: food, fun, beauty, style, and books! All that for a win. Have a great night!

    3.23.21 Reply
  5. Denise Atwood:

    Love this post! I want some!!

    3.23.21 Reply
  6. Tawny:

    Hi Grace!
    I’m sure your fam has been doing this forever and it looks amazing!! But just because I’m worried about you!-wax paper actually should not go in the oven. It’s not heat resistant and can catch fire; the wax can also melt into your food! Parchment paper is great though and made for this! Happy baking 🙂

    3.24.21 Reply
  7. Cy:

    looks yum! personally, I don’t think you want to use wax paper for this, you would be melting the wax and injesting it. Parchment is better for baking, wax paper for wrapping cheese/sandwiches. Can’t wait to try the recipe!

    3.24.21 Reply