Huckleberry Upside-Down Ginger Cake

Huckleberry Upside Down Cake

Huckleberry Upside-Down Ginger Cake

Pardon my silence these last few weeks.  Life is… Well it’s life.  And sometimes it throws a few curve balls.  The darn thing is, I’m a terrible catcher.

But I’m a good sprinter and if I can’t catch those curve balls, I can certainly chase them down.

During my sprint however, I thought about you all, hoping your summer is perfectly grand.  And although my posts have been few, I’ve been testing lots of new recipes to share.

Huckleberry Upside Down Cake

Huckleberry Upside-Down Ginger Cake

I have a lovely stash of  Washington Huckleberries in the freezer that are begging to be used.  I’ve made barbecue sauce and pie with those gorgeous berries. Today, I made cake.

Because I’m forever the optimist, I thought it would be an easy cake.  I thought wrong.

It took several test runs before I decided an upside-down cake would work best with the intensely purple crayon colored berries.

We  now have lots of cake at my house.  I’m sure you guessed that.  🙂  Although some went into the garbage, a piece or two fell onto the floor which Tank happily snapped up, and one cake wasn’t fit to eat. Tank even snubbed a bite.

The final cake however is fresh, not too sweet, rich in flavor and beautiful in color.

Wholesome Sweeteners Coconut Sugar

Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

I used a new sugar I’m completely excited about.  It’s Wholesome Sweeteners new Coconut Palm Sugar.  It gives the cake a rich caramel color and a much deeper caramel flavor than regular dark brown sugar.  A perfectly tasty summer cake.

Wishing you all a most delicious week!

Loads of Love, Karista

You can find Wholesome Sweeteners at most conventional markets along with PCC Natural Markets and Whole Foods Markets. You can also order the sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners.

Huckleberry Upside-Down Ginger Cake


Serves 8

2 cups organic all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2  teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (substitute with 1/2 cup coconut oil or softened butter)

3/4 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Coconut Palm Sugar or dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, combine just a tad less than one cup milk with one tablespoon white vinegar. Let it sit for about five minutes)

2 cups fresh huckleberries (or thawed previously frozen) (Blueberries make an excellent substitute for this cake)

2 tablespoons melted butter

¼ cup Wholesome Sweeteners Coconut Palm Sugar or dark brown sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Lightly butter an 8×8 baking dish.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger. Set aside.

In another bowl, or kitchen aid mixer, beat together the oil/butter and sugar. Once combined add the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Gently mix in the buttermilk.  Once nicely incorporated, mix in the dry ingredients.

Add the two tablespoons melted butter to the bottom of the 8×8 baking dish.  Then sprinkle the coconut palm sugar or brown sugar evenly over the butter.

Spread the 2 cups of berries evenly over the sugar.  Then gently spread the cake batter over the berries.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cake is done. It will be nicely golden brown on top and bubbly on the sides.

Let the cake sit for 5-10 minutes to cool. Then flip the cake onto a platter and enjoy!



  1. I can’t wait to find that coconut sugar, Karista! It sound much healthier than regular sugar? Your cake is beautiful and we’re all so grateful for the many tries.. you must have been delighted when it finally came together perfectly!! xx

    • Thanks Smidge! I hope you find the coconut sugar locally, but I know you can order it from Wholesome Sweeteners. I just used it in my buckwheat buttermilk pancakes and in the blackberry cardamom cobbler I’ll blog soon. It really gives baked goods the loveliest toasty flavor, but subtly toasty. So delicious! Enjoy 🙂

  2. Oh yum! I love this creative combination, and the upside-down cake seems like a perfect fit. Hang in – hope things quiet down for you and you can enjoy the rest of your summer.

    • Thanks Jess! We love our wild huckleberries here but the cake can easily be prepared with blueberries. I’m hoping August will bring a slower schedule and more time with my family.:)

  3. I’ve got some Wholesome Sweetners I’ve been wanting to try…thanks for the inspiration. Always love your recipes so much…just not enough hours in the day to make all of them!

    • Your so welcome Erina! I love Wholesome Sweetners but like you just not enough time in the day to experiment with them all. Have a fabulous rest of the week!

  4. I’m making this right now. Wish me luck 🙂 We produce coconut sugar ourselves & if what I make today turns out great, I might explore the idea of starting a little sweet shop to sell those. Can I call it Karista’s ginger cake? 🙂

  5. Looks beautiful Karista – really – and doesn’t life get busy? Hard to stay afloat at times! Have a great summer, this is a beautiful recipe!

  6. Beautiful! I have been using that sugar as well, I look forward to trying it in this recipe! Our blueberries are just getting good. I hope that your busy summer is treating you well!

    • Isn’t that coconut sugar just fabulous?! I’m loving it and use it in just about everything. Summer is busier than I expected but its nice not to have to be busy while it’s raining. 🙂

  7. What a beautiful, beautiful cake, Karista! I love the pattern those huckleberries make on the top of the cake, and the flavors are wonderful! Never tried coconut palm sugar but it sounds intriguing…and a bit scary from the comments I’m reading, but flavorful. BTW, our Whole Foods doesn’t carry Jovial… 😦

    • Thanks Bestsy! Oh Betsy I’m so bummed Whole Foods doesn’t carry Jovial products in your area! Well, send me your address via email ( and I’ll ship you a few packages to try. If you like them you can order from Jovial. The company may send you some to try as well since your a blogger. They are the nicest company and the loviliest people.

  8. Hi Karista, it looks amazing! Those Huckleberries (we can’t even get them here in Aus.) No doubt you’ve been through trial and error but seriously, to look at this cake I wouldn’t have believed that ‘because it looks so fantastic!’ Upside down cakes are a challenge in themselves, there’s always that heart stopping moment as you flip!!! I’ve had a few boo-boos in my time too 😉

    • Haha! Most cakes are a challenge for me unfortunately. I’m just not terribly patient but find myself wanting cake on occasion. It did turn out quite grand and can always be prepared with other berries as well. Have a lovely week Alli!

  9. Looks delicious 🙂

  10. I thinK I have a huckleberry tree, I must check, what a fab colour they are on top of that sweet cake.. gorgeous.. c

    • Thanks Celi! It was a deliciously beautiful cake. Our huckleberries are wild here and I am lucky enough to have some friends who give them to me. 🙂 Otherwise I think blueberries or blackberries would also be lovely on this cake. Have a fabulous week!

  11. “Because I’m forever the optimist, I thought it would be an easy cake. I thought wrong.” Well, it certainly turned out beautifully! Ah, I am afflicted with the same blessing (sometimes disease) as you, Karista. For whatever reason, I tend to think the simple things should be simple to execute. They are not, ever. Luckily, your hard work paid off. This looks sensational!

    ~ Cara

    • Thanks Cara! I hope all is well with you my friend. I will be stopping by your blog soon to catch up on some reading. So looking forward to it! 🙂

  12. This looks beautiful, Karista! So seasonal and fresh. I love the color of the cake too.

  13. Looks like all the recipe testing payed off! The cake looks delicious. I love the dark huckleberries against the caramel colored cake. NIce work!!!

    • Thanks Kelley! It was close. Wasn’t sure if we’d have any cake at all. Haha! But it turned out better than expected. Only wish I had some left for my coffee this morning. Hope you’re having a fabulous summer vaca!

  14. The cake looks great! Sounds like your dog is quite similar to mine: always hoping for something edible to drop on the floor.

    I haven’t heard of coconut palm sugar, but I’m actually going to be making a coconut cake for my blog today, and I’m thinking that it might be worth it to try using it. Can you taste the flavor of coconut in it? What do you plan on using it in next?

    • Thanks! No you can’t taste the coconut at all. It tastes more like a rich, intensely flavored, less sweet brown sugar. Although it really doesn’t alter the flavor of the cake much just gives it a more caramel undertone of flavor. Which is nice with the ginger. I love this sugar and I’ve been using it in everything I’d use brown sugar. Oatmeal, cookies, cakes, etc. It doesn’t dissolve as well as brown sugar so the batter stays a little lumpy. It melts though during baking. Hope this helps! And can’t wait for the coconut cake! 🙂

  15. This sounds wonderful! Thanks for doing the hard part, with all the development; you’re not the only one who’s made things even a hungry dog wouldn’t try!
    Going to ask for that sugar at my local store – they carry the line, but not that particular product.

    • Thanks! It was an interesting day to say the least. Wasn’t sure if the cake was going to happen. 🙂 I do love the coconut sugar and so glad your market carries the brand! It’s definitely worth it especially when baking cookies or cakes. And I love it mixed into my oatmeal. 🙂

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