Star fruit upside down cake

Star fruit upside down cake

Looking for the perfect treat for your guests next time you invite them over for morning tea? Try serving up a star fruit upside down cake.

At least a couple of times a week, I try to go for a walk in the afternoons. Partly because I need the exercise, and partly because I live near a river and it’s relaxing to walk along the bank and enjoy the view.

I usually take my two English staffies with me (they enjoy getting out of the backyard), and occasionally my teenage kids join us.

I follow a footpath which runs along its eastern bank, flanked by houses, then under a bridge and up alongside the town’s high school. The high school hasn’t always been a high school though.

For a long time, it was a TAFE College where adults could study a variety of courses designed to help them find a job, change their job, or start their own business.

I was a teenager myself when it first kicked off and it was a roaring success. It had all sorts of subjects on offer and in its heyday, had a lot of really cool infrastructure in place.

One of these was an orchard.

I think the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries used it as a bit of a testing ground and planted all sorts of weird and wonderful exotic fruit trees from tropical regions across the globe.

Most of these trees are still there, but the orchard has become a bit neglected now that the TAFE side of things has declined.

The fruits fall on the ground to be slowly consumed by fruit flies. The most prolific of these is the star fruit.

It’s also known as a carambola, star apple or five-corner. It’s a native of South-East Asia and the trees near my home are loaded with fruit at the moment.

I took an empty bag with me on my walk this week and grabbed some.

They taste fine raw. In fact, I munched on one on my way home, but I wanted to try something a little more exciting.

So, I started thinking: “what about in a cake?”

After a bit of research, I found that star fruit can be used as a substitute for pineapple in a traditional pineapple upside down cake.

Hmm, interesting.

I flicked through a few recipes then found one at that was close to what I was after. It’s for a pineapple upside down cake but I made adjustments to suit the ingredients I had on hand.

Star fruit upside down cake


3 star fruit (1 cut into 1cm thick slices and the other 2 for the juice mentioned below)

1/2 cup soft butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup plain flour

3/4 cup caster sugar

3 large eggs

5 tablespoons of star fruit juice

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

pinch of salt


1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Put butter into a 22cm round by 6cm deep n0n-stick cake tin and place in oven until melted. Remove and then stir in brown sugar until it turns into a thick syrup.

2. Place sliced star fruit pieces neatly spaced into the bottom of cake tin. Set aside. Next separate eggs, placing whites in one bowl and yolks in another. Beat whites until firm. In the other bowl, add caster sugar to yolks and beat until combined.

3. Then add the star fruit juice, vanilla essence, salt, baking powder, sifted flour and whisk together until smooth. Then fold in egg whites with a wooden spoon gently, to form a light and fluffy batter.

4. Pour this into cake tin over top of syrup and star fruit pieces. Cook for 30 minutes or until you can insert a wooden skewer and have it come out clean.

5. Take cake out of the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Then put a plate over top and flip cake upside down (use oven mitts or tea towel as it will still be hot). The cake should come out of the tin cleanly.

6. You can eat it warm while the caramel syrup is still a bit runny, or cold when it has set.

Both ways are equally delicious!


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  1. TheBlissMagnet

    I love this! I had no idea that they were called carambola; they were a childhood favorite & we always called them start fruit. I haven’t had one in ages…
    Pineapple upside down cake is one of my favorites, so this recipe sounds absolutely delicious!


    • GrowitCatchitMakeit

      You should definitely try it then! I’m going to make one and take it into the office to share this week. Guaranteed to taste fantastic! Oh . . . and by-the-way, I’m waiting patiently here for your next post. No pressure hahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Traveller at heart


    It seems my whistle-stop tour has stumpled upon a topic that is close to my heart; slow food. interesting recipes.

    I love to eat, forage, concort interesting recipes etc.

    p/s Carabola concentrate – boil it hard, aim for a syrupy consistency. Use it as a salad dressing, serve it with your roast, carambola drizzle and poppy seed cake

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Traveller at heart

    I’m in London. It’s not tropical at the moment, well, nothing in comparison to Queensland.

    I’ve not done any pickling and chutney making this year. Normally, I would have done some thing along that line so I can store it.

    * Dried, sliced carambola for snacking
    * Carambola jam (chop, add sugar and some grated fresh ginger and leave it overnight. The next day, simmer chopped carambola till it reach the setting point
    * Carambola chutney – mix it with other fruits
    * Carambola fruit leather – according to my friend, she tells me the best fruit leather is made with a fruit mixture containing plum (we use cherry plum foraged from the common). Stone and puree the fruits. Spread it out thinly on a tray in a dehydrator (we don’t have the sun over here)

    Liked by 1 person

    • justin@growitcatchitmakeit

      It’s been a long time since I visited London and it wasn’t tropical then either. It was New Year’s Day and the temp was hovering around one degree. When I hopped on the plane in Cairns thirty hours prior it was 36 degrees with 90% humidity!
      Loved London though, and all of Britain for that matter.
      You certainly sound like you have a handle on how to use carambolas in a variety of interesting ways. I like making jams and chutneys too but haven’t tried using carambolas in them. I’m hanging out for mango season in October. Last year’s batch of homemade mango chutney has run out. Damn. Love mango chutney.
      Paw paw makes a good chutney too. And banana. Ever tried those?


      • Traveller at heart

        I have never been to Australia.

        Last year and the year before, I made all sort of edible stuff from foraged items and I even posted my ‘please can I have empty glass jars for pickling, access fruits from your garden etc?’ on forums. They were very surprised to open their door and get home made oven dried tomatoes, biscuits made from young organic wheat (no longer available), quince cheese (it was a lot of work but sooooo good, better than shop bought, so I’m told) etc. Good manners go a long way.

        I’ve made carrot jam and pumpkin jam. Love them.

        Home made dried tomatoes
        (I got a bag of cherry toms from a forum)
        Half it and deseed. Grease a tray. Sprinkle toms with salt, brown/muscovado sugar, chopped thyme and oregano. Drizzle some olive oil over toms. I dried it in a dehydrator.

        Banana ice cream
        Slice and freeze very ripe banana. Next, process it in a blender or use a stick blender.

        Avocado sorbet (serves 1 hungry/greedy person)
        3 small ripe avocado, extract the flesh. Mash it well. Squeeze lime juice and stir it round.
        3 limes
        Lime jest

        Simple sugar syrup
        1/2 cup white sugar
        1 cup water
        Simmer till syrupy.

        Process mashed avocado, syrup (I didn’t use all of it) and lime jest with a stick blender or food processor. Put mixture into a freezer proof container. Freeze it for 30 minutes. Take it out and process it with a stick blender or food processor. Repeat process 3 – 4 times.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Travelosio

    I am quite curious as to how it would taste on a cake. As far as I know, these fruit are kinda sour for me so I am intrigue how it would turn on a dessert 😀


    • justin@growitcatchitmakeit

      You should try it. Definitely not sour once baked. The brown sugar and butter turn into a kind of caramel and the carambola becomes plump and sweet. I took this cake over to my parent’s house for morning tea on Sunday and I swear my mother ate half all to herself! Lol. Was delicious with some freshly- whipped cream. I think carambolas are native to the Philippines aren’t they? What is the most popular way to eat them over there?

      Liked by 1 person

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