Strawberry Upside-Down Cakelets

These individual strawberry cakelets are just perfect for a 4th of July dessert - easy and quick to prepare. Not too sweet, they're light and creamy with the addition of buttermilk, mascarpone and pureed fresh strawberries in the batter. Makes 6 half-cup ramekins, or you could use muffin tins.



Cooking spray (for ramekins)
1/4 c. sugar (for ramekins)
6 large strawberries, tops removed, sliced into 4 pieces
1-1/2 c. self-rising flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. butter, softened
1/4 c. mascarpone, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. pureed strawberries
Powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Spray the bottom of the ramekins with cooking spray and sprinkle the bottom of each with a teaspoon of sugar. Arrange the sliced strawberries in a spiral pattern on the bottom of each ramekin.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl cream together the butter, mascarpone, vanilla and sugars with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in half of the flour mixture until incorporated, then add the buttermilk and mix. Mix in the remaining flour mixture followed by the pureed strawberries. Mix until smooth with no lumps. Pour the mixture into each ramekin so they are about 3/4 full; tap on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan and bake for about 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool for about 15 minutes, then run a knife along the outside edge of the ramekin and invert onto serving plates. If the strawberries adhere to the bottom, just remove them with a knife or spoon and arrange on top of the cake. When cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

– Recipe by Aaron McCargo Jr.,