Upside Down Cake – Afghan Style

written by Mirriam Seddiq
12 · 17 · 22
Upside down cake
Picture of apple upside down cake

There’s nothing quite like a delicious upside down cake, and today I’m going to show you how to make an Afghan version of this classic dessert.

This recipe uses some popular flavors in Afghanistan, so it’s sure to be a hit with your friends and family! I hope you enjoy it.

History of Upside Down Cake

American pineapple upside down cake became popular after the 1920s when the Dole pineapple company printed the recipe after they ran a contest.

Of course, putting fruits in the bottom of a dish to caramelize is not new. The French have been making tart tatin for many, many years. I made a savory tarte tatin with eggplant here.

The delicious benefit of this technique is you can get a rich carmalized bottom to your dish while the cake remains nice and fluffy on top.

Familiar Afghan Flavors

I added some saffron, raisins, and saffron to make this Afghan. These are all flavors that you’ve seen in our Afghan recipes time and time again.

Using the saffron in the batter makes for a delicious golden color. Your guests will go oooh and ahh. My recipe was inspired and partly based on my friend Maryam Zekria’s cobbler recipe here. Follow her on Instagram; she is fantastic.

Easily Printable Upside Down Cake Recipe

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Afghan Dopiaza

Afghan Dopiaza Meat Stew with Onions

  • Author: Mirriam Seddiq


Afghan dopiaza is a classic dish made with onions “two ways.”



2.5 pounds of bone-in meat (lamb, beef, or goat)

2 Tablespoons of cooking oil.

4 Large Onions

White Vinegar

2 Cups of Split Lentils (yellow is traditional)

3 Garlic Cloves Crushed

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Tumeric

Ground Black Pepper

4 Cups of Water


1. First, prepare your onions. Slice the onions very thin. Take half and set them aside. Take the other half and soak it in white vinegar for quick pickling.

2. Next, heat your pressure cooker so that you can saute. Add your cooking oil. Saute the onions until soft.

3. While the onions soften, simmer your lentil until soft in a different pot.

4. Add your crushed garlic cloves to the pressure cooker, and add your meat.

5. Now add some simple spices. The focus of the flavor is the meat and onions. Add your salt, pepper, and tumeric.

6. Then pour your 4 Cups of water over the meat. Stir.

7. Cook in your Instant Pot on high pressure, meat, and for 30 minutes.

8. For the base, you want to lay some thin bread over your platter. Then, spoon your meat. Add your cooked lentils over it and then, finally, add your pickled onions.


Goes great with some Afghan bread.

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Upside down cake

Upside Down Cake – Afghan Style

  • Author: Mirriam Seddiq


This is a delicious apple upside down cake inspired by Afghan flavors.



3 Apples Thinly Sliced

Juice of one Lemon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of rose water

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 Tablespoon of cornstarch

1 Cup of Flour

1/2 Sugar

1 Cup of Milk (warmed and steeped with saffron)

6 Tablespoons Melted Butter

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds

1/2 Cup Raisins



1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

2. Get your milk and warm in saucepan and drop saffron in to steep. Let cool.

3. In one bowl add your batter ingredients: flour, sugar, saffron infused milk, 4 tablespoons melted butter.

4. Next make your bowl for your fruit mixture: thinly sliced apples (not too thin), lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Mix.

5. In your skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter. Then add your apple mixture, cook down until the apples are a little golden but not mushy at all. Add rose water and top with the slivered almonds.

6. Next, pour your batter over the apples and then place in your preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes comes clean out of the middle.

7. Serve with some sheer chai.

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Mirriam Seddiq

I am Mirriam Z. Seddiq, the Afghan Cook. I was born in Afghanistan and came to America as a when I was 18 months old. I am a criminal defense, personal injury, and immigration attorney. I started the first Muslim American Woman Political Action Committee, once owned a coffee shop and a restaurant, and currently am the CEO of the Komak Foundation which focuses its efforts on helping Afghan refugees.

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