CSA Cooking Show: Starfruit Upside Down Cake

Have you ever baked a starfruit upside down cake… in the rice cooker?! If you have, you deserve a high five because that is winnahs! The starfruit are popping by the thousands on Kaua’i and we are ready for it with this cool recipe that uses easy ingredients and I’m not even joking, your rice cooker! 

Now, Whitney has an older model 2-cup rice cooker and made this cake in 25 minutes. It’s beautifully fluffy, moist, and looks like perfection (see above). I made mine in a newer 10 cup Tiger brand rice cooker. Because of the height and width of the rice pot the cake was thinner and when I attempted “the flip” the cake plopped out onto the plate because the pot was too tall. So, we do recommend using a smaller sized rice cooker unless you don’t mind a mega-messy cake that tastes delicious, haha!

If you’re old school and still cook rice on the stovetop you can experiment with baking this cake in the oven. If your adventurous spirit gives it a go, let us know what bake time and oven temperature you tried! We would love to hear how it went.

Starfruit Upside-Down Cake


Bottom Layer, Caramel

  • 2 Starfruit, sliced
  • ½ C. Brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 stick Butter (4 Tbls.)

Top Layer, Cake

  • ¾ C. Sugar
  • 3 oz. Cream cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 5 Tbsp. Butter, melted 
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 C. Pancake mix,
    *Nutrition Tip: You can swap in 2 Tbsp. of Sustainable Boost Baking and Pancake Mix for a boost of nutrient dense ‘ulu, mai’a, and kalo. Keep in mind though, adding this flour will create a denser cake and requires a longer cook time.


  • You’ll be preparing everything directly in your rice cooker. Let’s make the caramel first. 
  • Press down the button on your rice cooker and add in brown sugar and butter and stir until dissolved. Place your sliced starfruit onto the caramel in one single layer. Now, make the batter for you top layer.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the white sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Stir in eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter until fully incorporated.
  • Last, add the pancake mix and stir until thick and smooth. Be careful not to over-mix. 
  • Pour the batter over the starfruit and caramel in the rice cooker.
  • Press down the cook button on your rice cooker and steam for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted is clean.
  • When done, remove the lid, lay a plate over the top and use potholders to help you flip over the rice pot to remove the cake.

*Baking Tip: you may need to press the cook button multiple times if it turns off automatically because of the temperature gauge. 

  • Enjoy a warm slice of your starfruit upside-down cake with or without a scoop of your fave ice cream!

Watch how it’s made HERE on our YouTube channel.

We would LOVE to see if you try out our recipes! Snap a few pics and share it by tagging us on social media @malama_kauai or email to [email protected]