Photography by Mieko Horikoshi
Course: Dessert


  • 9-Inch Skillet or Cake Pan
  • Sieve
  • Wax Paper
  • Electric Mixer
  • Knife


  • 6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
  • 8 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Lightly Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • Cup Macadamia Nut Pieces
  • 1 Large Papaya Peeled, Halved, Seeded, and Cut Into 1-Inch Wedges
  • Cup Cake Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs Room Temperature
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Cup Buttermilk Room Temperature


  • Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.
  • Melt the 6 tablespoons butter in an ovenproof 9-inch skillet over moderate heat.
  • Add brown sugar and cook, stirring until it is dissolved and bubbling. Remove from the heat.
  • Sprinkle macadamia nut pieces over the bottom of the skillet or cake pan.
  • Arrange papaya wedges in a tight pinwheel around the outside of the pan, filling in the center with any broken or odd-shaped pieces.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of wax paper.
  • Beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and the sugar in an electric mixer at high speed for 2 minutes, or until well combined and smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Continue beating 5 more minutes. With the mixer on the lowest setting, or using a rubber spatula, beat or fold in one-third of the flour mixture.
  • Beat or fold in vanilla extract and half of the buttermilk, then another one-third of the flour mixture.
  • Beat or fold in the remaining buttermilk and then the remaining flour mixture.
  • Spread batter evenly over the papaya wedges.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and the center springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the edge of the pan and place a serving platter on top of the pan. Carefully flip the entire thing over. If any papaya is stuck to the pan, scrape it off with a knife and rearrange on top of the cake.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.