Lemon Chia Seed Upside Down Skillet Cake

lemon chia seed berry upside down cake

On Sunday morning, I get a FaceTime notification from an unknown number and I’m staring at Kevin in amazement. Who would FaceTime me with a number that I don’t know? A few minutes later I get a notification on my phone and it’s my dad – looks like I forgot his work number! After laughing it off, I call my parents back and chat with them while laying on the couch. They are still waking up with their coffee and I’m just getting back from the garden. There isn’t a day that goes by without a new published article focusing on our relationship to technology, but in these moments, I’m grateful for this handheld device that gives me a small window back home.

I left eight years ago to come to school in Massachusetts and ended up staying. I don’t know if I had the intention to stay, but here I am! Discussions about home are tricky because it’s easy to fall back on nostalgia. Your family, chosen or biological, are some of the few people who will know you well. They have seen you evolve over the years and can tell you stories about the person you were that will make you feel like a stranger to yourself. Like that one time your split your chin open on portable stairs or the time your family convinced you that you were adopted (thanks for that one dad!).

The people who matter know your vulnerabilities. They know how to ask you the questions that make you question yourself. They know your blind spots. It’s with these people, that most of us feel safe enough to finally let the windows open to air out some of the dust that’s been building up inside. We all need that someone.

There are plenty of books out there about marriage and partnerships, but few about friendship. A google search on friendship doesn’t turn up anything show-stopping, yet life without close friends feels less human. It feels like the opposite of home.

This month, you’ll find me kickin’ it with friends, chatting over news, hail storms, and how badass this article about leisure is. Maybe there will be more cake on Fridays and video chatting with nephews and nieces who call me ‘nuncle’ and have plenty of tales to tell about ‘blue slides’. You’ll find me in the garden, on the trails, and swimming to give my body some rest for the late summer months.


Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 30-45 min | Serves: 12

Fresh fruit is my favorite during the summertime, like most people. We don’t have an ice cream maker or paletas molds, but we do have cake. And even in the summer – I like cake. Not the towering ones with chocolate and sweet frosting. The type of cake that is more like fruity bread is exactly what I want to be eating for dessert. The lemon cake is refreshing during the summer and the chia seeds are a nice substitution for poppy. We had a can of coconut cream in the back of the fridge that I whipped together with a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla to drizzle on top.

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, cashew or almond
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup & 2 tbs sugar in the raw
1/2 cup & 2 tbs sunflower oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbs oat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

3 tbs vegan butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup blackberries
1/2 cup strawberries
1 plum, sliced
2 figs, chopped
1/2 apple, sliced
2 tbs basil

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Prep vegetables by cutting strawberries, figs, plums, and apples. Add chopped basil. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes & whisk until frothy. Whisk together with sugar in the raw, lemon juice, and sunflower oil until completely mixed together.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, oat flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until the batter is completely smooth.
  6. In a cast iron skillet, heat butter and maple syrup for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture turns deep gold. Remove from the heat, let cool for 2-3 minutes. Add fresh fruit and cover with batter.
  7. Bake for 45-60 min, or until a toothpick or fork is removed without batter.