Put those fresh summer cherries to good use in this ridiculously easy and sinfully delicious upside-down cherry cake.
This summer, the markets and stores are bursting at the seams with beautiful red cherries. They are so pretty, glistening like rubies, that I cannot help myself and always buy a couple of packets every week.
Last week, I went overboard even by my standards and needed a quick recipe to use up these lovely fruit. Very briefly, I entertained the idea of a multi-layer Black Forest Cake. But I was too lazy to plan ahead and decided on a more rustic cherry dessert – an easy upside-down cake.
You begin by pitting a whole lot of cherries. Bust out your favorite playlist on the phone and get to work. Kudos to you if you own a cherry pitter. If not (which means that you are like me and do not believe in owning unnecessary kitchen gadgets), get to work with a sharp paring knife and your fingers. At some point, you will have to stop popping those gorgeous cherries into your mouth so that you will have a sizeable amount of pitted, halved cherries for your cake.
I have two upside-down cake recipes in the blog. One is an caramel orange upside-down cake and the other one is a basic recipe for upside-down stone-fruit cakes. I sort of combined both recipes to make this cherry upside-down cake. I cooked sugar and butter to make a dark caramel sauce and used a simple vanilla batter for the cake. If you are running out of time or are just not feeling up to it, simply scatter sugar and melted butter in the bottom of the pan instead of making the caramel. Your cake top will be slightly lighter in color, but still yummy. But if you are able to make the caramel syrup, even better. It makes for a gorgeous golden layer when you invert the cake and goes so well with the juicy cherries.
This cake is sinfully delicious and absolutely stunning to look at. It goes great with your evening cup of tea or coffee. The caramel layer, baked cherries and the soft sponge underneath all come together to make a delicious mouthful. I bet you will go for seconds, thirds, and more!
Though I haven’t tried it, I am sure that you can use frozen cherries instead of fresh ones, but I wouldn’t use canned cherries or cherry pie filling in this recipe.
I love how the caramel sauce oozes over the sides when you invert the cake. And do not be scared of the inverting and unmolding. If you grease and flour your pan thoroughly, then line the bottom with parchment or baking paper, you should have no problem at all.
Make this beautiful cherry vanilla cake this summer when the markets are bursting with this gorgeous fruit.
- Brown sugar - ¾ cup, lightly packed
- Butter - ¼ cup, softened
- Cherries - ¾ lb, pitted and halved
- All purpose flour - 2 cups
- Baking powder - 1 tsp
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Butter - ¾ cup, softened
- Sugar - ⅔ cup
- Eggs - 2, large
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
- Lemon zest - 1 tsp
- Milk - ½ cup
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make the caramel topping first. Spread brown sugar evenly in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Begin to cook on medium-low heat and in a short time, the sugar will start melting. Stir gently until sugar melts completely and begins to caramelize. Since you are using brown sugar, keep a close eye so as not to burn it.
- When sugar is caramelized to a deep amber color, remove promptly from heat and stir in softened butter. Do not use cold butter. Whisk well to incorporate and you will have a smooth mixture.
- Quickly pour this mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread it into a smooth layer. Work quickly before caramel thickens and/or hardens.
- Arrange halved cherries, cut side down, over the caramel. Set aside.
- To prepare the cake batter, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on high till pale and fluffy, around 2 minutes.
- Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix well.
- Add sifted dry ingredients and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to fold in flour until just combined. Do not over-mix. Batter will be thick.
- Pour batter over cherries in pan and smooth with a spatula. Tap the pan on countertop a couple of times to get rid of air bubbles.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake passes the toothpick test. Remove cake from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife or thin spatula. Invert cake onto a cake stand or serving platter. Cool slightly, slice and serve cake warm or at room temperature.
- Store completely cooled leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge.
2. Don't worry if the caramel layer hardens in the bottom of the pan. It will turn out fine (and more delicious) when baked.
3. If you do not want to make a caramel, simply spread melted butter in the bottom of the pan and scatter sugar over it.
4. You can use frozen cherry halves instead of fresh fruit. But it is best not to use canned cherries or cherry pie filling in this recipe.
Enjoy this beautiful and easy to make cherry dessert this summer.
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Do you like cherries? Do you have any easy cherry dessert recipes? Do share.
I hope you will try this upside-down cake and let me know how you like it.
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I am sharing this over at Fiesta Friday.