Cherry Upside-Down Cake Recipe

This Cherry Upside-Down Cake is sooooo soft! And you can use just about any kind of fruit! | NatashasKitchen.com

This cherry upside-down cake was a big hit with my family. Plenty of compliments and it went very fast! My Dad was especially smitten by it. I always thought it’s the best compliment when my parents love something I make. This cherry cake is sooooo soft; like a cross between angel food cake and pound cake.

The sweet tart cherries that get caramelized by the brown sugar as they bake are the crowning glory of this cake. Serve this with lightly sweetened whipped cream or a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream and your guests will ask you why you only made 1 cake instead of 3. ;).

The beauty of this cake is you can use almost any kind of fruit on top! Think pineapples, peaches, nectarines, apricots, blueberries,… 

This Cherry Upside-Down Cake is sooooo soft! And you can use just about any kind of fruit! | NatashasKitchen.com

For the Topping:

1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 cups (14 oz) fresh cherries, pitted and halve

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients for The Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon into measuring cup and scrape off the top)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
2 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk, luke warm
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Cherry Upside-Down Cake-2

How to Make Cherry Upside-Down Cake:

What you’ll need: 9″ wide cake pan with 2″ tall sides.
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter sides of cake pan and place cake pan on the stove over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp butter in the cake pan then add 3/4 cup brown sugar, stirring until well combined. Spread over the bottom of the pan and remove from heat. Place cherries, cut-side-down over the butter/sugar mixture, pressing down lightly to stick.

This Cherry Upside-Down Cake is sooooo soft! And you can use just about any kind of fruit! | NatashasKitchen.com

2. Stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl.

Cherry Upside-Down Cake-3

3. In a large bowl, use a handheld electric mixer to beat together 1 cup sugar and 8 Tbsp butter until light and fluffy (5 minutes on high). Mix in 2 egg yolks (1 at a a time), beating well after each then beat in 1 tsp vanilla. Add 1/2 cup luke warm milk and mix on med/low speed until well blended. Add flour mixture and continue to mix on low speed until blended.

This Cherry Upside-Down Cake is sooooo soft! And you can use just about any kind of fruit! | NatashasKitchen.com

4. In a clean bowl, beat 2 egg whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Fold gently into batter in two additions, folding just until incorporated. Transfer batter to cake pan and even out the top with a spatula. Bake 55 min at 350˚F.

This Cherry Upside-Down Cake is sooooo soft! And you can use just about any kind of fruit! | NatashasKitchen.com

Cool in pan 10 minutes then run a dull knife around edges of cake to loosen cake. Transfer to serving platter by placing platter over cake and inverting directly onto platter. Let stand 5 minutes then serve warm or at room temp.

This Cherry Upside-Down Cake is sooooo soft! And you can use just about any kind of fruit! | NatashasKitchen.com

Credits: This recipe was adapted from the Bon Appetit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild.

Cherry Upside-Down Cake Recipe

4.8 from 15 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This cherry cake is sooooo soft; like a cross between angel food cake and pound cake. The sweet tart cherries that get caramelized by the brown sugar as they bake are the crowning glory of this cake. Serve this with lightly sweetened whipped cream or a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream. The beauty of this cake is you can use almost any kind of fruit on top!
Author:
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost To Make: $6-$8 (varies by season)
Serving: 8 slices

Ingredients

For the Cherry Topping:

  • ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 cups (14 oz) fresh cherries, pitted and halved

For the Cake:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour (spoon into measuring cup and scrape off the top)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk, luke warm
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

What you'll need:

  • 9" wide cake pan with 2" tall sides.

Instructions

How to Make Cherry Upside-Down Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter sides of cake pan and place cake pan on the stove over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp butter in the cake pan then add ¾ cup brown sugar, stirring until well combined. Spread over the bottom of the pan and remove from heat. Place cherries, cut-side-down over the butter/sugar mixture, pressing down lightly to stick.
  2. Stir together 1½ cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, use a handheld electric mixer to beat together 1 cup sugar and 8 Tbsp butter until light and fluffy (5 minutes on high). Mix in 2 egg yolks (1 at a a time), beating well after each then beat in 1 tsp vanilla. Add ½ cup luke warm milk and mix on med/low speed until well blended. Add flour mixture and continue to mix on low speed until blended.
  4. In a clean bowl, beat 2 egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar until stiff but not dry. Fold gently into batter in two additions, folding just until incorporated. Transfer batter to cake pan and even out the top with a spatula. Bake 55 min at 350˚F.
  5. Cool in pan 10 minutes then run a dull knife around edges of cake to loosen cake. Transfer to serving platter by placing platter over cake and inverting directly onto platter. Let stand 5 minutes then serve warm or at room temp.

Notes

Credits: This recipe was adapted from the Bon Appetit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild.

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag bannerThis Cherry Upside-Down Cake is sooooo soft! And you can use just about any kind of fruit! | NatashasKitchen.com

I just love cherry season, but this cake is still great even after the cherries are gone. I think I’ll try peach and raspberry next ;). Are you as excited about fresh summer fruit as I am?!!

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Roslina Godtschalk
    July 29, 2017

    The cake is soooo good. I bake today for the first time, and OMG, it was so delish, I have to restrain myself from visiting the kitchen😬. next time, I willreduce brown sugar by few teaspoons & baking time to 40/45 mins.
    I use brownies’ pan as I do not have the pan as per your recommendation.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, appreciate it very much. May be next time i will try other recipes in your blog.
    Have a good weekend! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 29, 2017

      My pleasure Roslina! I’m glad to hear how much you enjoy this recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review! 🙂 Reply

  • Kbk043
    July 16, 2017

    Sooo good! My husband and son loved it. I agree with the reviewer who noted 45 minutes was long enough to bake the cake. I will definitely make this again! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 17, 2017

      I’m glad to hear your family enjoys the recipe! Thanks for sharing your tip and review for other readers! Reply

  • Misty Plascencia
    July 2, 2017

    Made this for my Hubbys birthday OMG it was sooooo yummy thank you! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 3, 2017

      My pleasure! I’m glad you love the recipe! Thanks for sharing your great review Misty! Reply

  • Robin
    June 17, 2017

    Do not put too many cherries. Space them apart slightly. It will give it a better look. Also works better with cherries that are not too ripe Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 17, 2017

      Thanks for sharing your tips! 🙂 Reply

  • Cara
    November 1, 2016

    Made it with canned tart cherries in an 8by 8 pan. It is divine! Let it cool a bit longer to absorb the juiciness and since it was a glass pan. I think it looked pretty too Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 1, 2016

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!!! 🙂 Reply

  • July 18, 2016

    My Grandson wants this cake for his birthday. He loves Maraschino Cherries straight out of the jar. Can these Cherries be used for the cake or do they need to be fresh. Not sure it would be sweet enough for him. Thanks Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 18, 2016

      Hi Bert, I haven’t tried it that way and we like the sweet/tart contrast of real cherries but I do think it would work to cut the Maraschino cherries in half and use them the same way. Reply

      • Bert
        July 18, 2016

        Thank you Natasha! Reply

  • Oksana
    June 22, 2016

    I did this cake and like it so much. Only for next time I will be bake only for 45min. 55 was almost burn. What kind oven you have gas or electric? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 22, 2016

      Hi Oksana! I’m so glad you liked it. Are you baking in the center of the oven? I’m using an electric oven. Reply

      • Oksana
        June 23, 2016

        Yes I baked in the center. I have electric oven too. I don’t know why I always need baking for less time. I did a lot of your recipes and I love it and always need less minutes used from yours min. Maybe my oven not good. Anyway I love your recipes Reply

        • Sarah Serpa
          September 1, 2016

          Get a oven thermometer your oven might be off Reply

  • matei denisa
    June 8, 2016

    I tried this today, but the bottom was way too moist, so I couldn’t even flip it. What could have gone wrong?
    PS: I used the amount of cherries that I normaly use which for this recipe was too much. But still…
    PPS: Next time I will halve the amount of sugar for the glaze. I am curious, do you like it exactly this way? Maybe I’m too picky 😀 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 8, 2016

      Hi Matei, I think if you add too many cherries it would be too moist and difficult to flip because of the extra juice in the cherries. It’s tempting to want to put more (I’m a cherry lover too!) but I do this one per the recipe because it turns out great with the right amount. Reply

  • Tzivia
    May 22, 2016

    Mmmmm upside down cakes totally rock however I don’t have cream of tartar would sour cream or mayo be a good substitute just wondering cuz I might wanna make this tomorrow for my dairy vegetarian dinner love cherries especially this time of year love how you always put those rockin recipes out there they r da bomb gurl Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 22, 2016

      Hi Tzivia, I haven’t tested this recipe without the cream of tartar so I’m not sure how it would affect the recipe to remove it. I think it’s worth testing without it. It helps to stabilize egg whites but I think it would still work to omit it. Reply

      • Tzivia
        May 23, 2016

        Oh ok we shall see what the outcome would be may be worth a shot that’s how it goes sometimes with cooking or baking taking risks and it can go either way we don’t know until we try Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 23, 2016

          If you do try it, let me know how it goes! 🙂 Reply

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