Warm Cherry Upside-Down Cake

While Pineapple Upside Down Cake is my first love, this Warm Cherry Upside Down Cake is gaining ground; the perfect summer version.

Cherry Upside Down Cake

There are many days when my food choices for the day are limited; on purpose, to a bowl of cereal with fruit for breakfast and a simple salad or sandwich for lunch. As a result, there are also many times while I’m on Twitter that I see so many amazing pictures of fabulous food that I can get hungry for something more delicious but I keep on task and just drool a bit.

When I saw someone tweet about a cherry upside down cake though…I was smitten. Neighbors were coming the next day for coffee and dessert so I had a reason to make it and it helped that I had two pounds of cherries in my refrigerator just waiting for the perfect reason to be pitted and incorporated into something special.

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Cherry Upside Down Cake

Enter my daughter and her friends. And my neighbor Sally from across the street who had just brought me a gallon of milk she had picked up for me. What happened? It was GONE…all but for one tiny little piece of cake that I did get to have with coffee. But no cake, no picture, boo hoo.

Something I might have been heartbroken over (OK maybe just a little dramatic) but this was easy, I could do it again and I had thought about making my own revisions.

I soooo love Pineapple Upside Down Cake; and found this cake and the cherries to be amazing but the topping to be just a little lacking so my 2nd attempt replaced the white sugar in the topping with brown sugar and that’s more what I was expecting; a bit of a caramel touch!

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Though the original called for buttermilk, for my first attempt I used regular milk, but did use buttermilk for the 2nd try and actually like the lighter texture from the regular milk…I figure, lighten up the cake a bit because I’m making the topping a bit richer. Perfect!

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Warm Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Topped with warm, sweet cherries, this Cherry Upside Down is a delicious alternative to the more well known upside down cake!
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 396 kcal


For the Topping:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup almonds sliced, toasted
  • ½ pound sweet cherries pitted and halved (1/2 pound is about 40 cherries)

For the Cake:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt kosher
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • cup milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease the sides (not the bottom) of a 9-inch round cake pan or 10″ skillet. (I had a bit of the topping drip onto the bottom of my stove; suggest you put a cookie sheet under the baking pan).
  • Melt the 6 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and the lemon juice and cook, stirring just until the sugar dissolves and the mixture bubbles. Pour into the prepared pan and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly with the mixture.
  • Evenly distribute the toasted almonds over the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the cherries, cut side up, in the pan in concentric rings.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining 1 cup sugar gradually, beating constantly until pale and light and the mixture is not grainy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
  • On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and beat until blended. Add milk and beat until blended. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until blended. Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake until the cake is well risen, golden brown, firm to the touch and beginning to pull away from the sides of baking pan; about 45-50 minutes. Test for doneness with toothpick inserted in middle and comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and immediately invert the cake onto a serving platter. Leave the cake pan upside down over the cake for about 2 minutes, then lift it off. If a few almonds or cherries stay behind in the pan, place them back on the cake or better yet…just pop them in your mouth!
  • Serve warm.


After years of trial and error, one thing I’ve found before all else if making baked goods at altitude where it’s often drier too, check sooner since your ingredients are probably drier too. Mine was done at 40 minutes.


Nutrition Facts
Warm Cherry Upside-Down Cake
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword cake, cherry, desserts, sweet cherry, upside down
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

From Eating Local cookbook by Janet Fletcher & Sur la Table.

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  1. Mmm- this sounds great! As soon as our AZ weather cools down I will start baking again- that is my only reason to like winter (besides angora sweaters!)
    It should be easy to convert this recipe to gluten free- yum!

    1. I used sweet cherries Jane; I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with tart cherries. They do cook in the bottom with the butter/brown sugar mixture so tart ones might be OK. I didn’t make this a part of the recipe cause not everyone would have it, but I sprinkled some Leopold Bros Tart Cherry Liqueur over the top. Oh my.

      1. good idea, I have some tart cherry concentrate that I use in smoothies sometimes…thanks for your quick response. Here in the Heartland, we have a lot of tart cherry trees, sweet ones don’t do as well. So I almost always cook with the tart ones. Have a great day!

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