Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

In your opinion, what is the best compliment someone can pay your cooking? Is it effusive praise with superlatives like “amazing!” and “delicious!”? Is it when they close their eyes, moan “Oh my gaaawwwwdddd” and look like maybe you should leave them alone with the food? Is it when they go back for seconds? Or when they ask for the recipe?

making cherry upside-down cake

cherry upside-down cake, before baking

Not to sound like some giant approval junkie, but of course, as a cook, baker and blogger, I love it when people love my food. It’s validation that I’m executing my craft well, and when I’ve made something that people are going to take time to consume, of course I want it to taste great and be pleasing to their palate.

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Of course, if something you make doesn’t receive any of the above-described compliments it doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome. But someone telling you it was is very nice to hear, and tells you that you’re on the right track. Or that you have exceedingly polite guests. Ha!

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

This cake is delicious, and yes, I had a request for the recipe, which is what got me thinking along these lines. It’s very cakey and not too sweet. I found it easy to flip, and only had a couple cherries stay in the baking pan. No matter, it was easy enough to place them where they belonged, and I don’t think anyone was the wiser. Enjoy this one with the last bit of cherries for the season!

cherry upside-down cake

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

{One year ago: Pickled Peach Orzotto}

Source: adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild

4 tbs unsalted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
14 oz. fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk
¼ tsp cream of tartar

First, make the topping. Preheat the oven to 350 F. grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan that is at least 2 inches high on the sides.
In a small saucepan, melt the 4 tbs butter over medium-low to low heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until blended, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, then spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Arrange the cherries, cut side down, in a single layer in the bottom of the pan and press lightly to adhere. Set aside.
Make the cake. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar and softened stick of butter together in a large mixing bowl, until light and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Mix in flour in 3 additions alternating with the milk in 2 additions.
Using electric mixer with clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a clean, dry mixing bowl until stiff but not dry. Stir ¼ of the whites into the cake batter to lighten. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter. Spoon the batter atop the cherries and smooth evenly.
Bake until top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
Run a small paring knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a plate or round platter over the cake and quickly invert the cake onto the platter. Let stand 5 minutes, then remove pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired. Although it’s quite nice on its own.

5 responses to “Cherry Upside-Down Cake

  1. I’d eat that. Cherries appeal to me right now, and the cake doesn’t look crazy rich.
    I like it when the kids go for seconds (though when it happened tonight with an Asian meat pie I was playing around with, I was a little bummed–I thought there’d be more leftovers!) and I like it when I get praise.

    And now that I’m blogging, when I crunch the numbers of how many people are returning visitors to my blog, well, that makes my heart sing.


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