Cherry Upside-down Cake

On a whim yesterday I bought a two-pound container of fresh cherries at the grocery store.  Violet has been wanting me to buy cherries and I enjoy them also, but I would have preferred a smaller quantity!

Once we got home and I sat staring at these cherries, I did a search for recipes using fresh cherries.  Most cookie or brownie recipes want dried cherries and I was not in the mood to break out the dehydrator and try to figure it out.  Finally, I found a recipe for Cherry Upside-Down Cake on epicurious.com.  You can view the original recipe here.

So now that I knew what I wanted to bake, I needed a quick, easy way to pit all those cherries.  Believe me, “cherry pitter” is now on my Christmas list!  What I used instead of a pitter was the star tip from a cake decorating set.  I just set the tip on a plate and slowly but firmly pressed the cherry down onto the tip until the pit popped out.  This method can be messy, so be sure to put on your apron!

The bottom layer — which later becomes the top layer — is a mixture of butter and brown sugar, with the halved cherries pressed into it.  Violet loved helping with this part.  It was so pretty, I had to take a picture.

I modified the recipe slightly (mainly, I used skim milk instead of whole and omitted the whipped cream topping).  Here is my version:

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Topping

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 14 ounces cherries, halved, pitted

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For topping:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter sides of 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. (**Note: A pan with 3-inch-high sides would be better.  I used one with 2-inch-high sides, but the cake rose and threatened to spill over the sides!**) Melt 1/4 cup butter in same pan set over low heat. Add brown sugar; whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Spread mixture over bottom of pan. Arrange cherries, cut side down, in single layer in bottom of pan and press lightly to adhere. Set aside.

For cake:
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until creamy. Mix in egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with milk.

Using electric mixer fitted with clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Stir 1/4 of whites into cake batter to lighten. Using rubber spatula, gently fold remaining whites into batter. Spoon batter atop cherries in pan. Bake cake until deep golden on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 minutes.  Run small knife around edges of pan to loosen cake. Place platter over cake and invert onto platter. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove pan. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

I took the cake to my church’s potluck picnic last night (the perfect way to not eat it all myself) and it was a hit!  Best of all, there was just enough left over to take home and enjoy today.  Yum!

As always, thanks for looking and have a blessed day!

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