recipe

Cherry Upside-Down Cake: the effortless recipe for an impressive dessert

Total time: 1H15
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
for the cherry topping
Unsalted butter
1/4 cup
packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup
fresh cherries, pitted and halved
2 cups
for the cake
All-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups
Baking powder
2 tsp
Salt
1/4 tsp
Sugar
1 cup
Butter
1/2 cup
large eggs, separated
2
Vanilla Extract
1 tsp
whole milk, warm
1/2 cup
Cream of tartar
1/4 tsp

If you're a fan of lighter-than-air cakes and baking with seasonal fruits, this cherry upside-down cake is just for you. This beautiful cake is part angel food cake, part pound cake, with a rich buttery flavor and tender crumb topped off with lightly caramelized cherries. It's the perfect way to make the most of cherry season this summer, especially if you're searching for a simple recipe with a greater wow factor than a classic cherry cake. Serve it with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop or two of whipped cream and don't be surprised if people come back for seconds!

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How to Make Cherry Upside-Down Cake

While cherry upside-down cake might look tricky to make, it's actually a breeze. Preheat your oven and grease up a cake pan with butter, then set it on your stovetop. Melt the ¼ cup of butter in the pan then whisk in the sugar. Stir it well to help the sugar melt, then remove the pan from the heat once the mixture is smooth. Press the cherries flat-side down into the mixture. This heated butter-sugar mixture caramelizes the cherries slightly, giving them a sweeter, more complex flavor. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together then set the bowl to the side.

Grab another bowl and beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add in one egg yolk at a time, beating well to mix them in after each addition. Next, beat in the milk and vanilla. Now it's time to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks – this will help make your cake ultra-light. Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture, then pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake it, let it cool, then serve. And don't forget the whipped cream on top!

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Tips for Making the Best Cherry Upside-Down Cake

– Use room-temperature ingredients to make your cake.

– Make sure the bowl and whisk you use to beat the egg whites are one hundred percent clean. Otherwise, you'll find it harder to make stiff peaks.

– You'll know your cake is ready to come out of the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

– Make this beautiful cake even more decadent by adding in chocolate, nuts, or other fruits.

– Streamline the baking by using a cake mix instead of making the batter entirely from scratch. You can swap it in for the dry ingredients.

Fresh cherries work best in this recipe, but you can use canned or frozen if you prefer. If using frozen, let them thaw out first. Regardless of what type of cherry you use, pat them dry before arranging them in the butter-sugar mixture.

– To make a vegan cherry upside-down cake, use coconut oil instead of butter and a non-dairy milk alternative instead of butter.

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How to Store Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Once the cake has cooled, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For long-term storage, cut it into slices and put the individual slices into freezer-safe bags. Cherry upside-down cake will last 2 months frozen.

Instructions

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Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease the cake pan, including the sides.

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Put the cake pan on your stovetop and melt the butter in it. Stir in the brown sugar, spread evenly over the bottom of the pan, then remove the pan from the stove.

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Arrange the cherries flat-side down in the sugar mixture.

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In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt, then whisk to combine.

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In a separate bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and airy.

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Mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Mix in the vanilla.

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Beat in the milk

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Continue to mix until well-combined.

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Gradually add in the flour until just combined.

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Beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar together until stiff peaks form.

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Fold into the cake batter until just combined.

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Pour the batter into the cake pan.

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Level out the bottom with a spatula. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour.

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Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it.

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Place a serving platter over the cake pan, then flip the cake onto the platter. Allow the cake to cool another 5 minutes, then serve.

Notes

Use a 9 to 10-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2-inches tall.

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