31 May 2012

Cherry Upside-Down Cake - Made with Fresh Cherries


Cherry upside-down cake made with fresh sweet cherries and homemade batter is nothing like that ooey-gooey cake that was popular when I was a child. I think it was called Dump Cake. We never made it at our house, but it seemed to turn up everywhere for a time. I think you dumped a can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup in a baking dish, then a can of cherry pie filling, then a box of yellow cake mix, then a couple sticks of margarine, sliced up. Then after it was baked and cooled, you dumped on some of that popular faux whipped cream that comes frozen in a tub. 

Well, that sort of thing didn't fly at our house. My mother would shiver just thinking of all the sugar, hydrogenated fat, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring and who-knows-what-all chemicals lurking in that fine mess. I tried some once at a neighbor's house, but it was waaaaaay too sweet for my taste. And I was rapidly becoming just as freaked out about ingesting chemicals as my mother was, so ... (Note: To learn more about the additives in your food, go to Be Food Smart.)

Couldn't find my cherry pitter, so did without. When you're cutting cherries in half, it's fairly easy to just pull out the pits with your fingers. But I think I'll get a new cherry pitter anyway; I was never thrilled with the one I had, and I'm always happy with OXO. So before my next cherry recipe, I'm getting an OXO Good Grips Cherry Pitter! (PS added 17 July 2012: I just used the OXO for the first time, and it is FABULOUS! I'm kicking myself for not getting it sooner!)

(I posted this recipe in response to @OregonKimm who loves cherries. She also loves reading and blogging at Fall in Love with Books. Here you go, Kimm!)

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

(Makes one 8-inch cake, 8 servings)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, room temperature
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 pound whole Bing or other sweet cherries, about 2 cups halved and pitted (reserve 8 whole with stems for garnish)

1 packed cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar

1 Halve and pit the cherries. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the sides and bottom of an 8-inch round pan (I use a Pyrex 8-inch round baking dish) with vegetable spray, line bottom with parchment paper (not strictly necessary, but can give you "confidence"), and melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the pan in the microwave or preheating oven. Add the brown sugar to the butter and blend. Starting at outer edge, arrange cherries, cut side up, in single layer in bottom of pan and press lightly to make them stick; set aside.

2 In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and mace. Mix on low speed for one minute to blend. Add 5 tablespoons softened butter, milk and vanilla; mix on low speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg, and mix 1 1/2 minutes longer.

3 Spread the batter carefully over the cherries with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen edges with knife, and invert onto a platter; wait about half a minute before removing pan. Peel off parchment, if used. Let cool about 45 minutes, or up to several hours, before serving slightly warm or at room temperature.

4 Whip cream and sugar to desired consistency. Garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a whole cherry.

28 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

FINALLY I can reply!

Love your upside down cake...looks delightful!

Jean said...

Thanks, Angie! I never know what causes these computer glitches that come and go - just glad they eventually GO! Hope you can continue to leave comments and that whatever was preventing it before will not start up again.

Anonymous said...

That looks delish, but I would probably be making the other one, which doesn't surprise you, I'm sure. ~Linda

Jean said...

No, I'm afraid it doesn't! Go ahead and make the Dump Cake!

Anonymous said...

Your cherry upside down cake looks so amazing!!! I have a sweet tooth, but I like to think it has some refinement; those dump cakes, with all the syrup and nonsense, are disgusting. Yours is so elegant! And then I scroll down and find brisket and angel food cake ... sigh. I should know better than to visit you before I've had lunch ...

Mary
foodfloozie.blogspot.com

Jean said...

Thank you so much, Mary. And thank you for the info about the devastation of Michigan's cherry crop. The link you sent http://www.michfb.com/agrinotes/index/294/2506 tells the sad story.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Oh, I'm going to do such a good deed! And yet I tremble in fear because I am also going to incur the wrath of the food police…again. See, I am also an aficionado of cherries (especially black cherries). More than that, I am cherry omnivorous. And that's where the problem begins. Because I love(d) maraschino cherries and other candied versions – a cardinal sin. But wait! A ray of light. Because I swore off maraschinos years ago when I saw studies of benzoate of soda and similar preservatives which seem to have a deleterious effect on DNA. In consideration that there must be similar-minded folk (closet cherry omnivores) reading your blog, I will pass along this consumer info: I recently discovered a delicious brand of imported black cherries from Italy preserve with citric acid. Pricey stuff – $15 a bottle – but the stuff tastes like the old narcotic Cheracoal cough syrup that left a beautiful sweet burn and spiked the pulse. The product name is Ciliegie in Sciroppo di Amarena. Thank you, thank you…it was nothing, really. Sorry if you have to wait till next year's crop – I bought 60 bottles.

Jean said...

Sully, *please* tell me that those cherries have not been bleached white and dyed like maraschino cherries. To me, that is worse than the horrible preservative. I'll have to look into that!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

No bleach & dye job on these. Heavy syrup, though.

Jean said...

Alrighty then, they have my approval.

Debra said...

This looks delicious! I don't let my kid eat anything with preservatives, so that old version of pineapple upside down cake would not fly at our house! :)

Jean said...

Debra, thanks! I'd like to count the number of chemicals in Dump Cake - but I'm not sure I can count that high!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I had a rather poor outcome with a pineapple upside down cake last month. But I've had such good results with your recipes, Jean, that perhaps I'll give this a try. I think I'll wait for an "occasion" though.

Jean said...

Ruth, I'm glad to hear you're having good results with my recipes! I haven't posted my pineapple upside-down cake yet, but when I do I think you'll see it solves the usual problems with such a cake.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had a problem posting a comment. I wish I could have been at that crocheting tea party. Sounds like fun! Sometimes I try recipes with box cake mixes but every time I do, I absolutely hate the taste. My 16 year old asked for cupcakes for his birthday made from a box, and after I made them, no one liked them. They are used to me making homemade baked goods -- the taste is so much better. And you know exactly what you are putting into the mix. I always cut back on sugar and butter. I think cherries should start showing up in the stores here soon so will have to give this one a try. Best wishes, Tammy

Jean said...

Thanks, Tammy. I'm glad this comment came through. Yep, once you get used to homemade, the stuff from a box just won't do. I've been cutting back on the sugar and fat for years, and I can hardly eat any other way.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Sadly, I swell up like a balloon when I eat cherries. Love them, hate them.

Jean said...

Poor Mrs. Tuna! I understand. I've had some severe food allergies to things I really liked. Fortunately, food allergies are often temporary and sometimes you can eventually eat the food again without a problem.

Charles said...

"Dump cake" - lol, sounds less than appetising!

This however... yummy! I love cherry cakes Jean, although don't often use fresh cherries.

Jean said...

Charles, thank you. Cherries are in season for such a short time, I'm glad this can be made with frozen cherries as well.

Richard Sheppard said...

Looks delicious Jean! I might just have to make this in the coming weeks. This week is my wife's birthday though and she requires a lemon cake! Tonight I'll be making your black bean soup recipe (yes, again!).

Jean said...

Richard, thank you! I love lemon cake too. Someday I'll post my lemon layer cake recipe. Enjoy the soup--good idea, maybe I'll make it too!

Ashley - bakerbynature said...

I'm thrilled to see this recipe - I can't get enough cherry inspiration right now!!

Jean said...

Thanks, Ashley! Aren't cherries wonderful!

Oregon Kimm said...

I am making this tomorrow night!!! Thank you so much Jean. Do you think it will travel well? I've got to drive it about three hrs away on Friday.

Jean said...

It should travel fine, Kimm. Good at room temperature. Just don't think you're going to leave it in the pan and then unmold it when you get there - you wouldn't be able to get it out! :D

Anonymous said...

Paper Clips make great cherry pitters. Simply bend the center portion straight out and insert it into the cherry. Twist half way and pull.

Jean said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll have to give that method a try, in case I misplace my Oxo or am called upon to do something with cherries in a friend's kitchen (I end up cooking at other people's houses a lot!).

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