Fresh Cherry Upside-Down Cake

This is a delicious way to use seasonal cherries. I was contemplating how to use cherries from the local Persian market, knowing I could enjoy them plain, but also wondering if I could incorporate them into a cake for a dinner with friends. I decided to create a fresh cherry upside-down cake version of my favorite Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake. Generally for upside-down cakes, you pour something sticky into the bottom of the cake pan, layer fruit on top, then pour the cake batter over. Usually the sticky substance is brown sugar melted with butter, but I didn’t want to add extra sugar and make the cake too sweet. So, I experimented with melting marmalade down with a little butter to add a complex bitterness instead of sweetness. It was perfect. Friends around the table said they loved that the cake wasn’t too sweet. Many of you have been asking for my technique, so I’m sharing it here. You could use a different cake batter recipe on top of the cherries if you wish, but I promise the combination of lemons, rosemary, cherries, and marmalade creates an intoxicating, somewhat mysterious cake.

Heads up, because the cherries took up space in the cake pan, I had a little extra cake batter. I used it to make several cupcakes on the side.

fresh cherry Upside-down cake

1/4 cup marmalade

2-3 tablespoons butter

about a cup of fresh cherries

batter for Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake (or another cake of your choice)


Line a cake pan with parchment paper. Oil the sides of the cake pan.

Combine the marmalade and butter in a small saucepan. Stir constantly while melting, letting it just combine. Pour the marmalade-butter mixture into the cake pan. Spread evenly.

Wash and dry the cherries. Pit the cherries and cut them in half. Arrange them in the cake pan, cut side touching the pan.

Prepare the cake batter and pour the batter over the cherries. Use any extra batter to make cupcakes. Bake according to the cake instructions. When the cake has cooled, place a serving plate on top of the cake pan and carefully invert the cake onto the plate. Remove the parchment.

you may also like…

Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
“Queen of Sheba” Chocolate Torte
Great-Great-Aunt Tillie’s Date Cake


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