Cherry Upside Down Cake

Cherry Upside Down Cake made with fresh cherries is a wonderful summer cake recipe. The cherries are baked in a brown sugar glaze on the bottom of the pan with the cake batter on top. Once baked, turn the pan upside down to reveal the delicious fruit topping. It’s an easy cake that is perfect for entertaining.

Cherry upside down cake on a white cake stand.

Maybe you’ve heard of pineapple upside down cake? It’s a classic cake recipe but what about using cherries instead of pineapple to make a cherry upside down cake? It’s a great way to change up this traditional cake and one of my favorite ways to use fresh cherries when they are in season.

Another great way to use cherries you should try this Easy Cherry Crumb Bar recipe! It’s so good!

This is a favorite cake to serve for dessert and also a great anytime cake. It’s so simple to make and the presentation is beautiful. The fruit is encased in a caramel-like glaze on top of the cake. Underneath is soft vanilla cake. 

I love this cake just as it is but adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream or spoonful of whipped cream is always the perfect garnish. The best cake for a summer night, this cherry upside down cake is not to be missed.

Cherry cake with a slice cut on a white plate.


For the Fruit Topping

  • Softened butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Pitted cherries sliced in half

For the Cake

  • Softened butter
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour or pastry flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • 2% or whole milk

How to Make the Cake

For an upside down cake, the cherry topping goes on the bottom of the pan so when you turn the cake out upside down on the platter, the fruit ends up on top. So, you’ll want to make the topping first.

Grease a 8″ round cake pan or springform pan or you can line it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F while you prepare the cake.

Mix butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and then spread the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Place the halved cherries cut side down on top of the butter mixture.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter, vanilla, and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the dry ingredients in batches, alternating with the milk, while beating at low speed.

Spread the cake batter over the cherries in the cake pan. Bake the cake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool the cake for five minutes before inverting the pan on a cake platter or plate. Remove the pan and serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

Can you use frozen cherries?

Yes, but you should thaw and drain them first. It they are very wet, pat them dry with a paper towel, too. This will prevent too much moisture in the topping which can make it runny.

Should you refrigerate cherry upside down cake?

If you have leftover cherry cake, you should refrigerate it. Keep it covered with plastic wrap and it will keep well for up to three days.

Cake on a white stand with a slice cut on a white plate.

Recipe Tips

  • All-purpose flour vs. pastry flour: You can use either for this cake, but the texture will be different depending on which one you use. Pastry flour (cake flour) will make the cake lighter with a more tender crumb.
  • Room temperature ingredients: With cakes and other baking, it’s always better to use room temperature ingredients. So, take any cold ingredients out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time or sooner if it’s cool in your kitchen.
  • Flavor: For this cake, you can substitute the vanilla extract for almond extract to make a cherry almond cake. This is a great flavor combination and an easy way to change it up.
  • Fruit: Once you try this recipe, you can switch the fruit to make other cakes. Try pineapple rings, sliced peaches, apricots, nectarines, or other stone fruit.

How to make cake/pastry flour

To make homemade cake/pastry flour for every cup of all purpose flour remove 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour and substitute with 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Sift together to remove any lumps.

Cherry upside down cake is such an easy cake recipe. I love the taste of the sweet, tart cherries with the soft cake. The best summer cake you need to try – Enjoy!

A slice of cake with a scoop of ice cream on a white plate.

More Easy Cake Recipes

Cherry upside down cake on a white cake stand.

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Rosemary Molloy
Cherry Upside Down Cake is an easy cake recipe with a fresh cherry topping and soft vanilla cake. The perfect summer cake for entertaining!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 350 kcal



  • ¼ cup butter salted (softened)
  • ½ cup +1 tablespoon brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1½-2 cups pitted cherries (halved)


  • cup butter (softened)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cups all purpose flour (or pastry flour)
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup milk (2% or whole room temperature)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour an 8 inch round cake pan (springform if you have it) or line it with parchment paper.


  • In a medium bowl mix the butter and brown sugar, spread over the bottom of the pan. Place the halved cherries cut side down on top. Set aside.


  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large bowl cream the butter, vanilla and sugar until fluffy approximately 2-3 minutes, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk beating on low speed, until combined.
  • Spread the batter evenly over the cherries. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool 5 minutes then turn upside down on a clean cake plate. Serve warm or room temperature. Serve with a scoop of ice cream if desired. Enjoy!


You can use all purpose flour or pastry flour (this makes a more tender and soft cake). To make homemade pastry flour for every cup of all purpose remove 2 tablespoons and replace with 2 tablespoons of corn starch, sift together to remove any lumps.
For room temperature ingredients remove from the fridge approximately 60 minutes before using, earlier if your house is cool.
If you have leftover cherry cake, you should refrigerate it. Keep it covered with plastic wrap and it will keep well for up to three days. It can also be frozen once the cake has cooled completely. Wrap well in plastic and place in a freezer safe container or bag. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.


Calories: 350kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 311mgPotassium: 152mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 594IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cherry cake, cherry upside down cake, upside down cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. 5 stars
    I made this cherry cake this morning and although the topping wasn’t great the cake is superb. I used my home grown cherries which were frozen and only the ones near the edge were tasty. Are there any other toppings I could use instead of cherries – long time until they are in season here in UK.
    Metric measurements very much appreciated.

    1. Hi Jan, you could use apples, pears, nuts, or figs. Just keep the other ingredients in the topping and add one of these or even a mix. Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes! Happy Baking! 🙂

  2. I cannot stress this strongly enough….DO NOT USE A SPRINGFORM PAN!!!! I made this cake in one & when the cherries started to cook & became juice, the juice leaked out & my oven bottom was a mess. It took me 3 hours to clean it up.

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