FEBRUARY 15, 2012 8:36AM

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Rate: 3 Flag

Dave and I don’t do much for Valentine’s Day.  We usually give each other a card, homemade preferred,  and maybe a couple pieces of candy.

I wanted to make him something special for dessert and surprise him when he returned home from his volunteer gig. What could be more special than using some of our cherries on this special day?  So I went to the freezer and pulled out one of those rare packages of cherries – this one from 2008!

Cherries from the freezer

Cherries from the freezer

I really am pretty stingy with our cherries. Our trees only bear usually every other year, and not much at that since two of the three trees are still quite small. So for me to break out the cherries – that’s a big occasion. The Ball Blue Book‘s recommended length of storage for this fruit is a year, but I’ve found with these cherries they still have retained their flavor.

Usually I make cobbler, but I wanted to bake something special. I thought about a pie, but I didn’t have a crust, have time to run out and buy one, or take the time to make one. Then I went to the cookbook shelf and pulled out this binder.

Mom's Recipes

Mom's Recipes

This was my mom’s. I remember her telling me how she wanted to make sure each of us girls has copies of her recipes.  She was going to make us each our own binder. That didn’t happen. She died in 1972.

Somehow or other, I got possession of her original binder. Her favorite recipes are in this little binder in her handwriting and in pencil!

Pages from Mom's Recipe binder

Pages from mom's recipe binder

I knew why I was looking at this binder. I wanted to make her Cherry Upside Down Cake that we always called “Cherry Pie Cake.” Here is a closeup of her recipe. The ink at the top of the page is a note I made last time I made this several years ago.

Closeup of recipe binder

Closeup of recipe binder

I did change her recipe a bit. I don’t use shortening or red food color and I’ve cut the sugar back a bit since the original now is way too sweet for me. Here is my revised recipe for what I love to call Cherry Pie Cake.

Cherry Pie Cake aka Cherry Upside Down Cake Note: There is a print link embedded within this post, please visit this post to print it.

Topping

  • 1 can of cherries (or two cups of frozen cherries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Cake

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Sauce

  • Juice of cherries
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Let’s start by making the top of the cake.

Drain the cherries, put in sauce pan and add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter. Heat until sugar and butter are dissolved. Add vanilla.

Heating cherries, sugar and butter

Heating cherries, sugar, and butter

Pour that mix into an 8 or 9 inch round glass pie pan.

Pouring cherries into pie plate

Pouring cherries into pie plate

Now to make the cake.

Add to the mixer, 1/4 cup of softened butter, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix.

Now add 1/2 cup of milk minus 2 tablespoons to the mixer. “Mix until all is dampened,” says mom. Then beat two minutes.

After that time, add the remaining milk and the egg and beat for one minute.

Cake batter

Cake batter

Pour over cherry mixture.

Pouring cake batter over cherries

Pouring cake batter over cherries

This is how it looks when it’s completely covered.

Completely covered cherries

Completely covered cherries

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

The cake will look like this when you take it out of the oven.

Cherry Pie Cake Cherry Pie Cake

After it cools, turn it over on a platter and it’s ready to serve.

For the sauce, take the cherry juice, add the sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch and cook on low heat until it turns translucent and thick.

Cherry Sauce

Cherry Sauce

Cut this cake into pieces and drizzle the cherry sauce over them.

Cherry Pie Cake

Cherry Pie Cake

Before I could cut myself a piece, I was able to get another shot of Dave’s piece.

Almost gone

Almost gone

The cake is so moist and tender. I had forgotten how much I love this treat. It doesn’t look quite like hers since she used food coloring back then, but it tasted the same.

It was fun baking with mom on this heart day. As I read her instructions, I really felt like she was here next to me giving me instructions. I probably ought to do this more!

 

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Comments

Type your comment below:
That little binder is a real gem, for sure. Have you typed them up?
No, I've not typed them. They are still easy to read even though they are in pencil. I tried to copy them with my home scanner/copier/printer and they don't copy well. I'll need to go get them copied or scan every page.
Oh what a treat to have that binder. And the cake looks delicious, too!
How wonderful to have your mother's recipes. Looks like a delicious treat.
What a treasure to have your mother's handwritten recipe book! I used to write my favorite recipes with ink in notebooks too and collected them in a binder for my daughter. The cake sounds very good. So kind of you to share such a personal treasure, thank you.
R♥