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Cherry Upside-Down Cake

“As a home ec teacher, I used this recipe to demonstrate simple cake and sauce making. The kids loved it—just as my family always has.” —Dorothy Erickson, Blue Eye, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) pitted tart cherries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • CAKE:
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • SAUCE:
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 5 to 8 drops food coloring, optional


  • Drain cherries, reserving liquid in a 1-cup measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 1 cup; set aside for sauce.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour into a 9-in. round baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • For cake, in a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Spread over cherry mixture.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  • For sauce, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add reserved cherry juice mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in food coloring if desired. Serve with warm cake.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 258 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 151mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (30g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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  • tea-talk
    Jan 31, 2011

    I also noticed the batter was a little thick, but didn't have much trouble spreading it over the cherries. Plus, it doesn't matter if you get the cake all the way to the edges of the pan - it will be fine. The only thing I would do differently would be to let it set a little longer than the 10 minutes recommended before turning out of the pan - 15 or 20 would be better I think. Otherwise it was a GREAT recipe! My dad and brother ate pretty much the whole thing in one night! Will definitely be making this again!

  • Clifton66
    Jan 29, 2011

    Yes the batter is thick but you can carefully spread it over the cherries. Mine backed within the time given. It is yummy and I will definitely fix it again.

  • kathy Kessinger
    Jan 29, 2011

    batter is very thick. needed more liquids.took more than time set to cook. will try some different fruit next time.