Photo: José Picayo; Styling: Michele Faro
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 20 Mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1 wedge)

Juices released from the fruit make for a moist cake. The batter comes to the top of the pan and threatens to spill over. It shouldn't, but just in case, bake on a foil-lined baking sheet.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Coat a 9-inch springform pan or cake pan with 3-inch sides with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Coat paper with cooking spray. If using a springform pan, wrap outside and bottom of pan tightly with a double layer of heavy-duty foil.

Step 3

Drizzle melted butter over parchment in bottom of pan; sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange cherries in a single layer over brown sugar. Place pan on a baking sheet lined with foil.

Step 4

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, stirring with a whisk; set aside. Place granulated sugar, softened butter, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to oil mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter will be thick). Spread batter evenly over cherries in pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Step 5

Reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove cake from oven). Bake at 325° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen cake from edges of pan with a knife; invert onto wire rack.

Ratings & Reviews

sacarter's Review

August 08, 2013
The reason a number of reviewers downgraded this recipe and had trouble getting the cake to cook properly is because there is a typo in the recipe. The typo has nothing to do with the ingredients. It's the size of pan that is called for. The recipe says to use a 9 inch spring form pan. That is not right. You must use a 10 inch springform pan. I have made this cake three times in my 10 inch springform pan and it worked perfectly every time. The third time I made it I used sliced nectarines instead of cherries, and it was equally delicious.

Perfect recipe with one critical change...pan size

May 24, 2015
You have to use a 10" pan. Thanks for the advice sacarter!It's delicious and beautiful. Your house will smell amazing, but don't use the pan as instructed or it will take forever to bake. Use a 10" springform.

carolfitz's Review

May 27, 2013
Pitted the cherries in advance and dried thoroughly before beginning. Followed mixing/cooking directions exactly, batter was thick but spread out easily. Cake done in recommended time. After cooling on rack, inverted onto cake plate rather than wire rack. Low review is because "juices released from the fruit makes for a moist cake" is a ridiculous understatement. The cake would have been perfect except it became a soggy mess from the cherry juice, unsuitable for serving. Perhaps if I'd mixed in some cornstarch with the fruit that would have helped?

lferreira's Review

September 08, 2012
I had the same issue as other reviewers. The cake was not done at all after the recommended cooking time even after a toothpick came out clean. The center dropped through my wire rack. I scooped it back into the pan and it took another 45 minutes or so to finish baking. After all that, I don't even think it was that good. I would like to have seen the cake be a little less sweet to offer a contrast to the sweetness of the cherries. I ended up throwing some of it out.

ginagoff's Review

August 07, 2012
I made the following changes: used a 9X9 dark nonstick pan, 4.5 c. Bing cherries (pit and let drain for a while on paper towels), 9 ounces of flour (approx 2 cups), 2 extra-large eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond extract, and 1 c. skim milk soured with a little lemon juice. Followed the mixing instructions exactly and got a thick, light batter very much like softly whipped heavy cream. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes and 325 for 28 minutes. 45 minutes into the baking a cake tester was clean when inserted straight down through the cake but gooey when inserted diagonally through a crack. This cake has a slightly firmer crust than is typical; perhaps that crust wiped the tester clean, which is why some reviewers report underdone cakes that tested "done". When the summer fruit is gone, will probably make this using coarsely grated Granny Smith apples, adding 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the brown sugar and perhaps some chopped walnuts.

haruko's Review

July 23, 2012
I almost never cook with seasonal fruit because I feel like I'm wasting its deliciousness. This cake looked so good, and cherries were on sale, so I took a chance. To start, I would have liked to see the steps separated a bit more, because I tend to multitask when cooking (ie, mix dry while butter and sugar are creaming) and it was hard to find my place. As others have said, the batter wasn't as thick as suggested, and I baked the cake about 10 minutes longer than called for until a tester came out clean. When it cooled long enough to cut, I realized the middle was raw. I now have the cut cake back in the oven, hoping to firm it up some. It is tasty. Before you sacrifice your cherries, research other upside down cakes and adjust the dry to wet ratio. I also think 1 tbsp butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar on the bottom would have sufficed (and I'm not one to give up either easily). Changes: replaced a small amount of flour with corn meal for texture, browned butter.

konawajim's Review

July 21, 2012
After reading the reviews I added a 1/2 cup of extra flour. I looked up an old favorite of mine for Pineapple upside down cake and it called for 2 cups of flour. Also the temp for cooking was 375 for 30 minutes then reduce temp to 350 for 30 minutes. Turned out Great !!

linda65's Review

July 17, 2012

kallen18's Review

July 11, 2012
I read the previous reviews and pursued with the recipe, using a 9" spring form pan. The batter was spreadable and thick by the time it went into the pan. I think beating the butter/sugar/oil for a few minutes really helps thicken it, and beating each egg adequately as well. All was going well through the baking process. It never spilled over. It rose evenly and achieved a beautiful golden top. After the 2nd half of baking was done (went for 25 minutes during the 325° phase), the toothpick was inserted, and came out clean. Nothing clung. After cooling for 10 minutes I inverted the cake out onto the rack and within a minute of doing so, the middle of the cake sunk through the spaces in my cooling rack! It was, as a previous person described, like pancake batter. I was so disheartened! I should have baked it longer... The outside of the cake was done but the middle was frustratingly under cooked. I'd definitely try it again if cherries went down in $$. I think the recipe has potential.

daniellekuhl's Review

June 30, 2012
I wish I had read these reviews before I made mine today. I had the same exact problem. In fact, how does this recipe even get 4 stars? With two reviews and no one giving it more than 3 stars, that is just wrong. I followed the recipe exactly--used a spring form pan wrapped in foil--and the batter did not seem as thick as the recipe claimed it would. Then after an hour of cooking, I could tell it was still jiggly in the middle. I cooked it an extra 15 minutes beyond the hour it called for, and it had stopped jiggling....but it was still raw in the center. I definitely think there's too much buttermilk in the recipe. It tastes good (the only reason I gave it more than 1 star)--but you can't serve a cake to other people when it collapses in the middle and looks like pancake batter! Pitting 4 cups of cherries is a lot of work for such a disappointing result.