Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free

Sweet seasonal cherries are baked beneath a cardamom and ginger scented cake and then flipped over to magical effect. This upside down cake makes the most of summer produce – generous slices would be perfect for a Christmas Eve breakfast or as a dessert to share at your next festive get together.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life ‘Tis the season for glorious stone fruit; heaping piles of jewelled offerings on display at the farmers markets, roadside stalls, and produce aisles. Peaches soft as baby skin, nectarines brightly painted like parrots, tiny apricots as small as the top of my thumb, and there, shining like dark rubies, the sweetest of cherries.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have been eating these sweet seasonal beauties by the handful, plucked out of the fridge after a gym session, stolen bunches while I’m making dinner, and long lazy afternoon reading sessions with an abundant bowl beside me that soon becomes nothing but stalks and pits. I have never cooked with cherries before, but they are a festive food in our household. My grandmother makes a Danish dessert for Christmas some years called risalamande, which is essentially an almond flavoured rice pudding dish served with hot cherry sauce. I was never a fan as a child, but when I kept eating handfuls of cherries this season, these memories inspired me to try a baked good to celebrate their passing seasonal presence.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life I combined memories of sweet cherries, with the spices that you know I love oh so much, and baked them into a fluffy cake bottomed topped with jammy baked cherries. We enjoyed thick slices for breakfast at the markets on Saturday, and I continued snacking on it all weekend until there were only crumbs left – thank goodness there were some runs to break up the cake!

I think this cake would make the perfect breakfast on Christmas Eve, or even a dessert (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream of course) for a family Christmas dinner.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeA note on pitting cherries. My Mum has an awesome cherry pitting tool (also useful for olives I believe) however, in my current kitchen the options were limited. I found this method using a metal piping tip from Chatelaine that very easy, and while not all of my cherries made it through intact, they were tightly squished together in the base of the pan so it didn’t matter too much, any that were a little too damaged for the cake were a tasty baker’s reward.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Gluten Free | Serves 8-12 | Leftovers will keep well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days.


  • 500 grams (1 pound) cherries, pitted
  • 100 grams buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 100 grams almond meal
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch (22.5cm) round cake tin and line bottom with baking paper.
  2. Place pitted cherries in the bottom of the tin in a single layer. Set aside
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.
  4. In a large mixing bowl using handheld beaters, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, maple syrup and extracts until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
  6. Turn the mixing speed to low add half the dry ingredients, beating until just mixed. Add milk and beat well – mixture may look curdled, don’t worry this is normal. Add remaining dry ingredients.
  7. Spoon batter over cherries in prepared tin and smooth the top.
  8. Give the tin two small taps on the counter to get rid of air bubbles around the fruit.
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin. To serve, place a plate on top of the cake tin, and carefully invert the cake so that the tin is on top and the plate is on the bottom. The cake should slide easily out and onto the plate. Remove baking paper from the top and serve.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life


9 thoughts on “Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free

  1. WOAH. AMY. You know how I feel about cardamom. And cherries!! Ahhh! This sounds so amazing! I’m really jealous it’s summer there for you, because I do love sitting down to a bowl of cherries and forgetting about the world, haha. This recipe is definitely as beautiful as I thought it was going to be. I hope you continue on the up and up!

  2. This is stunning Amy! Cherries are such a luxurious fruit for us Australians but also, they look wonderful on top of your cake. Love the spice flavours too.

  3. Pingback: Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Fifty | Thoroughly Nourished Life

  4. I love cherries, they’re such a gorgeous snack. This vibrant, happy cake is a beautiful way to use them – I’ve never made an upside down cake but I have always wanted to since I saw pictures of pineapple ones in mum’s old cookbooks. This is definitely a nicer version of the original concept. Love the idea of using a piping tip for pitting too, I never would have thought of that! xx

    • I was so excited when I saw this method! No need to buy an expensive cherry pitter 🙂
      I just loved the sweet cherries and spiced cake combination. I couldn’t control myself!

Please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s