Upside-down cherry cake

June 23, 2010  •  Category:


A cake made with a handful of these Hammana cherries, some labneh or Greek yogurt, ground almonds,  eggs, butter, flour and flavorings; can be made in a jiffy since the cherries need not be cooked, only pitted. The crumb is tender, flavorful and on the moist side. Can be also made as a cupcake.


  • 500 g. (1 pound) of pitted cherries
  • 2 or 3 Tablespoons of jam (any) to glaze the pan
  • 200 g of sugar
  • 200 g of unsalted butter, softened
  • 150 g of self-raising flour (or all-purpose flour, add a teaspoon of baking powder)
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g of ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (or other flavoring)
  • 1 orange or lemon, zested
  • 100 g of labneh or Greek yogurt or regular yogurt, drained for a few hours
  • 4 Large eggs


  1. Grease a springform pan or a cake pan (23 cms or 9 inch) and line with a piece of parchment. Brush the jam over the bottom and add the cherries in an even layer, cut side up.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar till smooth, add the ground almonds, eggs one at a time slowly, flavoring, labneh or yogurt,  then flour; only mix until the batter is smooth.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven about 35 to 45 minutes or a bit longer, till a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake a while, then flip on the other side and serve. If you wish, serve it with some more yogurt or labneh on the side.

NOTE: To make sure the cherries don’t drip all over the oven floor, you may want to slip a tray underneath it as it bakes.

Recipe courtesy of Olive magazine, July 2010.


37 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:




  2. peter says:

    Perfect for the season! Other than the monotony of pitting the cherries, this cake is easy and the obvious delish result.

  3. deana says:

    Lovely lovely cake… I am mad for cherries and can’t wait to add another recipe to my file. The yogurt is a nice touch!

  4. stacey snacks says:

    I have a truck load of fresh cherries and have a cherry almond cake in the oven as I type!
    Glad you are enjoying your summer!

  5. T.W. Barritt says:

    I love upside down cakes. I have a favorite recipe for a cranberry upside down cake. What a wonderful treat for cherry season!

  6. Astra Libris says:

    I adore upside down cakes, and I haven’t made a cherry one yet – this sounds incredible! Zach will be especially excited about this gorgeous recipe, as labneh is one of his favorite foods of all time… 🙂 Mine too, of course! 🙂

  7. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Yum. I may have to make this soon since cherries will only be at the farmer’s markets here for another week or two. Do you use both vanilla and almond extract or pick one? Couldn’t quite tell by the recipe. I love almond extract with fruit desserts, so if it only has one, I’ll choose that over vanilla. It’s good with blueberries and peaches too.

  8. citronetvanille says:

    Oh quel beau gateau!! hmmm en plus avec de la poudre d’amandes, ca doit etre divin!

  9. Grapefruit says:

    Wonderful! I have never, ever head of upside-down cherry cake. And this one looks delicious – I like the addition of labneh & since cherries are in season I think I will try this one very soon.

  10. sab says:

    une recette qui me met l’eau à la bouche de beau matin

  11. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Oh, this cake looks amazing! Too bad I just used up the last of my cherries but perhaps my parents will bring me some more soon 🙂

  12. Sushma Mallya says:

    looks beautiful..something different from the usual and seems very delicious too

  13. tigerfish says:

    The cherries are almost taking over the cake! Love it!

  14. Ivy says:

    I’ve been planning to make a cherry cake before the cherry season is over. This one sounds delicious.

  15. elra says:

    That looks delicious Joumana!

  16. Cherine says:

    Gorgeous cake! It must be sooooo good 🙂

  17. Priya says:

    Cherries are always my favourite, cake looks simply superb and elegant..

  18. BeirutBoy says:

    im luvin this blog! 😀
    makes me wanna be a cook!
    i want a cherry cake sooo freakin bad!

  19. sheba says:

    I love upside down cakes and this one using cherrys is so novel and it does look GREAT!!

  20. Joanne says:

    I’ve been eating cherries by the pound lately…and loving it! Now I want them on top of this cake.

  21. Fig & Cherry says:

    Absolutely beautiful Joumana – I wish cherries were in season – it’s Winter here in Oz 🙂

  22. Katerina says:

    A friend of mine brought me a bunch of cherries and I did not know how to consume all these. This is a great idea, plus my kid will be extremely happy to be able to lay his hands on something like this.

  23. john@heneedsfood says:

    Next time I’m at the fruit shop I’m picking up some cherries and making this! Our cherries aren’t in season yet but there are some imported from the US. I made a tart the other weekend with cherries and you’ve reminded me I need to post the recipe.
    Such a beautiful cake you’ve done here!

  24. Cara says:

    I am totally loving cherries lately – this sounds wonderful! love the use of almond meal and yogurt here too.

  25. mylittleexpatkitchen says:

    I have to buy some cherries soon. I love the idea of this as a cupcake. I can’t wait to try it.

  26. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    Mmm, cherries and almonds…perfect pair.

  27. A Canadian Foodie says:

    When I visit Vanja’s parents every summer I am in heaven (well, if that is possible in 50 degree heat). They have a cherry tree, and apricot tree and on and on and on. There are usually a few cherries left when we arrive. They make juice with most of them. Last year I made a claflouti and this year, I will make this cake… in their wood fired oven. It will be fun. The cherries are different – as theirs are sour cherries… but I see that it will still be good. Can’t wait!

  28. Chez Loulou says:

    We’re in full cherry season here and I can’t wait to try this. Mille mercis!

  29. grace says:

    those bleeding cherries are so beautiful! i love their dark, purple-y hue. divine cake, joumana!

  30. Julie says:

    Dommage que les cerises soient si chères et insipides par chez-moi… Ta recette a l’air terriblement bonne. Tu m’as l’air gâtée avec tous les bons produits que tu trouves au Liban! Bisous!

  31. Patty Price says:

    Beautiful Joumana, such wonderful photographs, I’m sure your cherry cake is fantastic!

  32. Doc says:

    Yumm! Just 1 quick question; what temp to bake at?

    • Joumana says:

      @Doc: sorry, I forgot the temp! I baked this cake in a very lousy oven in Beirut and I cannot say what temperature I used because It was a toaster oven! I am sure that 350F should work fine!

  33. Mathai says:

    Its looks great! I love fresh cherries 🙂

  34. FOODESSA says:

    A very flavourful cake made in a jiffy…just the recipe for guests that invite themselves at the last minute;o)
    The almonds, citrus zest and the yogurt addition in this recipe please me to the cherries ;o))
    Ciao for now, Claudia

  35. Mimi says:

    I love upside down cakes and this is perfect for cherry season.

  36. Reena, Coconut Raita says:

    Hi Joumana. My hubby and I made this cake yesterday and it was fantastic. The almonds balanced the cherries beautifully. Just one thing for anyone else making the cake: we added the salt, lemon zest and lemon juice at the same time as the yogurt.

    Another wonderful recipe – thank you.

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