Tuesday, May 27

Baking Fresh Cherry and Peach Upside-Down Cake on a Rainy Day

cherry upside slice cherries

Last Thursday I was driving home on the freeway at 3:45 pm when the local traffic report came on:

Well, the 163 in both directions is heavy. So is the 5 North and South and the 805. Looks like everybody is leaving work early to avoid the rain that San Diegans are expecting tonight.

Yup. It's true. Southern Californians leave work early when rain is expected. OK bloggers from Seattle, go ahead and laugh. We deserve it.

For the record, I have never left early because of rain. I mean what kind of a New Englander would I be? And what would my dad think of me?

I guess Southern Californians don't really know any better. Why should they? It hardly ever rains here, and when it does, it wreaks havoc. No, I'm not talking about flooding and mudslides. I'm talking about traffic. You can see a half dozen accidents on one commute and get stuck in a traffic jam that lasts hours. Seriously, it was easier to get home after the blizzard of '78 than it is to get home after a "heavy rain shower" here in SoCal.

So I avoided the madness by doing what any good blogger would do: I went home and baked a cake. Isn't there something so comforting about the aroma of baking wafting through the house as the rain patters gently against the windows?

cherry upside cake sliced

One of my favorites is my mom's Upside-Down Pineapple Cake, which was her mother's original recipe that is close to 70 years old! I will post the original in the fall, but today I wanted something that celebrated spring. With a gorgeous bowl of tart cherries and some sweet fresh peaches smiling at me, I found my inspiration. I added some freshly squeezed orange juice and zest which compliments the fruit and adds another dimension of flavor.

cherries and peach raw

This is an amazingly light, moist cake that is only made more irresistible by a thick, sugary crust that holds the plump cherries and peaches firmly in place. After one mouthful, you'll wish it rained every day.

cherry upside slice back

Fresh Cherry and Peach Upside-Down Cake

Makes 8 servings
Print recipe only here.

1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
3-4 small, ripe peaches, pitted and halved
1 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Place butter in a 9-inch-round baking pan, and place inside of a warm oven until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter. Add the peach halves, cut side down, then add the cherry halves, filling in all of the nooks and crannies.

In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.

Using a hand mixer, in a metal or glass bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy. Set aside.

In a separate bowl beat egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract, and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour cake mixture evenly over the fruit, and smooth with the spatula.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert carefully onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

You might also like these spring-time desserts:

Quick Chocolate-Cinnamon Mousse with Cherries

Mini Custards with Limoncello-Spiked Raspberry Sauce

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sponge Pudding

PS--Witty Nuria just reminded me of that great 1974 song "It Never Rains in Southern California." It's an ideal match for my post, so I'm sending it to Elly for her fun Eat to the Beat event that runs through June. Make sure you watch this Albert Hammond You Tube video--it's worth it just to see his bell-bottoms and Bee-Gee's permed hair. Yikes.

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J said...

In Dubai too, when it rains - a very rare occassion, the traffic is bad. I can echo what you say about Californians :) The cake looks lovely, more so coz I love cherries!

Elle said...

Bring on the rain if it means a cake like this is the result! Love the combo of cherries and peaches. The cherries on my lone tree are just now ripe, so now I know what to do with them :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love upside-down cakes! Yours looks fabulous and gorgeously delicious!



Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

LOL @ San Diegans leaving early because of rain! It's true Susan...you describe it well...the falling rain on the windows as the cake bakes gently and the aroma wafts through the entire house. Your summer version of this fall cake is delicious. Great use of stone fruits.

Deeba PAB said...

Wish it were raining here Susan...I can smell this wonderful cake! Have never tried an upside down cake...the last time I topped the cake with fruit, the son almost passed out. Insisted I box the whole thing & send it to the neighbours!! LOL...but this is one I HAVE to try. I'd bookmarked the other cherry post with the cinnamon-choc mousse for an indulgent dessert a while ago too! YUM!

Anonymous said...

This looks really lovely and fruity Susan! You must have such great fruit available with all that sunshine.

It did make me laugh, thinking of all those people dashing home from work because it *might* rain!

LyB said...

Pineapple upside-down cake is one of my favorites also, this variation sounds fabulous! I love the colors, very spring indeed! :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, there you go, Susan, with your beautiful cherry recipes... I still can't forget the chocolate cherry mousse from last year. ;)
This cake looks divine!

Dana said...

Hahaha, leaving early because of RAIN! Too funny. At least you can laugh about it :). This cake looks soooo good!

vb said...

I'm in Seattle and take it from me, the rain brings havoc and chaos to the roads. As if it doesn't rain all winter. But it never fails to trip up most drivers here. Great looking cake!

Finla said...

Beautiful cake.
I love the delicious smell when we bake.

brandin + kari said...

Ha! I am from Seattle, and I totally know what you are talking about. We still have not gotten a grasp on driving in the rain. Anyway, I am so excited for peach and cherry season! This cake sums it all up.

Anonymous said...

It looks delicious, i love this type of cake, moist and with fresh fruit. Lovely and yummi

Núria said...

♪It seems never rain in Southern, California♫ Loved that song!

Hey Susan, it's raining a lot here, why don't you come and bake one of these wonderful cakes for me? Pleaseeeeeee?

Anonymous said...

Delicious susan...and it does look so light!

Le Flâneur Novice said...

No matter f it rains or not Istanbulin traffic is always jammy lol (You cannot imagine how it stucks at 5-6 pm on the Bosphorus bridges when it rains!)

Cherries! Joy of summer! And peach is the sun :) So suits in a cake with a caramelized top...

However still looking forward for the autumn for the oldddd pineapple upside down cake recipe of your family :)

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That looks absolutely gorgeous!

If you want to see what rain is, you should come visit Scotland!

Mandy said...

what a beautiful cake, Susan. And a good way to use up some of the bouty summer brings. I need to keep my eyes open for cherries from now on.

Melita said...

Man, I am running out of ink---again! But, I got it... I love peaches; probably my favorite fruit; this cake looks soooo good Susan!

Heather said...

mmmm that looks good. i actually don't really like cherries when they're fresh, but looove them in baked goods. this sounds beautiful with the peaches. san diego's response to rain sorta sounds like the dc areas response to snow... the whole world shuts down with a flurry over here ;)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

You're making me hungry AND homesick.

I'll never forget when I was producing the 5PM newscast in San Diego. It was a cloudy day with a little "spit" from the sky. I didn't even need to turn my windshield wipers on to deal with the precip. Ergo, I lead the newscast with something important.

In the post-show meeting, I got my rear end handed to me for not leading with The Storm. "You've got to stop thinking like a Midwesterner, Kelly!"

Still makes me smile ruefully.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Beautiful - like a slice of a summer orchard! You can't beat upside down cake, rain or shine!

Anonymous said...

I won't mind having a piece (or a whole) of your upside down cake even on hot rainless California days:)Looks gorgeous!

Rachael said...

I'm giggling right now (not unusual since your humorous posts always hit home : ) ). I made the reverse transition - Phoenix to Connecticut - and I recall many (many) an occasion whereby the teensiest bit of rain sent people into a panic. 20 MPH down the highway in a light drizzle!

Lisa Turner said...

Susan, now that I have started visiting your blog on a regular basis - why did it take me so long!! - I'm finding so many top notch recipes that I want to try. Cherries are coming into season and oh, how I love them. My mom used to make a pineapple upside down cake that was heavenly. This sounds just as fine. Thanks!

Brittany said...

As a Seattle blogger, I am definantly laughing at you. But who cares? This cake looks freakin AMAZING!

Nabeela said...

Hi Susan, I was just reading this book(The Produce Bible) when I came across some interesting information. Apparently jerusalem artichokes(or sunchokes) and kohlrabi are very good sources of calcium. I thought you might be interested since you have osteoporosis. We get kohlrabi very easily at Indian stores here...
Hope this helps!

glamah16 said...

Wow . Peaches and Cherries. Don't you just love summer fruits!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Any kind of upside-down cake is so appealing, perhaps a reminder of that wonderful pineapple upside down cake with the perfect rings of pineapple and a cherry in the center of each. Peach and cherry (real cherries, not the bright red maraschino kind) sounds like a perfect combination.

Unknown said...

That looks really good! I like the cherry and peach combo!

Elly said...

This looks so great, Susan. I am a total sucker for any sort of dessert with cherries. I have been looking forward to cherry season for months and I think a clafouti is in order for me soon. Thanks for the entry!

Cakelaw said...

This looks absolutely delicious Susan! I can almost smell it baking from here.

Nic said...

Cherries and peaches go really well together - I'd love a slice of that, rain or sunshine!

Chibog in Chief said...

i dont mind rainy days (even typhoon is welcome) if im in company of good looking cake like this!! yummy!! all those flavors i could imagine in my mouth!! great photos too ..as usual

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I know.
Its pouring, your kitchen is warm and taken over by the delicious smells from your oven and then the cake itself. Yours looks moist and good.

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, crazy Calfornians!
That looks like some seriously delicious cake. Love the fruits you used.

bazu said...

Hee hee- I remember giggling at Californians' reactions to rain, even when it was a few inches! But I realized that all the oil on the roads actually does make a couple of inches of rain a real driving hazard! Anyway... I would love to try my hand at this cake of yours- as soon as I see some fresh cherries! Daiku and I are committed to going cherry picking in July.

Lisa Johnson said...

I love baking when the weather is bad outside. Your cake looks delicious! And as one New Englander to another, that really is hilarious to leave work because of rain. : )

Anonymous said...

Oh I love to bake on rainy days - it's the best. I have NEVER made an upside-down cake.... shame on me!

xoxox Amy

Anonymous said...

I love upside down cakes. It looks fab.

Hetal said...

Can I have a bite dear,I haven't tasted an upside down cake.this cake looks delicious..

Susan from Food Blogga said...

jyothsna-I didn't realize it rains so infrequently in Dubai.

elle-I couldn't agree more. :)

rosa-Wowza! thanks!

peter-Thanks for the lovely words.

deeba- He'll love this. The fruit is nestled in that sugary crust that is irresistible!

sophie-I knew you were laughing. ;)

lyb-Thanks a bunch!

patricia-Oh, thanks, my dear!

dana-It's true!

vb-Even in Seattle? I'm surprised.

happy cook-The aroma is incredible.

anticiplate-You're the 2nd person from Seattle to say that. That's so surprising.

monica-Me too!

nuria-I can't get this song out of my head, so I'm gonna send this to Elly for her Eat to the Beat event! Thanks!

ronell-It really is light.

bal-I'm looking forward to the pineapple one too! :)

holler-Indeed, I should!

mandy-They're in full swing here, and I can't get enough!

medena-Ripe summer peaches are divine.

heather-I've been in DC in the snow--nightmare. ;)

kelly-That is such a gem of a story, Kelly. Thanks for sharing!

tw-Well said.

farida-It's good no matter the weather.

rachael-So, it's not just socal, huh? ;)

lisa-I really appreciate that. Moms and pineapple upside-down cakes just go together, don't they?

brittany-That's ok, I can take it. ;)

nabeela-That is so kind of you to think of me. I didn't know that. I love sunchokes, but I don't eat kohlrabi often enough.

coco-Yes indeed-y!

lydia-They really are beautiful together.

kevin-Thanks so much!

elly-Oh, yeah, a cherry clafouti! You're welcome. :)

cakelaw-Oh, thanks!

nicisme-Come on over! :)

dhanggit-This is worth a typhoon? Wow! I'm impressed. ;)

aparna-I just love the aroma in the house.

linda-We're much more functional in the sunshine. ;)

bazu-Oh, I love cherry-picking. Can I come? ;)

anali-I hear ya. :)

amy-Please make one! Your kids will love you for it!

sue-How are you? Many thanks!

hetal-You can have a whole slice. :)

RecipeGirl said...

Susan- you are so right. My hubby is an East Coaster and he is so frustrated when San Diegans freak out because of rain.

Looks like a lovely choice to make a cake on a blustery day :)

MeloMeals said...

Gorgeous both in looks and how it sounds like it would taste. You can't go wrong with cherries.. ever!

Cakespy said...

I live in Seattle, but I am not laughing. Perhaps that is because I am not a native Seattleite. I think that I actually belong in So-Cal, because whenever it rains I just don't leave the house. And now, you may have heard it rains a lot in Seattle. :-)

But seriously, this cake sounds like it would stave off my worst rainy day blues!! It's just so...sunny and happy! :-) And I love the look of those ripe, lush-lookin' cherries!

Unknown said...

Here people behave like we have to be on locked down with three drops so everybody and their brothers live work and go to the store!!
I love the peach and cherry combo in this cake. Well done!

Ivy said...

This is lovely. Hope that the cherries will be cheaper soon to try this.

Jaime said...

great twist on an old classic. i love pineapple upside down cake and the cherry/peach combo sounds perfect too :)

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Looks so good. What a great combination.

Anonymous said...

That cake looks delciious! And I love your blog! Did you get the fruit from a farmer's market? I work for Smit Orchards--the fruit looks like ours!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lori-It really was, thanks.

melody-I agree. :)

cakespy-No wonder why you bake so many lovely treats--you never the your house! ;) I hope you try it soon.

helen-We lied in NC, so I know what you mean. ;)

ivy-They will be, I'm sure.

jaime-It was my first time with this combo but it won't be my last.

helene-Many thanks!

lindsay-Smit Orchards doesn't sound familiar. Where do you sell your fruit though? Maybe we have met?

Jeanne said...

If Londoners went home every time rain was expected, I'd never have to come to work!! I live in hope...

As for this cake - beautiful! And great minds must think alike because in the last month I have made a cranberry-pear upside down cake, and heavenly little individual dried apricot upside down cakes. There is something ridiculously appealing about upside down cakes and yours is certainly going on my to do list :)

Christie Stump said...

I'm new to the food blogging scene and always love what I find your blog! When I saw this cake, I just had to try it! It was so delicious (though mine wasn't as pretty as yours!) and such a great, light summer dessert!

Farmgirl Susan said...

YUM! : )