• Brown Butter Cherry Upside Down Cake


By Andrew Zimmern


Brown Butter Cherry Upside Down Cake


  • 1 stick salted butter, plus several more tablespoons for prepping your cake pan and caramelizing your cherries
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 24 oz of fresh cherries (if you have more, great. You want about 4 cups of pitted halved cherries when you are done measuring. If you are short slice some firm peaches or nectarines)
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups crème fraiche


Preheat oven to 350°. Take this time to assemble all your ingredients and do your prep. Brown your stick of butter over medium heat in a small pot, reserve. Zest the lemon, juice the lemon, and reserve both separately.

Grease a deep cake pan very well with a tablespoon or so of butter. Place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Trace the pan on parchment paper if you need to make a circle. Cut it out with a scissor

Place the cherries, half the brown sugar, the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick pan set over medium heat and cook, tossing occasionally for 30-40 minutes until all the liquid has come out, reduced and the sauce is thick and jammy in the pan. I find I am slowly reducing my heat lower as the reduction progresses. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a big mixing bowl.

Beat the eggs and combine with 1 cup of crème fraiche, the zest, vanilla, and the brown butter. Whisk the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.

Scrape the cherries with a spatula into the cake pan. Spread carefully to make it even. Spoon the batter over the fruit in 8 to 10 portions evenly spaced around the surface of the fruit. Using gentle pressure smooth it out. Doesn’t have to be perfect.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean its done. Run a small knife around edge of pan.

Place a wire cooling rack over the cake pan. Quickly flip it over and raise the cake pan off the cake. Peel off and discard the parchment. Tuck any lost cherries back into place and smooth top with a flat spatula that has some soft butter on it. Cherries will flatten, the top will shine and you can let the cake cool for at least an hour.

Whisk together the remaining crème fraiche along with the remaining brown sugar and serve it on slices of the cake.

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