Thank you, summer, for all the great fruits you produce. Baking a cake in the middle of summer may sound crazy because it's hot, but when I have beautiful sweet and fresh apricots and big plump cherries, I can't resist making our favorite Apricot Cherry Upside Down Cake.
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Summer stone fruits are simply the best. They are sweet, juicy, flavorful, and perfect for baking. What are your favorites... peaches, nectarines, or maybe plums? One of my favorites is apricots, and I love the flavor of apricots best when they are cooked or baked.
And yes, cherries are also a stone fruit; that little pit inside makes it that way. For cherry lovers, try these Cherry Handpies with fresh cherries.
Another favorite apricot recipes are these Apricot Parmesan Pinwheels that are quick to make using apricot preserves. They make a great savory appetizer.
Why we love this cake
- Upside-down cakes are perfect for showing off fruit; after all, the fruit is what's on top. The vanilla-scented cake is very moist and flavorful, and the best part of this cake is flipping it over to see the buttery caramel covering the fruit and dripping down the sides of your cake.
- You can use canned cherries, but today I had these beautiful fresh cherries, meaning they must be pitted. And I learned my lesson, get a cherry pitter to make your life easier.
- For the apricots, cut them in half, remove the pit, and slice them into large sections. And, the best part is no peeling is required.
- All upside-down cakes start with melting butter and sugar in your cake pan. I always make my upside-down cakes in a cast-iron skillet because I remember my mom doing that, and I thought it was so cool to make a cake in a skillet.
Apricots - fresh apricots taste the best, and they don't need to be peeled. You can make this cake with canned apricots when the fruit is not in season.
Cherries - use fresh pitted cherries that are cut in half. Canned or frozen pitted cherries can also be sued.
How to bake a cherry apricot upside-down cake: Step by step
For this recipe, you can bake the cake in a 10" iron skillet or a 9" cake pan. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Making the caramel
Step 1. Prepare the fruit first. Pit the cherries and cut them in half. Using a cherry pitter makes this fast and easy. Slice the apricots in half and remove the pit, then slice.
Step 2. Make the easy caramel glaze by adding butter and sugar to the skillet.
Step 3. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook until melted and bubbly. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Step 4. Lay a circle of apricots on top of the hot sugar mixture. I used 16 apricot slices.
Step 5. Now add the sliced cherries.
The fun of making the upside-down cakes is making a pattern with the fruit so you can see your beautiful work of fruit art when you flip the cake over.
Making the cake batter
Step 6. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed. You can use a stand mixer or an electric mixer. Then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Step 7. Mix in half of the flour with the mixer on medium speed and then scrape the bowl.
Step 8. Mix the vanilla and milk in a measuring cup, then pour into the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until combined.
Step 9. Mix in the rest of the flour until you have a nice smooth dough.
Step 10. Pour the batter over the fruit and spread it to the edges of the pan.
Step 11. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
Step 12. Now get prepared to do what you may think is impossible. You will take this screaming hot pan and flip it over onto a serving plate. Please put your fancy oven mitts on, prepare your serving plate, and take your time. Put the serving plate on top of the skillet, pick up the skillet by the handle, and put your hand on top of the serving plate; now flip. You can do it!!!
Step 13. Aaah, done! Now watch that sweet buttery caramel as it glazes the fruit and drips down the sides of the cake.
I consider this the ultimate apricot cake recipe. The caramelized fruit on top of the marvelous fluffy and tender yellow cake makes such a beautiful and delicious dessert.
- You can replace the apricots with peaches, nectarines, or plums.
- You can make this with just one fruit for a cherry upside-down cake, or an apricot upside-down cake.
- Replace the cherries with blackberries or raspberries.
- If you can't find fresh apricots or want this upside-down cake in the middle of winter when stone fruits are still on the tree, using frozen sliced apricots, or canned apricots is a great option.
- Frozen cherries are also an option; just let them thaw for about 20 minutes before using them.
More cakes to bake
- Another favorite upside-down cake recipe is for individual Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Cake that is perfect for making for campouts, bbq, or for any day you are grilling.
- If you like baking in your iron skillet, I think this is the Best Vanilla Cake Ever, and it's so easy to make. If you are a fan of vanilla beans, this cake is flavored with a fresh vanilla bean.
- If you have ripe bananas, use them to make this Banana Cake Roll. It's super impressive and also super easy to make.
It should take about 45 minutes to bake this cake, then insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to see if it comes out clean. If so, then it's baked.
Make sure the fruit you are using is fairly dry and not soaked in liquid when placing it on top of the glaze.
More favorite cakes
Apricot Cherry Upside Down Cake
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Glaze and Fruit Ingredients
- Heat the oven to 350° F. You will need a 10-inch iron skillet or a 10-inch cake pan.
- Cut the apricots in half and remove the seed and slice, there is no need to peel the apricots. Pit the cherries and cut them in half.
Make the Glaze
- Melt the butter and sugars in the iron skillet over medium heat until melted and bubbly. Remove from the heat. If using a cake pan, melt the butter and sugars in a skillet or saucepan then pour into the cake pan. Careful, this will be hot.
- Top the glaze with the fruit in a circular pattern any way you like. I prefer starting with the apricots slices in the center of the pan and then adding the cherries around the apricots. I used 16 apricot slices.
Making the Cake
- In a large mixing bowl add the softened butter and the sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Measure the flour, salt, and baking powder together, then stir to combine. Mix the vanilla and milk together in a measuring cup.
- Beat in the half the flour then all the milk on medium speed, then the rest of the flour. Mix just until the flour is mixed in.
- Pour the batter over the fruit and smooth with a spatula.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.
- Remove cake from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
- With oven mitts, place a serving plate over the skillet and gently flip the cake upside down onto the plate. The cake will still be hot so be careful. Leave the skillet or pan upside down on the plate for a minute until the cake and topping have been released.
- Serve this cake warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for three days.
- For this recipe, it used two apricots.
- A pint of cherries is about 12 ounces and two cups of whole cherries.
First published: May 5, 2022; last updated: April 30, 2023 for better readability.
Thank you for stopping by the One Hot Oven blog. Please leave a comment to say Hello, or just let me know what you are baking these days; I always love hearing from fellow bakers. Have any questions or want to chat about the recipe? My contact information is on my About page, and I’ll be happy to help.
From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.