Yield
Serves 6–8

Cherry recipes were a favorite in the Pollock family, and Stella had multiple ways to use the wonderful fruit, including two versions of cherry pie, maraschino cherries, and this deep red Upside Down Cherry Cake. Remarkably easy to prepare, but with a stunning final effect, this cake provides an impressive grand finale to any dinner party.

For the Cherries

  • 2 cups unsweetened pitted cherries in syrup (canned or jarred, or use homemade)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Batter

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325°F. To make the cherry syrup: In a saucepan, drain juice from cherries and add enough water to make 1 cup of liquid; add sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring, to thicken the cornstarch and cook out its flavor.

Butter a 9‑inch round cake pan and cover the bottom with a layer of cherries. Pour syrup over cherries.


(Photo: Robyn Lea)

To make the batter: In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar; add beaten egg and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour and baking powder into the creamed mixture, add milk and salt, and mix thoroughly. Pour batter over cherries and bake about 50 minutes.

Invert onto a platter and serve, either hot or cold, drizzled with cream.

From Dinner With Jackson Pollock by Robyn Lea, Assouline 2015.