This easy to prepare vegan upside down cherry almond cake is the perfect last minute treat to end any meal and fully takes advantage of the summer cherry bounty. The almond cake is baked on top of a layer of cherries and a quick no-fuss caramel so when flipped over, the cake is left with a crown of cherries in a gorgeous light sauce, staining the top and sides of the cake. This cake is best served warm with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream, coconut whipped topping or yogurt.
Upside down cakes are one of my favorite kinds of cakes to make – they always make such a statement with minimal effort. No layering or trimming, no frosting, and no waiting around for them to fully cool. In fact this cake is even better a bit warm. If you place it in the fridge and the coconut oil in the cherry layer solidifies, leave at room temperature if your kitchen is warm, or place the slices you need in the oven set to 350°F covered in foil for a few minutes or until warm.
I’m not sure I can think of a fruit and a nut that goes together as well as cherry and almond, can you? For the almond flavor in the cake, I used a combination of almond flour and almond extract. Adding almond flour also makes for a slightly more dense yet delicate cake crumb, which is perfect for holding the cherries on top and for handling the bit of sauce which is created from the juices the cherries release during baking mixed with the brown sugar caramel. My mouth is watering just typing this! Our last cake didn’t last long, and we even had some for breakfast. I know it may seem indulgent eating cake for breakfast but pancakes with syrup are acceptable at breakfast, so a slice of cake with baked fruit isn’t all that different in my books. Plus it FEELS more indulgent which is fun and an occasional simple life pleasure, right?
The other thing I really enjoy about upside down cakes, especially an upside down cherry cake, is the deep color that develops as the fruit cooks and caramelizes a bit. The cherries become such a gorgeous reddish-purple jewel tone creating some drama leaving you more time to do something else rather than decorate a dessert. The cherries do the work for you!
I hope you enjoy this easy cake recipe as much as we do! If you make it, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or tag me, @crumbs.and.caramel, on Instagram. I love seeing my recipes coming to life in your kitchen! Thanks for reading!
Vegan Upside Down Cherry Almond Cake
- 2 cups fresh red cherries, sliced in half and pitted
- 3 tbsp coconut oil (refined if you want to avoid coconut flavor but I found it to be undetectable)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp plant-based milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (e.g. avocado, canola, etc)
- 2 tbsp white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9" round cake pan. Lightly grease the sides of the cake pan and place the round piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.
- In a small pot over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add in the brown sugar and plant-based milk. Whisk until well blended and smooth. Remove from heat and pour over the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Place the cherries cut side down over the sauce, fitting the cherries as close together as possible as they will shrink a bit during baking.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the plant-based milk, oil, vinegar, and extracts. In a medium sized bowl, sift the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt together. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Do not to over-mix. Pour the batter over the cherry layer. Gently level out the batter with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean or with just a few cooked cake crumbs. Let sit for about 15 minutes to cool a bit. Once cool enough to handle, take the bottom of the cake in one hand and the other hand over a serving plate that has been placed upside down over the cake, and flip the cake over quickly. Set on the counter, and gently lift the cake pan off the cake. Remove the parchment paper gently, moving any cherries that shifted back into place. Serve warm with vegan ice cream or coconut whipped topping.