If there’s one cake you absolutely need in your summer repertoire, it’s this upside-down cake. Glistening cherries suspended in a layer of caramelized brown sugar sit atop a lush vanilla cake; a hint of woodsy thyme imparts a floral essence that pairs beautifully with the fruit.

Cherry Thyme Upside-Down Cake | Tutti Dolci The unfussy skillet cake comes together quickly, no mixer required. I’m utterly smitten with the cherry thyme pairing, but plums or peaches would be delightful too. Serve with vanilla ice cream for an effortless dessert!

Cherry Thyme Upside-Down Cake | Tutti Dolci


Cherry Thyme Upside-Down Cake

  • Yield: 10 servings



  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups Bing cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 tsp finely minced thyme


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°F and grease a seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet (or cake pan). Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter has melted and mixture is smooth. Pour glaze into prepared skillet, tilting to coat skillet evenly. Top with cherries and sprinkle with thyme.
  2. For the cake, whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Whisk together egg, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  3. Dollop batter evenly over cherry layer and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven and let the cake settle for one minute in skillet, until any juices have stopped bubbling. Use a thin spatula to loosen cake from skillet and carefully invert onto a cake stand or serving plate. Let cool to slightly warm before serving.


  • Calories: 250
  • Carbohydrates: 40



  1. I love upside down cakes. They were a specialty of my mom’s, and so I have a soft spot in my heart for them. Your combination of cherry and thyme sounds most intriguing. I will have to try it. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. The Cherry Thyme Upside Down cake is a compelling reason to grab more sweet cherries before they vanish for the season. A voluptuous slice of early summer!

  3. I made this delightful cake this past weekend. My mother-in-law had requested a cake with cherries for her birthday, and this was absolutely perfect. Got cherries from the farmer’s market, and also tossed in some tayberries for good measure. The cake was dense and vanilla-y and delicious paired with the brown sugar and sweet cherries. We topped it with fresh whipped cream. Amazing!

    1. Hi Betsy, thanks so much for letting me know! Glad you liked the cake, what a great birthday choice and the whipped cream topping sounds perfect :).

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