Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake

Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2008

The recipe calls for fresh, pitted Bing or other dark, sweet cherry – but we have used a really good jam chock full of real cherries.


Heat oven to 350
12 tbsp (3/4 cup) unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (or see our recipe to make your own!)
2 tsps balsamic vinegar (we like Maine's own Fiore)
3 cups pitted cherries
1 1/4 cups Maine Grains Sifted Flour
1/4 cup Maine Grains Cornmeal (or try our Polenta or Corn Flour)
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar (3/4 cups works fine)
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk


  1. In an oven proof 10-11″ skillet (like cast iron) combine 1/4 cup of the butter with the brown sugar and vinegar. Stir over medium heat till butter melts and sugar dissolves – about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and add the cherries, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl to blend. 
  3. Using an electric mixer in a separate bowl, beat egg whites till foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat till stiff.
  4. Place egg yolks, 1/2 cup of remaining butter, sugar, and vanilla in another bowl until fluffy. 
  5. Add flour mixture alternately with milk until just blended. Using a rubber spatula fold in 1/4 of whites to batter. fold in remaining whites in 3 additions – batter will be thick.
  6. Spoon batter in dollops over the skillet mixture – spread evenly with spatula without mixing.
  7. Bake until top is golden brown and tester in center comes out clean – about 45 minutes. 
  8. Cool in skillet on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around the edges of cake to loosen. Place a large platter over the skillet and using pot holders flip the skillet and cake onto the platter. Leave the skillet on top of the cake for about 5 minutes then remove. 
  9. Let cool for at least 45 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve slightly warm or at room temps. 


Course: Dessert, Brunch, Side Dish, Snack