What do you do when skies are gray and the days aren’t yet long enough?

You open the freezer to find the sour cherries you picked and put away last summer! And then you make a cake.

I made this last February, when a bunch of other volunteers crammed into my little apartment for a weekend of winter food lovin’. Then we rolled back the Turkish rug and initiated a hoe-down. Bonus: it’s vegan. But don’t say that too loudly.

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Chocolate Cherry Upside Down Cake
adapted from a recipe from allrecipes.com

2 cups frozen pitted sour cherries, thawed and drained
3 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance
3 tablespoons sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. In an 8″ metal cake pan, combine cherries, butter, and sugar and put over medium-high heat, stirring until butter and sugar have melted. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl combine water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour wet into dry and mix until just barely combined. Pour over cherry mixture in cake pan. Bake 30-35 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes in pan before turning out.

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