Cherry-Whiskey Upside Down Cake

I’m going through such a maniac state right now. I think my overloaded schedule has me in some sort of fit of always doing. Not that “doing” is actually resulting into anything productive. For instance if you follow me on Pinterest or Instagram, you see quite a bit of time has been sucked away admiring and trying to acheive some level of aestheticness that I’ve yet to figure out. What I have figured out is how to make a killer whiskey-loaded cake to impress the hell out of the dads in your life this Father’s Day.

Go ahead and show them that whiskey ain’t just for sipping or for licking. You truly can bite your whiskey with this cake. Here’s the quick rundown: the cake portion is tender and springy, not all all mushy as the bottoms of upside cakes can be. The whiskey gives the ensemble an extra subtle dimension that quiets the caramel topping and brings it in balance with the cake and fruity sweetness of the cherry.

If you like to bake, make this. If you don’t – well, there aren’t many times in your life where you can drink on the job, but in this case you totally can. Get in the kitchen and bake this for the dad(s) in your life, already.

Cherry  & Whiskey Upside Down Cake

Heavily adapted from Martha Stewart via Saveur

Makes one 10-in round cake | Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lighty butter pan (if using cake pan, cover bottom with parchment round).


Almond meal

  • 1.5 oz. salted almonds
  • 1/2 cup flour


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 9 1/2 oz. cherries, stemmed, pitted and halved (about 25 whole cherries)


  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, seperated
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup whiskey

*Optional: Whiskey whip cream

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon whiskey


To make almond meal

  1. Place salted almonds and flour in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles dry sand. Set aside.

To make topping

  1. Place sugar and water in a saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves. Once dissolved let mixture come to a boil and using the handle give the pan a swirl every now and again. Continue to boil until mixture becomes a medium amber. (For  a step-by-step picture tutorial to making caramel, click here. Keep in mind this version is slightly different and adapted for this recipe.) Remove pan from heat and add butter. Stir until combined. Pour caramel mixture into bottom of pan and place halved cherries cut-side down into caramel mixture.

To make cake

  1. Place almond meal, flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix to combine; set aside. Place butter in a stand mixer bowl and fit mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add in egg yolks one at a time and beat until combined. Add in vanilla extract and almond extract and beat until combined. Turn mixer to low.  Add the flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Gently and slowly beat after each addition until just combined.
  2. Place egg whites in a clean stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until foamy and soft peaks form, about 5 minutes, mixture will also triple in volume. Slowly sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until combined. With the mixer running pour in whiskey and beat until combined. Fold a third of egg-white mixture into batter with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula. Gently fold in remaining egg whites.
  3. Spread batter and smooth over fruit topping. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run knife along around edge to loosen, and invert cake onto serving plate to cool.

To make whiskey whip cream

  1. Place whipping cream in a cold bowl and beat until medium peaks form. Slowly sprinkle sugar onto whipping cream and beat to combine. Slowly pour whiskey onto side of bowl and beat to combine. Do not overbeat or you will break the cream.

A few notes:

  • This recipe is heavily adapted from Martha Stewart. The adaptations I made: (1) I changed out the topping for a more true carmelized topping. The recipe as is leaves a sweet topping without any caramel flavor depth (the original is still good, but different). (2) I didn’t have almond paste, so I made almond meal in place of it. (3) I skipped the cornmeal for an all flour and almond meal ratio. (4) I used buttemilk instead of milk, since some of the reviews said the cake recipe was on the dry side. (5) Since I used buttermilk, I swapped out the baking powder for baking soda.(6) I dropped the salt ratio since the the almond meal was made with salted almonds (7) Lastly,  I added the whiskey for another layer of flavor.
  • You can use a cake pan or cast iron skillet for this recipe. Whatever pan you use, start checking for doneness at 45 minutes.
  • Don’t forget to use a clean bowl when beating the egg whites or you may have problems acheiving foam and volume.
  • I added a whiskey whip cream to serve this with to lighten up the sweetness and add a light texture to each bite.
  • To make the almond meal I used Blue Diamonds Salted Roasted Almonds. This saved me from actually having to toast and cool the nuts and I’m also crazy for these nuts. There hasn’t been one thing I’ve used them in that they have ever failed me or made me regret using them. Do yourself a favor and use this for a flavor punch and to save yourself some time.

You may also like


  • unsightly June 12, 2012  

    I made two of these cakes, and both recipients were extremely happy. The flavors are absolutely perfect together. I will be making this again and again.

  • JoshZieWhisky August 30, 2013  

    I just made this and posted the results on my whisky blog (left a link to here).

    Really tasty recipe, thank you!


Leave a comment