The Artful Baker by Cenk Sonmezsoy

Cenk Sönmezsoy is the creative voice behind the award-winning blog, Cafe Fernando, named after Rose’s teddy bear on the Golden Girls. “Bake and watch the Girls with Cenk” was just added to my bucket list. 

The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Baker is the talented blogger’s debut cookbook. Trust me when I state that he came out of the gate running with this gorgeous title. Page after stunning page, photo after stunning photo, decadent recipe after decadent recipe all make for one of the most beautiful baking books ever. 

Brownie wears lace (the brownies he created for Dolce & Gabbana); Fig, thyme and blue cheese galette; step-by-step instructions (with photos) for Croissants and Pain au chocolat;, and Blanche, a timeless tart named after Blanche Devereaux (another Golden Girl), are just a small sampling of the greatness in The Artful Baker.  Weights are provided in weights and volume and incredibly thoughtful details are provided for each recipe.

This book will make my list of best books of 2017. It is stunning, inspirational, and a must-have title in a sea of must have books released this year. The Artful Baker rises to the top, breaks the water and politely screams, take me home!   (much like Blanche).

Special thanks to Abrams for sharing Cenk’s favorite cake with our members today. The publisher is also providing three copies of this book in our contest below open to the US. Eat Your Books is providing one copy worldwide (so a total of four books!). Be sure to scroll down and enter.  


Sour cherry & almond upside-down cake 

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I’ll say without hesitation that this cake is my favorite recipe in the book. Considering that there is a chocolate cake using more than a pound of chocolate, passion fruit caramels that make me weak in the knees, and several ice creams that I can’t live without, this is a big statement. I’m not sure whether it’s the sticky-sweet sour cherries against that buttery, almond-y crumb, or the fact that the fruit layer gets sweeter and stickier each time I apply the sour cherry glaze to refresh it, but this cake is what I crave most.

It is also one of the easiest recipes in the book. For the cake, you put the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor one after another and press a button. For the fruit layer, you’ll cook the cherries before arranging them on the bottom, enabling you to fit in more and preventing the bubbling juices from leeching into the cake. Since the fruit won’t shrink further in the oven, there will be no gaps between cherries when you invert the cake onto a serving plate.

The cake is so flavorful it doesn’t really need the fruit layer, but if sour cherries aren’t in season or are hard to find where you live and you still want that sticky-sweet layer, try using another tart fruit with a low moisture content-one that will retain its shape after an hour in the oven.  Without a doubt, Raspberry Jewel pluots would be my second choice. Not that you need yet another reason to run immediately into the kitchen, but the cake gets better with time, too.

Serves 8

Fruit & glaze layer

5 ¼ cups (1.62 pounds; 735 grams) pitted fresh sour cherries (from about 1.9 pounds; 860 grams sour cherries with pits and stems)
⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar 


10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (5.3 ounces; 150 grams) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces and softened, plus more for pan
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5 grams) pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (150 grams) blanched almond flour
¾ cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt

To make the fruit layer and glaze, in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat, cook the cherries and sugar until the juices released from the cherries begin to simmer and the sugar dissolves, about 10 minutes, stirring gently so as not to break up the cherries. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the juices thicken but are still fluid, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scrape the cherries with their juices into a mesh strainer set over a medium heatproof bowl and let drain completely, shaking the strainer gently to help drain the juices. Reserve the juices for glazing the cake.

To make the cake, set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). 

Butter the bottom of an 8-inch (20.5-cm) round cake pan, line the bottom with a parchment round, and wrap a dampened cake strip around the pan. (I highly recommend using a cake strip to prevent a domed top, which can cause the fruit layer to crack after the cake is inverted onto the serving plate.)

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla with a fork until blended.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the almond flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough gathers around the blade, about 1 minute. Add the egg mixture and process until blended, about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter will be very thick.

Arrange the drained sour cherries in a tightly packed single layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Scrape the batter over the cherries and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula.

Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Pressing firmly against the pan, run a small knife around the edge to loosen the cake, invert onto a serving plate, and remove the parchment round.

Skim off the foamy layer on the sour cherry glaze with a spoon and discard. Use a pastry brush to apply a generous amount of glaze to the cherries, and serve.

Transfer the remaining glaze to a small bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator.

Storage: The cake will keep, wrapped airtight, at room temperature for up to 4 days. Before serving, refresh the fruit layer with leftover glaze warmed in a small saucepan over low heat. You can substitute leftover glaze for the raspberry syrup in Raspberry Lemonade (page 292) to make sour cherry lemonade.

From The Artful Baker by Cenk Sönmezsoy, published by ABRAMS c 2017. 


The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Eat Your Books is supplying one copy worldwide.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on November 26th, 2017.


Post a comment


  • kmn4  on  October 25, 2017

    Sakura madeleines

  • Kristjudy  on  October 25, 2017

    Crispy chewy walnut cookie

  • smartie101  on  October 25, 2017

    The sour cherry upside down cake

  • heyjude  on  October 25, 2017

    Deeply Appley Apple Cake

  • rchesser  on  October 25, 2017

    Raspberry & pistachio crumb cake!

  • juliebakesalot  on  October 25, 2017

    I'd make the sour cherry brownies first. They sound delicious!

  • StaceyR  on  October 25, 2017

    There were a lot of recipes in the index that interested me, but since the holidays are approaching, I would most likely want to practice my pies. The apple pie recipe sounded intriguing.

  • CC.cooks  on  October 25, 2017

    I would make the lime and ginger cookies

  • Zosia  on  October 25, 2017

    Raspberry, white chocolate and yogurt tart

  • Julia  on  October 25, 2017

    Hazelnut macaron shells.

  • Scotsman61  on  October 25, 2017

    How to temper chocolate: Crazy as it sounds I've always wanted to know how to do this properly

  • LaurenE  on  October 25, 2017

    Sour cherry & almond upside-down cake

  • Amdona  on  October 25, 2017

    Walnut praline biscotti.

  • ncollyer  on  October 25, 2017

    Brownie Wears Lace- too interesting a name not to try.

  • Dmartin997  on  October 25, 2017

    Sour cherry and white chocolate macarons

  • HelenB  on  October 25, 2017

    I’d start with the lime ginger cookies.

  • t.t  on  October 25, 2017

    Tahini & leblebi swirl brownies

  • jaburg  on  October 25, 2017

    Walnut Praline Biscoti

  • readingtragic  on  October 26, 2017

    Cheese and sesame straws all the way – I love savoury biscuits…

  • qjamanka  on  October 26, 2017

    Pistachio, quince & kaymak macarons

  • permie_girl  on  October 26, 2017

    Lemon verbena madeleines

  • oztanf  on  October 26, 2017

    Sour cherry & almond upside-down cake

  • bakeswithlove2369  on  October 26, 2017

    Double chocolate bundt cake ..reminds me of a cake my mom used to make

  • zryan  on  October 26, 2017

    Pistachio and matcha sablés!

  • ravensfan  on  October 26, 2017

    Chocolate chip cookies

  • Boloren  on  October 26, 2017

    Orange & poppy seed olive oil cake

  • kimtrev  on  October 26, 2017

    Hazelnut & caramel cookies

  • lgroom  on  October 26, 2017

    Has to be that sour cherry almond cake.

  • annmartina  on  October 26, 2017

    You had me at sour cherry almond cake

  • lpatterson412  on  October 26, 2017

    Triple Raspberry and lemon birthday cake!!

  • Amandaspamanda  on  October 26, 2017

    so many yummy recipes! I would try the Hazelnut macaron shells recipe first, I've always wanted to try my hand at macarons 🙂

  • joyosity  on  October 26, 2017

    Whatever that picture is on the cover; it looks amazing!

  • dbielick  on  October 26, 2017

    Triple raspberry & lemon birthday cake

  • ebs  on  October 26, 2017

    Tomato confit and pesto quiche

  • contest718  on  October 27, 2017

    Pistachio & matcha sablés.

  • sgump  on  October 27, 2017

    The sour cherry brownies sound nice.

  • sarahawker  on  October 27, 2017

    Sour cherry brownies

  • dusksunset  on  October 27, 2017


  • NancyLynn  on  October 27, 2017

    carrot bundt cake

  • matag  on  October 27, 2017

    Salted butter caramels

  • elisabethferg9  on  October 27, 2017

    Three bean vanilla bundt cake

  • kitchenfrolic  on  October 27, 2017

    I'd like to try any of the macaron shell recipes as I'm trying to get those just right! I'd probably start with Cocoa macaron shells

  • jezpurr  on  October 27, 2017

    I may want to make this first:Matcha & pistachio no-bake cheesecake, but there are alot of recipes that sound really good!!!^_^

  • jyms  on  October 27, 2017

    Classic brownies

  • Livia  on  October 28, 2017

    It has got to be the Strawberry & raspberry crumble

  • Sherrianne  on  October 28, 2017

    Chocolate Chip cookies! Why you might ask? Chocolate chip cookies are an amazing comfort cookie 🍪 this recipe takes them to a whole new level of deliciousness!

  • rrwrites  on  October 28, 2017

    cocoa macaron shells

  • Leahspitzer  on  October 28, 2017

    Sour cherry brownies!

  • echilt5  on  October 28, 2017

    Vanilla Bean Meltaways

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  October 29, 2017

    This book looks beautiful. I would like to make the Hazelnut & caramel cookies.

  • cora429  on  October 29, 2017

    I would make the fig, thyme, & blue cheese galette

  • nadiam1000  on  October 29, 2017

    lavender madeleines

  • trudys_person  on  October 29, 2017

    Deeply Apply Apple Cake sounds lovely and seasonal …

  • annieski  on  October 30, 2017

    sour cherry brownies

  • Siegal  on  October 30, 2017

    I want to make cheese and sesame straws

  • sipa  on  October 30, 2017

    Pistachio frangipane & apricot tart

  • Suzw  on  October 30, 2017

    Fig, thyme & blue cheese galette

  • verorenee  on  October 30, 2017

    Sakura madeleines

  • Rooks  on  October 31, 2017

    Double chocolate bundt cake

  • iza27  on  November 1, 2017

    chocolate pastry cream

  • stitchan  on  November 1, 2017

    Pistachio frangipane & apricot tart

  • MelanieG  on  November 1, 2017

    Matcha and pistachio no bake cheesecake

  • notstarvingyet  on  November 1, 2017

    the sour cherry almond upside down cake would be the first thing I try because we have a sour cherry tree in our yard.

  • Mel184  on  November 2, 2017

    Crispy chewy oatmeal walnut cookies!

  • ninaarahgnis  on  November 2, 2017

    Raspberry & pistachio crumb cake!

  • Patoliv1312  on  November 2, 2017

    Walnut Praline Biscotti is something I would like to try.

  • ltsuk  on  November 2, 2017

    sour cherry brownies

  • jemans  on  November 3, 2017

    pistachio & matcha sables! ahhh incredible

  • bcarpenter  on  November 3, 2017

    The recipe in the post: sour cherry and almond upside down cake. I've got loads of frozen cherries from the summer.

  • CBLee  on  November 3, 2017

    The one I would like to try first is Crispy-chewy oatmeal walnut cookies.

  • Angryyew  on  November 3, 2017

    I'd make the sour cherry brownies.

  • katehenderson  on  November 3, 2017

    Passionfruit Carmels!

  • jfrmpls  on  November 3, 2017

    Sour cherry brownies.

  • ennsee  on  November 3, 2017

    I'd love to make the Dulce de leche brownies first.

  • Sfgordon  on  November 3, 2017

    tahini & leblebi brownies! I had to look up what leblebi is (it's roasted chickpeas) and it sounds intriguing. I would also like to try my hand at simit.

  • ksadowski64  on  November 3, 2017

    Any with rosewater and Pistachios. I have never tasted rosewater before.

  • Psipsi  on  November 3, 2017

    Hazelnut and caramel cookies

  • Joyceeong  on  November 3, 2017

    Pistachio and Matcha Sables

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  November 3, 2017

    pistachio-frangipane–apricot-tart sounds delicious…but would eagerly try any of Cenk’s recipes!

  • Julia  on  November 4, 2017

    Banana walnut muffins

  • Cathy55  on  November 4, 2017

    Roasted strawberry ice cream

  • MattFr  on  November 4, 2017

    Sour cherry and almond upside down cake sounds great

  • poneill  on  November 4, 2017

    orange and poppy seed olive oil cake

  • nicolthepickle  on  November 4, 2017

    The Double Chocolate Bundt cake sounds amazing.

  • JoanN  on  November 4, 2017

    I have sour cherries in the freezer, so the sour cherry and almond upside down cake it will be.

  • tararr  on  November 4, 2017

    Raspberry & pistachio crumb cake

  • chimpbob  on  November 4, 2017

    Sakura Madeleines

  • RickPearson54  on  November 4, 2017

    Banana walnut muffins

  • ipoddiva  on  November 4, 2017

    the sour cherry & almond looks amazing.

  • linmin  on  November 4, 2017

    Monte Bianco

  • br22  on  November 4, 2017

    Walnut praline biscotti

  • alisonp  on  November 4, 2017

    Classic Brownies

  • bevie19  on  November 5, 2017

    the pumpkiny pumpkin cheesecake!

  • kerrin1976  on  November 5, 2017

    Can't go past chocolate chip cookies to start with!

  • jd5761  on  November 5, 2017

    Hazelnut & caramel cookies

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  November 5, 2017

    The Raspberry & Pistachio Crumb Cake found on page 116 sounds like a great flavour pairing

  • sequoia55  on  November 5, 2017

    sour cherry brownies

  • Vspriestersbach  on  November 5, 2017

    Vanilla bean meltaways

  • FawcettSA  on  November 5, 2017

    Salted butter caramels yum

  • whteverkat  on  November 6, 2017

    Fig, thyme & blue cheese galette

  • skipeterson  on  November 6, 2017

    Three-bean vanilla bundt cake

  • motherofpearl81  on  November 6, 2017

    Sour cherry & white chocolate macarons

  • RSW  on  November 7, 2017

    Pistachio macaron shells

  • bibliophile02  on  November 7, 2017

    Lime and ginger cookies!

  • v.t  on  November 7, 2017

    Lime & ginger cookies

  • RoseMGenuine  on  November 7, 2017

    Rosemary and sea salt focaccia. I’m in a bread mood.

  • Seren_Ann  on  November 8, 2017

    Peel-to-stem apple pie. I'm curious as to how that would turn out.

  • obbigttam  on  November 10, 2017

    Whichever one the pages open at when I stand the book on it's spine and let the covers fall open – way too many yummy ones to choose any other way :).

  • path_a_choux  on  November 10, 2017

    Monte Bianco

  • curafresh  on  November 11, 2017

    pistachio and matcha sablés, and the lace brownies!

  • BMeyer  on  November 11, 2017

    raspberry and pistachio crumb cake

  • Karla123  on  November 12, 2017

    Rosemary and sea salt focaccia — one of my favorite Italian breads.

  • mfl  on  November 13, 2017

    the pumpkin cheesecake

  • JenJoLa  on  November 13, 2017

    Sour cherry brownies

  • VeryVigario  on  November 13, 2017

    Three-bean vanilla bundt cake – sounds delicious

  • madelainelc  on  November 13, 2017

    Salted butter caramels sound both delicious and dangerous.

  • sdg8trgrl  on  November 14, 2017

    Three-bean vanilla bundt cake

  • silversand  on  November 16, 2017

    Sour cherry brownies

  • mjkoepplin  on  November 16, 2017

    I would like to try Sour Cherry and white chocolate macarons, probably again and again.

  • ptkcollins  on  November 17, 2017

    Deeply Apple Apple Cake…

  • Katiefayhutson  on  November 17, 2017

    Raspberry, white chocolate, and yogurt tart

  • bstewart  on  November 18, 2017

    Classic brownies!

  • IngridO  on  November 18, 2017

    Sour cherry & almond upside-down cake

  • luccio  on  November 20, 2017

    Esin Giz's Elderflower Cordial – always looking for more elderflower recipes to try…

  • Arinelle  on  November 21, 2017

    Vanilla bean meltaways

  • kitchenclimbers  on  November 21, 2017

    sour cherry brownies

  • SLane  on  November 21, 2017

    Vanilla bean meltaways would be a great start !

  • AnnaZed  on  November 22, 2017

    Pistachio & matcha sablés

  • milgwimper  on  November 22, 2017

    The simit recipes,

  • klrclark  on  November 22, 2017

    sour cherry upside down cake because you said it was your favorite

  • lhudson  on  November 22, 2017

    Lime and ginger cookies

  • Sasvif  on  November 22, 2017

    Peach sour cherry cobbler sounds wonderful!

  • lhodder2016  on  November 24, 2017

    Hopefully I'll be adding Fig, thyme & blue cheese galette into my dinner routine very soon.

  • DesiKim  on  November 25, 2017

    Dulce de leche brownies

  • jmay42066  on  November 26, 2017

    Classic brownies, since I am always looking for a better brownie recipe.

  • rchesser  on  November 27, 2017

    Raspberry & pistachio cake here I come!

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