Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake

Large Cakes, Pudding | 4th November 2009 | By

A super easy to make chocolate cake featuring physalis. This chocolate ground cherry upside down cake is delicious. Serve it warm as a pudding with cream, custard or ice-cream. Or enjoy a slice for afternoon tea when it’s cooled down.

Finally, after weeks of waiting, we had enough ripe ground cherries (a type of physalis) to cook up a bit of a storm. Hum, what to make? Ground cherry crumble was all I’d ever had before and I fancied something a bit different – something with chocolate! And so it was that I came up with this chocolate ground cherry upside down cake.

What on Earth are Ground Cherries?

Ground cherries are absolutely fabulous little golden balls of deliciousness. They’re a type of physalis, of which there are many species. A little like small sweet tomatillos, they are surrounded b a papery husk.

The one we grow is Physalis pruinosa. But don’t confuse them with cape gooseberries, Physalis pervuiana. They are smaller, sweeter and not as bright in appearance. But they make absolutely fabulous puddings. Take a look at my Eve’s pudding if you don’t believe me. They’re also great in a crumble.

One of their most fabulous features is that once picked, they last for quite some time. You can see that the ground cherries in most of the photos in this post look a bit wrinkled. Well that’s because they’re five months old. They’re still sweet and perfectly fine to use, they’re just not quite as beautiful.

Old ground cherries about to be cooked up.

I’ve never seen the fruit for sale here in the UK. But if you have a garden or allotment, they’re incredibly easy to grow.

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake

The cake is a super easy one to make. A bit like a brownie, I make it all in one pan. First off melt the butter and pour into the baking tin. Sprinkle with sugar then add the ground cherries. You can then use the same pan to melt the butter, sugar and chocolate together. Then beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour and finally stir in the yoghurt. Spoon it out to cover the ground cherries then bake.

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake

The photos, taken with a flash, have really not done this cake justice. It was really pretty with the golden ground cherries making a great contrast to the lusciously dark cake. We had this warm, fresh from the oven and served with cream for dinner. In fact, now I’ve made it a few times, we always have the first slice warm as a pudding for dinner.

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake

It’s completely delicious and equally delicious the next day cold. My chief taster and ground cherry fan was particularly impressed. The cake vanished with remarkable rapidity. I’ve discovered that ground cherries go particularly well with chocolate and I have made this ground cherry upside down cake again and again. Why don’t more people grow ground cherries I wonder?

Other Upside Down Cakes You Might Like

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this chocolate ground cherry upside-down cake, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake. PIN IT.

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake – The Recipe

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Ground Cherry Upside Down Cake

A super easy to make chocolate cake featuring ground cherries, Physalis pruinosa. Serve it warm as a pudding with cream, custard or ice-cream. Or enjoy a slice for afternoon tea when it's cooled down.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cake, chocolate, chocolate cake, ground cherries, physalis, pudding
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 439kcal


  • 200 g ground cherries
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g demerara sugar
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 100 g dark chocolate (I use Green & Black's 85%)
  • 2 large eggs (I use duck eggs when I can get them)
  • 150 g wholemeal flour (I use wholemeal spelt flour)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea or rock salt
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt


  • Dehusk the ground cherries.
  • Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat.
  • Pour into a 22cm round silicone cake mould or lined tin.
  • Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top, then add the ground cherries, ensuring they're in a single layer.
  • Use the same pan and melt the butter, chocolate and sugar over a low heat. Remove from the heat, stir and allow to cool slightly.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the pan and stir until just incorporated.
  • Stir in the yoghurt.
  • Scrape or spoon the cake batter over the ground cherries and level the top.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4).
  • When the cake is well risen and firm to the touch, removed from oven and leave to cool for ten minutes. Turn out onto a plate.
  • Serve warm as a pudding with cream, custard or ice-cream. Or leave to cool completely and slice up for afternoon tea.


Prep time doesn't include dehusking the ground cherries.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 300mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 793IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3mg


  1. Chele

    5th November 2009 at 7:37 am

    Love the colours. Going to have to keep my eye out for this kind of cherry at the markets me thinks!

  2. The Caked Crusader

    5th November 2009 at 8:29 am

    Yum, what a striking colour combination!
    Never seen ground cherries….I’m feeling deprived!

  3. The Cottage Garden Farmer

    5th November 2009 at 8:42 pm

    This looks delicious, and reading your blog, I can’t believe I missed National Chocolate Week!! i will have to have my own one!

  4. Karine

    6th November 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Your cake sounds delicious! I also love the colors of your cake. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Choclette

    6th November 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Thank you all – compliments always welcome. Haven’t done much cooking with ground cherries before as usually just eat them raw. But will have to try growing a bigger crop next year because I there are loads of things I’d like to try them with now. I expect they would make a good jam too.

    Chele, let me know if you ever do find them in a farmer’s market?

  6. mangocheeks

    6th November 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Wow – I had never heard of or even seen a ground cherry. Thank you so much for introducing me to this golden sweet looking nugget. Is the taste very different from the red variety?

    The cake looks gorgeous too. I am drooling over it, would really love a chocolate kick right now!

  7. Choclette

    7th November 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Mangocheeks – it’s like a smaller version of the cape gooseberry only not quite as sharp – I really like them. If you’d like me to send you one in the post, you can extract the seed and have a go at growing some next year.

  8. mangocheeks

    8th November 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you so much Choclette.
    I want to say yes, but I have to be realistic about the climate in Scotland. You live in Cornwall, much warmer than where I am. So I don’t know if my attempt of growing ground cherries from seed would thrive here. I have never heard of anyone growing them, or seen them at farmers shops or markets here, so will decline for now. Thank you again for the kind offer.

  9. Leslie

    1st April 2020 at 4:50 pm

    I cannot believe those ground cherries were 5 months old! That part of your blog blew my mind! haha. Your recipe looks delicious. I would definitely have your cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

    • Choclette

      1st April 2020 at 5:40 pm

      Yes, five months is quite astonishing. I don’t think they’d have lasted much longer though. And ice cream is a good call.

  10. Candice

    1st April 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Baking with ground cherries is new for me and WOW. Such an incredible and unique recipe. Shucking the ground cherries does take some time, but well worth it for this one!

    • Choclette

      1st April 2020 at 5:39 pm

      You’re right, they do take a bit of time to shuck, but other than that the preparation is pretty simple. Would love to know what you use them for?

  11. Molly Kumar

    2nd April 2020 at 3:01 pm

    What a delicious cake and a great way to use ground cherries. I do have some right now at home and would be perfect recipe to use them 🙂

    • Choclette

      2nd April 2020 at 4:06 pm

      That’s fabulous Molly. It’s good to hear someone else has them too.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *