Peach Upside Down Cake

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Tim and I hosted a brunch on Saturday to celebrate his parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. It was a great time with family to celebrate – and eat! In their honor, I made a great roasted tomato and corn quiche, which was gobbled up before I could take any pictures, and this cake. 

I’m not sure about you, but I have a number of recipes bookmarked (on-line and in actual cookbooks) that I plan to tackle someday, but put off because I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull them off. Until this weekend, this cake on was that list. I was sure that this cake would stick to the pan, at least on one side. In  fact, I planned to serve it right side up in the pan because I was so sure. But it worked! It slid right out and looked so very pretty. Now I am thinking I should finally tackle some of those other cooking challenges,  like homeade cheese and yeasted cinnamon rolls. If I do, I promise you’ll see them here. 

Like the apricot jam, this recipe was inspired by the great David Lebovitz. I have his book, A Sweet Life in Paris, and it always makes me want to hop on a plane immediately and go explore the list of bakeries and chocolate shops in the back.

You can bake this in a cast iron skillet, but I had just used mine to cook quiche fillings, so I opted for a 9 inch cake pan. If I had to do it again, I’d go for a 10 inch skillet so that there was a better caramely fruit to cake ratio. As you can see below, I had a lot of cake. It was good, but I’d like a better balance.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Fruit Layer

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 ripe peaches (I peeled them, but this may not be necessary)

Cake Layer

  •  8 tablespoons butter, softened (or grated – A new trick that works well!)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, I used almond milk, but any kind will do. 

1. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in cast iron skillet or cake pan. Add the brown sugar and cook while stirring, until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble. It will burn fast so keep your eye on it. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.

2. Once cool, arrange the fruit on top of the buttery goodness. I tried for a pinwheel, but had extra space in the middle. Set aside.

3. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350F.  

4. Beat the 8 tablespoons of butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth.

5. In a separate container, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

6. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix. 

7. Spread the batter over the fruit, being sure to get into all the nooks and crannies around the fruit.

8. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour. You may also want to put a cookie sheet or some foil under the pan in case it leaks caramelized sugar, like mine did.

8. Remove from oven, let cool about 20-30 minutes. Then the magic happens! Place a plate on top of the cake and, using oven mitts, flip the whole thing over. The cake may slide right out or it may take a bit of gentle wiggling. Beware of hot sugar. Don’t let it sit in the pan for too much longer than 30 minutes or it may stick.