Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Peach Upside Down Cake

I promised to share this recipe yesterday.  Let me warn you it's not my most successful recipe, but it is a very good one and of course i learned some things. i have some tips on how to make a peach cake and how not to make a peach cake. You wont see this on any Pinterest Fail posts but if you've never been to that site definitely check it out, it makes my attempt a total win in my book! Don't be discouraged, it isn't a 100% fail and in my experience not many blog posts share where their recipes went wrong or how many times they made said recipe until they perfected it.  However you will save some time and effort when you execute this at home. It's also the best excuse to use those fresh peaches before they go out of season. 
The original recipe i followed used 4 fresh peaches, i only needed 3 to fill my pan. 
Start your caramel sauce on the stove for this you need 3 tablespoons of butter & 3/4 c brown sugar to the pan and let melt. Let the brown sugar to get all bubbly caramel goodness in a 9 inch cast iron pan. 
DO NOT STIR the goodness!
meanwhile you can peel the peaches with a vegetable peeler.
  Remember when I told you not to stir the caramel? ... yeah no matter how many time I've seen this mistake on my favorite show Chopped i absentmindedly stirred it! i cannot tell you how many chefs I've seen go home for this mistake alone a ten thousand dollar mistake! .. back to reality. Ok calm down self this is just a hobby but i seriously felt the pressure to deliver a beautiful cake!  this is what happens ... crystallized mess ... please don't stir it.

more after the jump.
If you made that fatal mistake, it's ok. Cast iron is pretty forgiving, just let it cool and scrape it out. start over again, this time don't turn your back, don't put it on high like the recipes says just leave it on medium and be patient however if your just dump the sugar right in the middle of the pan you can swirl the pan to distribute the brown sugar i risked swirling it and it didn't seize up it should get gooey and shiny like this.   remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
 once cool enough to not cause 3rd degree burns arrange peaches nicely.
i did my best. 
Mix wet ingredients in one bowl: butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs. (reserve the milk for later)
Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl: flour, salt, baking powder.
Whip the room temperature butter and sugar until fluffy, add the vanilla and incorporate 1 egg at a time. Combine the dry ingredients into the bowl in 2 portions alternating with the milk that we set aside earlier (not pictured). This is easily mixed with a wire wisk, no need to lug out any fancy machines. Just be sure not to over mix, you'll end up with a tough cake, we're looking for buttery fluffy cake!
Pour that smooth buttery batter onto the prepared pan all over them peaches. be sure to get your kids to work together to get an awesome photobomb. 
      Bake at 350 for 40-45 min.                            ^^^ if your nose tells you it's done it probably is.

Instead of trusting my instincts i waited ... and waited for the timer to go off. 
Turns out i set the timer for 45 hours NOT 45 minutes! Luckily for you this is a first hand on what not to do, trust me this is one of those lessons you just need to heed from experience, no sense on wasting dessert your entire family has been drooling over. When this happens it's like being on the Chopped chopping block, everyone becomes a food critic. Even your 9 year old niece.  But let me tell you the only burnt part of attempt # 1 (above) was the sugar glaze caramel, they ate the whole darn thing! So critics ... don't talk with your mouth full! 

Day 2: 

i tried it again. This time with much better results! 
No burning of the caramel, No messed up timer just full redemption! 

The original recipe recommended to serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream ... so you can't not follow that genius advice.  If you try this i'd love to see the end result, it's an easy fresh fruit recipe for peaches and variety of fresh or canned fruits plums, figs, apples and of course the classic pineapple option.  So have at it i know it will stay on my top request for easy summer dessert with the family.

Peach Upside Down Cake
[print recipe]
from the great David Lebovitz
3 tbsps unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3-4 large peaches, peeled and sliced thick (like 3/4-inch thick)


8 tbsps unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder, aluminum-free
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk, room temperature

Notes: You can use a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 9-inch cake pan for this recipe, although David does not recommend using a spring form pan (because you’re caramelizing butter and sugar which will likely leak and make a huge mess – like everywhere).

Place 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and the light brown sugar in your skillet or cake pan over medium heat until the sugar has melted. It should begin to bubble, at which point you should remove it from the heat and let it cool. Place the peach slices down in the pan in a radial pattern (just make it look nice). Preheat the oven to 350°F while you make the cake batter. Beat the 8 tablespoons (or full stick) of butter and sugar together until they are fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then beat an egg in until smooth and repeat for the last egg.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the batter. Stir in the milk. Then stir in the rest of the dry ingredients until just mixed (don’t over mix the batter). Pour the batter over the peaches in the pan, spreading it around to nooks and crannies in the fruit. Bake 45-60 minutes or until the edges of the cake pull from the sides and the center is not gooey. Take the pan out of the oven and let cool 20 minutes. Flip the cake onto a plate. It’s best to do this by setting the plate on the pan and, while wearing oven mitts, inverting the pan onto the plate. The cake should release, but beware of caramelized sugar that could both burn you and make a mess. Serve warm. Serves 8-10.


  1. I made this delicious cake for my husband for our 37th wedding anniversary. Since peach is his all time favorite, I figured I can't go wrong, right? It was absolutely wonderful. Light, fluffy & buttery! Definitely making this again! Thanks for sharing! Jo

  2. What a joyous occasion! I'm so glad you enjoyed, it's my new fav summer recipe.


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