The last of the peaches. Parental scoffing notwithstanding, I found using up 25 pounds of peaches a formidable task. Despite making six quarts of canned peaches, four jars of peach jam, peach salsa, grilled peaches, and freezing a sack of peeled, sliced peaches for future use (a cop-out, I know), last week several bruised, wrinkly peaches, the remnants from my haul, still regarded me forlornly from the dry sink.
I had not yet baked with the peaches, so I decided to make an upside-down cake. I love upside-down cakes, and not just because they’ve got old-fashioned kitsch appeal. They are not fancy, but they are very pretty, they’re quick and easy to make, they’re great with tea or coffee, and they solve the problem of how to incorporate fresh fruits into baked goods without the cake becoming soggy.
This cake is so easy it is practically a one-bowl cake. It’s a buttermilk cake, as I love buttermilk cakes. Almond flour is incorporated into the flour mixture for flavour, moisture, and texture. It is not too sweet, as I am not a fan of overly-sweet cakes. Yes, it’s true – peach season is nearly done, save for a few outliers, but you can make this cake using fall fruits such as pears or late-season plums instead.
You will need:
A 9.5 inch cake pan (I prefer spring form, but it is not 100% necessary). If you use a differently-sized cake pan, adjust baking times accordingly
Parchment paper or silicone liners for the pan
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 and 1/3 cups (280 grams) cake flour
½ cup (35 grams) almond flour (you can also use slivered almonds, ground to a powder in a food processor)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of one small lemon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (210 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ cup (100 ml) buttermilk
1 stick (113 grams) butter, melted, plus additional butter for the pan
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). You may also want to put a pan or layer of foil below the rack to catch any drips.
Prepare your cake pan by lining the base with parchment paper or a silicone liner, and then butter the pan liberally. Sprinkle two tablespoons of brown sugar in the base of the pan.
Prep the peaches by blanching them for about 30 seconds in boiling water. Remove the skins and pits, and slice each peach into 8 slices. Arrange the peaches in a single layer in the base of your cake pan, over the brown sugar.
Combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest in one bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and butter for about five minutes, or until creamy. Whisk in the buttermilk, then gradually sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, whisking, until thoroughly combined. Pour this batter into your prepared cake pan, and bake for 50-55 minutes, until the center of the cake is firm, or a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
If using a spring form pan, run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, if necessary, then loosen the sides. Invert the cake and turn out immediately onto a rack to cool. You should be able to peel away the parchment or silicone and have a lovely intact cake.
Allow cake to cool completely before serving, or serve the day after baking.
Great upside down cake. You’re right it is kitsch, but very delicious looking. GG
I am a sucker for kitsch in food. The salmon mousse that looks like a fish? All over it. 🙂
I always enjoy your writing, and now you’ve reminded me of the joys of upside down cake I must give this a go. I have some plums to use up.
What a nice comment, thank you! Let me know if you do try this, I love getting feedback.
How wonderful. I’ve made peach pies but they’re usually of the fussy variety and therefore, I don’t make them often. I don’t know why I never thought to do an upside down cake with them. Your cake looks beautiful, by the way.
Thank you so much! I love peach pie — it may be my favorite pie — but since I tend to bring most of what I bake into work, lately I’ve veered more towards cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. What makes your pie fussy?
Well, not truly fussy. Just that it is more fussy than an upside down cake. I usually don’t use pre-made pie crusts, so those extra steps of making it and then chilling it, rolling it out, and then pre-baking it… Well, lets just say it only happens on weekends and rather infrequently.
This is why I don’t often make pie. Definitely a weekend project. 🙂
Spectacular looking cake, Susan!
that’s a really pretty cake, Susan! I’ve never made an upside down cake, I should learn more about cake baking, is one of those areas that remain a bit of a mystery. I’m impressed by your canning and jamming disposition! I canned something for the first time a few days ago, apple sauce made from leftover apples from a tart tatin that ended up a total disaster 🙂 But the apple sauce turned out pretty awesome.
I’m sure you’d excel at baking. Lots of food science and precision. Tarte tatin apple sauce sounds great! 🙂
thanks Susan, I like to bake, I’m actually about to post on brioche and I have posted a few times on other breads and pastries, but cakes very little experience making cakes, haven’t wrapped my head around baking powder and baking soda hahahha 🙂
tried an upside down apple cake…. not a complete disaster, lets say it tasted better than it looked. I used my cast iron skillet and tried caramelizing the apples on the stove, but I got some areas of the skillets to burn the apples… i threw it in the oven and it came out ok. I’ll keep practicing until I get one to look like yours 🙂
Because of the caramel and fruit juices, I find that my upside-down cakes stick horribly unless I use a parchment or silpat (my preference) liner on the base of the pan. But with the liner, they come out of the pan immaculately.
yeah, but I used fresh apples, and those are so tough to cook down and caramelize, so I tried making it the way i would make an inverted apple pie, like tart tatin, and I ended up with a mess 🙂 It didn’t stick though, which surprised me hahah
looks like the bruised and wrinkly peaches were put to good use. lovely.
Thank you! 😀
Looks absolutely delicious !!!
Thank you! 🙂
YES PLEASE. canned peaches i can’t do, but peach cake I can, hurrah!
It’s hard to let go of that last little bit of summer, isn’t it? Lovely cake. Glad to see you put all those peaches to good use.
*whispers* A couple of them wound up in the compost bin.
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Not only does this look delicious, I think that you deserve both a round of applause and a hearty pat on the back for using all 25lbs of your peaches. Well done!
Thank you Georgina. I have to confess a couple of them (no more than two or three) rotted before I could get to them. But it was a good effort, as they say in your part of the world. 🙂
Just tried making this with Italian plums. The recipe directions were spot on, however I had to leave the cake in for a bit longer. Not sure if it was because the plums were particularly juicy and I used a lot of them (I fit them together in a tight spiral formation), or if my oven is slightly off. I will keep you posted, however, on the oven once I purchase a thermometer. In any case, the cake was devoured by my family (husband said it was “phenomenal”).
Great report, thanks Snart. Not sure why your cake took a little longer than mine; your guesses are both plausible. I await the oven report. 😉