Peaches are a great fruit to bake upside down cakes with. In fact, most stone fruits are. The fruits are tender to begin with, so there is no need to precook the fruit or worry that it will be too firm after the cake is done baking. Peaches also have a beautiful golden color that they add to a cake, making the dessert look very summery and warm.
This is a simple upside down cake with a plain, vanilla cake base. It’s moist, tender and does a great job of soaking up excess juice from the peaches on the top of the cake. To make the cake, start out with some whole, fresh peaches. Cut the peaches into thin slices and arrange in a spiraling pattern on the bottom of a cake pan that is coated with butter and sugar. Make sure that the peaches are in a single layer so that the cake batter can effectively hold them in place. The batter-topped cake is baked like any other cake would be, then turned out to reveal the fruit when it comes out of the oven. The cake goes very well with whipped cream, as well as with vanilla and peach ice cream, both of which will bring out the vanilla and peach flavors of the cake.
The one final note I have about this cake is that it looks its best on the day that it is made. The peaches look their plumpest and their color is the most vibrant. After being stored overnight, the cake will looks a bit of its color and, while it will still look good, it just won’t look quite as good. If possible, make it the same day you intend to serve it, then enjoy the leftovers yourself the next day.
Peach Upside Down Cake
1/4 cup sugar (for topping)
2 medium-large peaches
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter, add 1/4 cup sugar to the bottom of the pan and tilt pan to coat base (not sides) with an even layer.
Slice peaches in quarters, then slice each quarter into thirds. There is no need to peel the peaches. Arrange peaches in a spiral pattern on the bottom of the cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Mix in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour mixture, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain.
Pour into pan and spread into an even layer on top of peaches.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool for 2 minutes, then run a knife along the outside edge of the cake and invert pan onto a wire cooling rack.
Allow cake to cool before slicing.