Peach Upside-Down Cake

by on August 7, 2007
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No long introduction to this recipe, folks. I could talk about how it’s peach season and the sweetest, juiciest, not-quite-local peaches come from Chilton County, Alabama. Or I could travel down memory lane and plague you with childhood stories of how I used to gorge on peaches in my family’s orchard until the fuzz burned off the skin under my nose. But no. Sometimes a few pictures and a recipe are all you need. Feel free to chat amongst yourselves.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Peach Upside-Down Cake

(printer-friendly version)

This is a lightly sweetened cake that allows the fresh flavor of the peaches to shine through. If you like your desserts sugary (like my daughter does), feel free to increase the amount of sugar that goes into the skillet by up to double. The same goes if your peaches are not quite sweet enough. But my husband and I like it just like this.

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup natural sugar (I used demerara for all the sugar in this recipe)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Liquid ingredients:
1 cup vanilla soy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest (or 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract)

4 cups peeled and sliced peaches
2 tablespoons natural, raw or brown sugar
1/4 cup natural, raw or brown sugar
2 tablespoons water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl. Set aside without mixing them together.

Combine the peaches with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Wipe or spray a 10-inch, well-seasoned cast iron skillet with oil. (This step is very important if you want to be able to get the cake out of the pan.) Begin heating it and add the 1/4 cup (or more) of sugar and the water. Heat and stir until the sugar is completely melted. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is bubbly and slightly reduced (but be careful not to burn it). Place the peaches on top of the sugar and remove from heat:

Peaches in Skillet

Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring briefly just to moisten. Pour and smooth the batter over the peaches, covering them entirely. Put the skillet into the oven (you may want to place a cookie sheet or foil on the shelf below it to catch drips) and bake until the sides of the cake pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean (about 30-40 minutes):

Peach Cake just out of Oven

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15-30 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Place a large plate or serving platter over the top and invert the skillet. Remove the skillet carefully from the cake:

Peach cake turned upside down

Be sure to scrape any caramelized juices from the pan and smooth them over the peaches. Voilà! Peach Upside-Down Cake:

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Serve warm or at room temperature, alone or with vanilla non-dairy ice cream. Makes about 8 servings.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Preparation time: 30 minute(s) | Cooking time: 50 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Here’s the amazing part. Each serving (based on 8 ) provides 148 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (2% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 166mg Sodium; 2g Fiber. With the sugar and white flour, it’s hardly health food, but it is loaded with fruit and is almost totally fat-free.

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

1 AB August 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Susan,
I know this is an "old" recipe, but I had to tell you how glad I am I stumbled across it! It's currently baking in my oven and my fresh, farmer's market peaches smell divine! I'm sure my great-grandmother would have a coronary if she saw me making a vegan cake in her infamous pineapple upside down cake cast-iron skillet, but ah well… thanks!

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2 AB August 21, 2009 at 10:19 am

Hi Susan,
I just wanted to tell you my non-vegan family LOVED this cake last night and I posted your magnificence on my blog: http://theyoungvegan.blogspot.com
Thanks for all your recipes!

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3 mkfalbo September 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I just flipped it onto a plate and dusted it with grated cardamom and powdered sugar. It didn't rise much though, but it tastes divine!

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4 Anushruti October 24, 2009 at 11:17 am

I have to buy a 10" skillet just to try this out. How very fabulous and elegant this looks!

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5 GreenGrannie October 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm

I would love to try this recipe. The problem is, I don't have a cast iron pan, and I won't be getting one. Can anyone suggest a good substitute? It would have to be a pan that can be used on top of the stove and in the oven, but one that doesn't weigh a lot. I may be a bit older than most who read this blog, and considering the alternative, that's all right with me. But with arthritis and other health and age related issues, I had to give up all my cast iron. I miss it, and haven't yet found a good substitute. Any Suggestions?

Thanks!

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6 SusanV October 26, 2009 at 8:46 pm

GreenGrannie, you can make this in a regular 9-inch cake pan. Just melt the sugar/water in any skillet and then pour it into an oiled cake pan. Then put the peaches on top and follow the rest of the directions.

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7 Cheryl June 22, 2010 at 7:46 am

I’m so excited to see a healthy version of this great dessert. We should start getting peaches off our trees in about 6 weeks. This is my mom’s favorite dessert and I can’t wait to make it for her. I still have a few in packages in the freezer and may have to try it with frozen peaches. Thanks!

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8 Nancy June 22, 2010 at 8:21 am

I am always confused about how to get the skin off of a peach. Blanching? for how long? How about just peeling? This is the part that I hate the most about peaches!

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9 SusanV June 22, 2010 at 8:33 am

Nancy, I always blanch them because it makes peeling the peaches easier and your don’t lose any of the fruit. I drop them in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, take them out with a slotted spoon, and let them cool. The peel should slide right off, but if your peaches are less ripe, they may need to be blanched a little longer. Start with a few, and see how they do, and if necessary, give the others a longer blanching time.

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10 Cathy June 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I put myself on a diet a few weeks ago and today was craving a nutritious sweet treat. I’ve never used one of your recipes before, but am so pleased with this delicious cake. I cut the sugar down-1/4 cup (I used sucanat) in the peaches and 1/4 cup more in the dry ingredients for 1/2 cup total. I also used 3/4 cup and +1/3 cup whole wheat flour instead of the white flour. I was concerned about it rising enough so I added 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar to the soymilk wet ingredients before mixing together. Lastly , since I don’t have a cast iron pan, I did the peaches on the stove top as directed then transferred them to a glass dish and poured batter over. Thanks so much for this delicious healthy option!

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11 Katie M June 28, 2010 at 8:30 am

I have had this recipe bookmarked for ages, and I finally made it this weekend with peaches and cherries. Totally awesome! The lemon and vanilla flavors of the cake are a nice touch with the fruit. I used the minimum amount of sugar, and I think it’s the perfect amount of sweetness. I love your website – thanks for so many great recipes.

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12 Elizabeth July 4, 2010 at 10:13 am

Just made this with the season’s first peaches. Turned out great. I love the vanilla and lemon with the peaches — yum. I actually think the recipe (as is) is a little too sweet for me. The peaches I used were very sweet, so maybe that’s what put it over the edge for me. I substituted a little of the soy milk with oil and it turned out great. Thanks for sharing.

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13 Lori July 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Susan, this cake is just amazing! I even flubbed it up a little (used too large a pan, so the cakey part doesn’t reach the sides), and it is still just so good. I used half peaches and half strawberries for mine. The ginger gives it just the perfect kick.

You are such a rockstar. I have such a sweet tooth and am an avid baker, so it’s nice to be able to make a beautiful crowd-pleasing cake that won’t immediately harden my arteries. Thank you soooo much for doing what you do!

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14 spacegirlmelissa July 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm

i found this recipe through vegan yum yum and immediately gave it a try with some peaches that needed to be eaten asap. i should have read the comments before cooking it, because instead of using a regular cake pan, i used a springform (thinking it would be best for the upsidedown concept) – and the lovely sugar topping is dripping through the small cracks of the springform and onto the cookie sheet i placed below it. (Thankfully, i paid attention to that instruction!) lesson to be learned: read comments before baking. lol and hey, it just gives me an opportunity to try this recipe again! ;)

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15 JaNelle July 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I am really loving this site!! Can’t wait to try the recipes. My baby sister and I are both vegan. Would rice milk work in place of soy milk in this recipe?? When baking in general??

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16 SusanV July 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm

You can usually substitute rice milk for soy in baking. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

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17 Tyrannosaurus Lex! August 10, 2010 at 10:55 pm

This was phenomenal! I made this for a whole bunch of regular food-eating folks and they loved it! I used about 3/4 peaches and supplemented the rest with blueberries (all local, of course!). I also made the batter with half whole wheat flour and upped the amount of ginger. However, it was also messy enough (and the dough didn’t reach the sides leaving all this unsupported fruit stuff) that I didn’t dare try flipping it over. Nevertheless, it was delish. Yum! Thanks for a great recipe!

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18 helen August 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I just made this last night (with organic peaches from the Farmers’ Market), and it was fantastic! Thank you for another great recipe!

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19 Ed August 29, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I can’t believe that you post a recipe that requires 15 pages to print.
Did you hear that 15 (FIFTEEN) pages to print.
Not very GREEN ARE WE>

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20 SusanV August 29, 2010 at 6:14 pm

If you printed the printer-friendly version and it took so much paper, blame your printer. I just printed it and it all fit on one page. So I would say that your printer is not very green.

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21 IslandChica September 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm

This was so easy and so delicious! I love the subtle lemon in the cake! Mmmm.. It was a little silly to see how excited I was when we flipped it over and it was beautifully intact on the serving platter. For some reason I was expecting that it hadn’t “set up” enough to do that, but lo and behold, it was picture perfect! Thanks Susan!

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22 lisa September 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm

this was yummy! i made it with a can of mangoes, spelt flour and an 8×8 pan…. i also added some earth balance to the peaches and some oil to the cake! it was delish!!!! :) thanks for the recipe! :)

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23 Eve February 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

Hi Susan,
Just wondering if I can sub the soy milk for apple sauce, mashed banana or something else? Love Love Love your recipes!

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24 SusanV February 4, 2011 at 7:48 am

How about some other non-dairy milk or some fruit juice? I would probably even go with water over any of the other subs you mentioned. If you try it, please let me know what you did and how it came out.

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25 Eve February 9, 2011 at 2:40 am

I must say I am so so happy with the result. I used 3/4 cup of water and a splash or maple syrup. Due to a current stomach condition I was unable to add any lemon and didn’t have any ginger powder on hand so I used a teaspoon of cinnamon and it still tastes divine! I also only used 1/4 cup of sugar in the dry mix. So good, it hit the spot but I would really like to try it with the ginger next time. Your recipes have been a godsend for me lately as I am unable to tolerate food with a lot of fat at the moment. Thank you for sharing your amazingly tasty recipes.

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26 Sara February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I have made this recipe several times now (and also made it with different fruits including nectarines, pineapple and blueberries) and every time it’s a hit. I’m actually bringing it to a friend’s house for dinner tonight!

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27 Elizabeth April 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Hi Susan!
I love your site. It has bee quite useful as I am learning to bake vegan and need to eat a very low fat diet for heart heath. I really am looking forward to trying this recipe (with starfruit!) and was wondering if a “Pam” type cooking spray would work? Thanks so much! Keep it up :)

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28 SusanV April 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Pam should work just fine, Elizabeth. I hope you enjoy it!

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29 Barbara July 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I just made this for my daughters Birthday. Everybody loved it.

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30 ED August 10, 2011 at 5:28 am

I have an abundance of peaches and they are a fave with my teens! Will try this today with a regular pan! Thanks for the recipe it looks easy and fabulous!

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31 Katie August 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I am going to make this this weekend, but I only have a very large cast iron pan. (I’m guessing 15 inches, it is MASSIVE.) Should I just double the recipe?

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32 SusanV August 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I’m afraid if you double the recipe, it won’t cook all the way through–or at the very least, will take a very long time. How about this: You cook the peaches in that large pan and then pour them into a greased 9-inch cake pan. Then pour the batter on top and bake in the oven.

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33 Lauren June 8, 2012 at 7:20 am

I live in Miami and have several mango trees in my yard. We end up with about 100 every season and so I’m always trying to come up with ways to use them. Do you think this would be good as a mango cake?

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34 April July 21, 2014 at 9:41 am

I live in FL too. I frequently swap mango and peach! I’d just make sure the mangoes are not too ripe or the bottom of the cake will be mushy

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35 Lauren June 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

Just made this and its diviiiiiine!!!!! Thank you : ) My whole house smells fabulous

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36 Shane June 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Made this for the family tonight and it turned out great. I ran out of vanilla so I had to use almond extract and I forgot about the lemon so I used orange zest and juice. I also added about 1/2 cup chopped pecans to the peaches before spreading the cake on just because I wanted to use them up. It still turned out amazing. Thanks so much!

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37 Adriana June 21, 2012 at 8:44 am

This is one of the best, most versatile recipes I’ve ever tried. The cake is so delicious and refreshing. I’ve experimented with different kinds of fruit and it came out fabulous each time. I even made a gluten-free version. Thank you Susan for sharing the recipe:)

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38 Melody July 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Adriana, could you please post the gluten free version you made? I want to do the same and am wondering about possible flour substitutions. Thanks!

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39 Adriana July 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

Hi Melody. I will post the GF version on my blog soon.

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40 StephaniefromGermany July 4, 2012 at 1:05 am

Hey Susan,

this sounds so delicious but before I try it, I have one question. When it says in the recipe: “Heat and stir until the sugar is completely melted. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is bubbly and slightly reduced (but be careful not to burn it).”, is the sugar supposed to caramelize?

Thanks a lot and greetings from Germany

Stephanie

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41 Susan Voisin July 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

Hi Stephanie! Technically, it doesn’t need to caramelize because it will continue to cook in the oven and will wind up caramelizing as it bakes. Just make sure it’s completely melted and bubbly.

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42 Elisa July 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Wooooow! Just make it… Is so good aNd fresh for summer. With soy ice cream flavoured almond is perfect!

Thank you and I promise myself to try all of your receipes!

:)

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43 lisa October 31, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Susan, this cake sounds divine. I was wondering if I can substitute almond or oat flour for the white? Also, I have never baked w/ date sugar and was wondering if that could work instead of using white sugar?
thank you

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44 Tyent March 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Hi,
This recipe sounds great? Just wondering if I could make a gluten free version of this recipe… I love anything with peach in it, and if I cannot eat the fresh juicy peach and enjoy the juice running down my hands – then a recipe with peaches in it is the next best thing.

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45 Jessica August 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

Thank you! I love this recipe and I’m so glad there’s a vegan option!

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46 Barbara August 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

Thanks for this recipe! I have been looking for a vegan version of either a peach cobbler or cake. This looks perfect!

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47 Sara October 6, 2013 at 11:11 am

I made this last night for my parents’ anniversary dinner and it was a big hit with everyone. Even though I am the only vegan they all loved it! I made it using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free mix, and added 3/4 tsp. guar gum (Bob’s suggests xanthan, but I use guar). Because I only had a 12 inch skillet, I also added an extra peach and a small container of blackberries to make sure I had enough fruit. I also added about 2 extra tablespoons of the flour mix and a tad more milk (I used unsweetened coconut) to make sure I had enough batter to cover the fruit. Although the cake part on mine wasn’t as thick as Susan’s, since I used a larger skillet, it still baked up beautifully. I wish I had taken a picture! I will definitely make this again! I also made the polenta lasagna, which I make frequently, and is another big hit with my family :)

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48 PC October 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Can I substitute almond milk for the soy milk?

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49 Susan Voisin October 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Yes almond milk should work fine.

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50 Traci November 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

Could this be made with apples instead of peaches? Perhaps substituting cinnamon for the nutmeg in the batter?

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51 Yuukichi January 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Hi Susan , thanks you for your recipe
They help me a lot especially that I try to improve in cooking not being very talented. And thus I would have a maybe difficult question because you made a success of the recipe marvelously. I made everything but that when I took out the frying pan of the oven then returned at the end of 15 min, peach were not any more above but inside the dough as a simple apple pie.

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52 Pat May 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Hi, this receipe sounds wonderful. I will try it for my daughters birthday, except I will use pineapple (her favorite) instead of peaches. Will this work as well?

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53 Susan Voisin May 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I haven’t tried it, but it should work. Good luck!

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54 Beth July 23, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Made this tonight with modifications to reduce the sugar and it was super yummy! I replaced the sugar in the cake with a newly discovered product madahava organic agave 5. I kept the sugar with the peaches. I also replaced the white flour with whole wheat pasty flour. Despite really messing with your original recipe, it came out beautifully. My nutritional analysis said that there was 185 calories per slice. Not sure why it was so much higher than yours. But thanks for a great recipe.

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55 Agne October 19, 2014 at 11:47 am

Simply amazing! Thank you, Susan! :))

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