Ultra-moist, loaded with summer flavors, and infused with an easy 5-minute caramel sauce, this Peach Upside Down Cake is a sweet summer pleasure!
One of my most anticipated moments is when the “Peach Truck” arrives here in Wisconsin.
Every summer, this family-owned business drives fresh peaches up from Georgia, then sells them at pop ups throughout the city.
And every summer, I go crazy and overbuy them.
For this year’s haul, I couldn’t get an old-fashioned peach upside down cake out of my head!
5 Star Review
“Love this recipe! It was the perfect way to use my last few peaches from the farmers market! So summery and delicious, I’ll definitely be making this one again.”— Alexis —
Classic upside down cake recipes typically call for canned pineapple, jarred maraschino cherries, and boxed cake mix.
Perfect summer peaches, however, deserve more than a mix.
I wanted a real-deal peach upside down cake from scratch made with whole, good-for-you ingredients (just like this homemade Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler).
How to Make Peach Upside Down Cake
This marvelously moist peach cake is made with whole wheat flour, mostly naturally sweetened, and bejeweled with plump fresh red raspberries (which are also delish tucked into these Raspberry Muffins).
Why are Upside Down Cakes Upside Down?
Back in the good ol’ days, cakes were traditionally cooked in cast iron skillets or Dutch ovens rather than the round cake pans or sheet pans we use today.
Back then, adding a bit of sugar and fresh fruit to the bottom of the skillet before adding cake batter was a practical way to make a stunning-looking cake with tons of yummy caramelized flavor without a ton of extra effort.
- Peaches. These juicy little treasures as packed with fiber, powerful antioxidants, and vitamins C, K, and E. They’re hands down one of my favorite fruits to incorporate into sweet and savory summer recipes.
- Raspberries. I love how the raspberries’ tartness counters the peaches’ sweetness. Plus, their ruby red color adds a nice contrast to the sunshine yellow hue of the peaches. (They’re also a dream in these Raspberry Scones!)
- Coconut Sugar + Butter. This recipe begins with a five-minute caramel made by melting coconut sugar and butter on the stove. No tricks or candy thermometer required.
- Ginger. Pairs with the peaches like a dream to give this easy peach upside down cake wonderful spice and subtle bite.
- Honey + Sugar. Rather than using only sugar, I opted for a blend of sugar and honey to incorporate some natural sweetener into the cake.
- Flour. A blend of all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour keeps this cake (and this Berry Crumb Cake) light and fluffy while sneaking in a bit of whole grain goodness and extra fiber.
- Egg. For tenderness and lift.
- Almond Milk. Contributes necessary moisture that brings the batter together.
- Baking Powder + Baking Soda. For a one-two punch of leavening power.
- Vanilla. To balance and enhance all the lovely summer flavors of this healthy peach upside down cake.
- Melt the butter, sugar, and ginger together to make the caramel. Spoon into a greased 9-inch round cake pan.
I found it worked best to use the back of a spoon, then gently press it with my fingers once the caramel was cool enough.
- Arrange the peaches and raspberries on top of the caramel. Make the cake and spread on top of the fruit.
Do not overmix the cake! The batter will be very thick.
- Bake peach upside down cake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let the cake rest for 1 minute. Then, gently lift the pan away from the cake and marvel at your peachy masterpiece. ENJOY!
Do not rush the unmolding. This moist peach cake will smell like sweet summer heaven, and I know you will want to reveal your masterpiece the moment it exits the oven, but please take your time. Your patience will be rewarded with a clean lift and a pretty design.
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy chilled or let come to room temperature before serving.
- To Freeze. When wrapped tightly in plastic and a layer of aluminum foil. Peach upside down cake may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- 9-inch Round Cake Pan. This one has been my favorite cake pan for years.
- Offset Spatula. Ideal for spreading batter into an even layer in the pan and frosting cakes too!
- Saucepan. For making the quick, 5-minute caramel sauce.
Now, if only there was a peach upside down cake truck… Anyone want to team up on the business venture?
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve only tested the recipe as written, but I have had good results with gluten 1:1 all-purpose flour substitutes. If you try this, I’d love to hear how it goes.
Yes! This cake can be made ahead. Once prepared, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Alternatively, you may freeze the cake and then thaw it overnight in the fridge.
Soggy upside down cakes are typically due to excess moisture from the caramel sauce or fruit used. Thankfully, peach upside down cakes generally are more forgiving than pineapple upside down cakes since peaches tend to have less water content than pineapple. If your peaches seem especially juicy, you can blot away any excess moisture if you’re concerned about a soggy upside down cake.
I have not tested this upside down cake with canned peaches before, so it would be an experiment. If you want to attempt, I suggest draining and blotting away any excess moisture or syrup from the peaches to help ensure the cake doesn’t get soggy.
Peach Upside Down Cake
For the Topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter*
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar , packed (or substitute light or dark brown sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 large ripe peaches , peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch slices, (or 1 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened sliced peaches, left frozen)
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
For the Cake:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter*
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 large egg , at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder , I recommend aluminum free
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or substitute white whole wheat flour or additional all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond milk or milk of choice
- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray.
- For the topping, melt the butter over medium-low in a small saucepan. Add the coconut sugar and ginger and stir until smooth and the butter is incorporated with the sugar, about 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will be very thick, like melted caramel.
- Remove from heat. If the butter separates from the sugar as it cools, simply stir it back together (a little separation is OK). Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, then spread it in a thin, even layer, stretching all the way to the edges of the pan. I found it worked best to use the back of a spoon, then once the caramel was cool enough, gently press it with my fingers.
- Arrange the peaches and raspberries in a single layer on top of the caramel.
- To make the cake, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the honey, egg, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla and stir until completely combined. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running on medium speed, gradually mix in the whole wheat pastry flour, then the almond milk, then the all-purpose flour, incorporating completely between additions and stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Once the last of the flour is added, mix very briefly, just until smooth. Do not overbeat. The batter will be very thick.
- Transfer the batter to the top of the fruit in the pan, spreading it to the pan’s edges. The cake will seem thin but will rise as it bakes.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake will spring back lightly when touched. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Run a sharp knife along the cake’s edge to loosen it from the pan, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let the pan rest upside down on the plate for 1 minute, then gently lift the pan away. Let cool on the plate for 10 additional minutes. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy chilled or let come to room temperature before serving.
- TO FREEZE: When wrapped tightly in plastic and a layer of aluminum foil. Peach upside down cake may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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