Monday, March 18, 2019

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Cake, Peach Upside Down Cake, Cake, Rhubarb Cake, Summer DessertsUpside down cake is one of those retro desserts that everyone I know grew up with and loved, the most common, of course, being a pineapple upside down cake.  Since we grow our own peaches and rhubarb in our back yard, last summer I made a few of these cakes to highlight our home-grown fruit...

Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but I think of it as fruit, since it's almost always sweetened and baked into cakes and pies, rather than used in savory dishes.  I've even made rhubarb ice cream, which is fantastic.  I first made this cake using rhubarb, and the fun thing about rhubarb is the way you can cut and arrange the stalks into all sorts of geometric patterns.  My photos, though, just weren't that great, so I never shared them, even though the cake tasted completely wonderful.

After making the cake again with peaches, I never got around to posting the recipe last summer, so I've been waiting all winter to share this.  Now that everyone is getting excited about spring and the new produce we'll have available during the summer months, I think it's the perfect time to think about upside down cakes.

The fruit is placed on the bottom of the cake pan, with butter and sugar, which caramelizes the fruit while baking and creates a lovely, rich, sweet syrup that soaks into the cake making it incredibly moist.  The batter, poured over the fruit, is buttery with a slight tang from sour cream and a bit of lemon juice.  The long bake time may sound like too much (70 minutes), but it's a thick layer of cake that's very moist, and you want to make sure you don't have uncooked batter in the center.

This cake is wonderful warm from the oven, or served at room temperature, so you can bake it in the afternoon and serve it that evening with no planning ahead other than setting out your butter to soften.  I'd call this an "everyday cake", and it's one that your family and friends will be so excited to eat.

Peach Cake, Peach Upside Down Cake, Cake, Rhubarb Cake, Summer Desserts

Peach Cake, Peach Upside Down Cake, Cake, Rhubarb Cake, Summer Desserts

Peach Cake, Peach Upside Down Cake, Cake, Rhubarb Cake, Summer Desserts

Peach Cake, Peach Upside Down Cake, Cake, Rhubarb Cake, Summer Desserts

Peach Upside Down Cake

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 ripe fresh peaches (about 2 cups), peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • juice and zest of 1 small lemon
  • whipped cream, for serving

Note: If making this with rhubarb, increase the brown sugar from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.  You should be able to substitute pineapple for the peaches with no other changes needed.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease an 8-inch cake pan with non-stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons butter, then stir in the brown sugar.  Remove from the heat and pour into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Arrange the peach slices on the butter and brown sugar.

With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and beat in the eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  In another bowl, combine the milk, sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour; mix just until combined.  Scrape the batter over the peaches in the pan.

Bake for about 70 minutes, until a sharp knife in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate and let cool.  Serve warm, or at room temperature, with freshly whipped cream.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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