James Beard Award-winning Cookbook Author

Just the Recipe: Peach Upsidedown Cake

This is the recipe from Greg’s Peach Topsy-Turvey Cake post.


For this recipe, Greg uses King Arthur flour. You can order King Arthur flour and flavorings through Greg’s King Arthur Affiliate site, which helps pay the costs of this website!

Peach Upsidedown Cake

I now have what I think is the perfect recipe for peach upside down cake. I think the magic ingredient is the caramel syrup.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • Kitchen Scale to measure flour (optional)
  • 9 inch layer cake pan


  • 3 large ripe peaches 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar will be used in portions
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 128 grams
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg freshly grated is best
  • 1 stick unsalted butter 4 ounces, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk any fat percentage


Prepare the Pan

  • Smear some of the 1 tablespoon butter onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch layer cake pan
  • Line the pan bottom with a round of parchment and grease the parchment with the remaining butter. Please don’t use cooking spray because you want the butter to melt into the peaches.

Prepare the Peaches

  • If your peaches are fully ripe, the skin should peel right off. If you’re not sure, bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the peaches, and wait 20 to 30 seconds.
  • If you’re not sure your peaches are fully ripe, bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the peaches, and wait 20 to 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer peaches immediately to a large bowl of cold water. When cool enough to handle, set peaches on paper towels to drain.
  • Cut the peaches in half along their seams, slip off their skins, remove pits, and slice each peach half into 5 wedges.
  • Arrange the slices, spoke fashion, or any way you like, in the prepared pan

Prepare the Oven

  • Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.

Prepare the Caramel

  • For the caramel, put 1/2 cup of the sugar into a small (1-quart) heavy saucepan and add the water. Do not stir.
  • Set the pan over medium heat and leave it alone as the sugar dissolves completely in the water.
  • When the liquid boils, cover the pan and cook 2 full minutes to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan.
  • Uncover the pan and cook for a few minutes more until the syrup turns amber in color. As the syrup bubbles away, it’s okay to swirl the pan gently by its handle occasionally.
  • Watch carefully as the syrup cooks quietly and turns a lovely golden brown.
  • Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and drizzle the hot caramel evenly over the peaches. The peaches will sizzle. Just pour whatever syrup pours out of the pan. Do not scrape out any that sticks to the sides of the pan. And don’t worry that there isn’t enough syrup to cover the peaches completely.

Prepare the Cake Batter

  • To make the cake batter, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg together in a medium bowl.
  • Beat the 1 stick of butter, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the vanilla with an electric mixer on low speed until combined well, about 1 minute.
  • Increase speed to medium high and beat for 4 to 5 minutes more until fluffy and light, stopping to scrape the bowl and beater once.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. The batter will look curdled. That’s okay.
  • Scrape the bowl and stir in half the dry ingredients.
  • Stir in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients.
  • The batter will be thick. Spread it evenly over the peaches.


  • Bake about 40 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden brown, domes slightly, and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and set the cake on a hot pad. Run a small sharp knife all around the sides of the cake, set a platter on top of the cake, and invert the two.
  • Carefully lift the pan off the cake. If any peach slices have stuck to the pan, carefully set them back onto the cake.


  • Serve warm or at room temperature. This cake needs no topping. A few raspberries and a sprig of mint gussy up the presentation, but that’s entirely up to you.
  • This dessert is best very fresh.

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