This unique Peach Cornmeal Upside Down Cake uses juicy, fresh summer peaches baked with a soft, moist cornmeal cake. It’s perfect served with a little whipped cream!
I’ve always loved fresh fruit, and in the summertime growing up in suburban San Diego, I was always incredibly jealous of the pictures I would see from people who lived in places with fields of fruit, filled with peaches the size of my head, buckets of blueberries, and scratches covering their hands from picking in the thorny blackberry bushes.
These past four years living in Washington, I’ve relished in the massive Honeycrisp apples during the fall and ability to walk down to the waterfront and scour the blackberry bushes to make fresh pie in August. The best part? A bit of a drive out of Seattle, and you can be surrounded by farms that grow just about everything a girl could dream of.
A few weeks back, my friend Andy drove me out to Leavenworth for a 9 mile hike up to Colchuck Lake, bribing me with stops at a farm stand to pick up fresh fruit. It’s all the bribery I needed. On our way up, we stopped at a stand where I loaded up with big, fresh, juicy peaches and a ton of Ranier cherries. They’re yellow and red, and so beautiful and delicious, but unfortunately for you (and fortunately for my tummy) they all got eaten before they made it into a recipe.
The peaches, though – they got to shine in this cake. This cake isn’t what you’d expect it to be, and to be honest, I didn’t know exactly how to describe it. When asked by my friends, I just stumbled through the ingredients and said “just try it! Tell me what you think!”
They all loved it, and as they described it, it’s a little bit like cornbread from the cornmeal, but it has the delicious slightly caramelized peach slices helping to sweeten it up, and the texture isn’t dry and crumbly like cornbread at all – it’s smooth and rich and moist. They all loved it, and the half of the cake I brought to their house was gone in less than 10 minutes.
This peach cornmeal upside down cake is the the kind of cake that would be perfect to serve in the afternoon with some tea or coffee, for dessert with whipped cream, or sneak a piece for breakfast if you want something sweet. It’s the perfect treat to use up all the delicious peaches this time of year, and something a little different from peach pie. It’s a unique treat, but one I’m sure you’ll love. Enjoy!!
Peach Cornmeal Upside Down Cake
For the peaches
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 2 fresh peaches peeled and sliced
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup fine grind cornmeal
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon optional
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 5 eggs at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, combine the 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and light brown sugar and stir until the sugar has melted. When it begins to bubble, remove it from the heat and let it cool. Arrange the peaches in the bottom of the pan as desired. I used a radial pattern. Be careful - the pan and caramel will be hot! Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cinnamon, and cornmeal until just combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and honey until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating fully before adding another. (The batter may start to separate for the last few eggs.) Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the pan, evenly over the peaches. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until is golden brown, the sides are beginning to pull away from the sides, and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Take the pan out of the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake, and then flip the cake onto a plate. It’s best to do this by setting the plate on the pan and, while wearing oven mitts, inverting the pan onto the plate. Be careful of the hot caramelized sugar. Serve warm.