The College Housewife » Recipes » sweets » Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake is a fruity, fun and fabulous dessert bursting with summer’s best fresh peaches. A showstopping, one-skillet recipe with crunchy bits of peach streusel atop a fluffy and moist vanilla cake best served any time of day (or year!).

slice of peach cake on plate with fork

Why you’ll love this peach cake upside down

Quick and easy! Whether you are a cake maker or not, I bet most of the ingredients are already in your fridge and pantry. The real work is in prepping the peaches, but I have covered you with tips and shortcuts on making it even easier. Whip out your favorite cast iron skillet and relish in sugar-coated peach heaven.

One skillet dream! That’s right — peaches, sugar caramel and cake are all layered and assembled into one large skillet. I like to use a cast iron skillet to prevent sticking and ensure a complete release so that none of the peaches are left behind. That being said, you can use a cake pan, just make sure to thoroughly grease it beforehand.

Make it year round! I love peaches and can eat them any time of year, which makes this the absolute best peach recipe since you can swap out the fresh peaches for canned in the fall and winter. Add a touch more spice and you have a cold weather dessert just calling your name.

Extra peaches on hand? Be sure to make summer peach salad, peach daiquiri, peach wine slushy, peach bread and old-fashioned peach cobbler.

Ingredients

Fresh peaches are easy to spot at the farmers’ market or grocery store during the peak of summer, but there are options if you’re also craving this peach cake during fall and winter. Here’s a look at what we need and some key substitutions:

fork digging into slice of peach cake on plate

  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Whole milk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh peaches

Ingredient substitutions and notes:

  • Not into making the cake from scratch? Use your favorite boxed vanilla cake mix and follow the directions on the back of the package.
  • Replace the peaches with your favorite stone fruit like nectarines, plums or apricots.
  • When peaches are not in season, swap them out for canned peaches. Just make sure to drain and pat dry before layering.

How to make

This recipe for peach upside-down cake is a cinch to make. Here’s how to do it in just a few easy steps:

four step grid preparing peach upside down cake recipe

Caramelize sugar: In a large cast iron skillet, heat unsalted butter on medium heat until melted. Add the brown sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly bubbling and smooth. Add in the cinnamon and stir together. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk wet ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together milk, vegetable oil, eggs and granulated sugar until smooth. 

Make cake batter: In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder and kosher salt until combined. Add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together until batter is combined, do not over mix. 

Layer peaches and batter: Add the sliced peaches in a clockwise direction around the skillet. Pour cake batter on top of the peaches evenly. 

Bake: Bake cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cool and serve: Cool cake for 15 minutes before inverting cake onto a serving platter.

Serving suggestions

This beauty can be served any time of year at any time of day. Some of my favorite ways to serve include:

  • Breakfast / Brunch: Enjoy it throughout the week for a sweet start to your morning or bring it to your next brunch gathering with friends.
  • Afternoon Treat: Grab your favorite hot or iced beverage and enjoy a wedge of this peach cake as a nice pick-me-up to get you through the afternoon.
  • Dessert: Go all out and serve the peach cake warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

fork digging into slice of peach cake topped with vanilla ice cream

How to store & reheat

Leftover peach cake will keep for up to 1 day at room temperature or 3 days wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the fridge. The peaches and caramel topping will solidify in the fridge. Rewarm following the directions below.

Reheating Instructions: To really enjoy this upside down cake in all its glory, pop a slice in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, or until warmed through. Enjoy or serve it a la mode style!

Recipe tips & notes:

  • Slice the peaches into thick wedges. Too thin and the fruit will fall apart in the oven.
  • Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan. This allows the super hot sugar to set up so you have a nice, clean release and a pretty presentation.

Peach upside down cake FAQs

Does peach upside down cake need to be refrigerated?

For the ultimate freshness, it is best to tightly wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate leftover upside down cake. The cake will last for up to 3 days.

What is the point of an upside down cake?

Upside down cake is a centuries old technique that allowed chefs and cooks to prepare cakes in cast iron skillets. The simple technique of layering the fruit with the caramelized sugar and cake mix made for an all-in-one dessert recipe.

Do you boil peaches before baking?

It is only necessary to boil peaches before baking if you want to remove the skins. To do so, bring a pot of water to boil. Cut an X in the bottom of each peach and boil for 45 seconds. Remove and shock them in a bowl of ice water. Once cool enough to handle, gently peel the skins.

How do you store an upside down cake?

Upside down cake can be stored, covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, for 1 day at room temperature or up to 3 days in the fridge.

Can you leave peach upsidedown cake out overnight?

Yes, peach upsidedown can be left out on the kitchen counter for up to 1 day. Just make sure to cover it with plastic wrap.

Looking for more dessert recipes? Check these out!

If you make this Peach Upside Down Cake recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

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slice of peach cake on plate with fork

Peach Upside Down Cake

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Peach Upside Down Cake is a fruity, fun and fabulous dessert bursting with summer’s best fresh peaches. A showstopping, one-skillet recipe with crunchy bits of peach streusel atop a fluffy and moist vanilla cake best served any time of day (or year!).


Ingredients

Scale

4 tbsp unsalted butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup whole milk

⅓ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp kosher salt

3 peaches, pitted and sliced into thick slices


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F

Caramelize sugar: In a large cast iron skillet (an 11-12 inch works well), heat unsalted butter on medium heat until melted. Add the brown sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly bubbling and smooth. Add in the cinnamon and stir together. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk wet ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together milk, vegetable oil, eggs and granulated sugar until smooth. 

Make cake batter: In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder and kosher salt until combined. Add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together until batter is combined, do not over mix. 

Layer peaches and batter: Add the sliced peaches in a clockwise direction around the skillet. Pour cake batter on top of the peaches evenly. 

Bake: Bake cake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cool and serve: Cool cake for 15 minutes before inverting cake onto a serving platter.


Notes

Leftover peach cake will keep tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for 1 day at room temperature or 3 days in the fridge.

Keywords: stone fruit, cast iron skillet, summer

6 Comments

  1. Hilary
    September 5, 2022 / 6:35 pm

    I can’t find the oven temp anywhere in this recipe. What am I baking at?

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      Author
      September 6, 2022 / 1:17 am

      Hello! So sorry about this! Preheat to 350 F!

  2. EH
    September 5, 2022 / 3:10 pm

    Your recipe doesn’t say how temp the oven should be at. Could you please provide. I’m guessing around 350-375

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      Author
      September 6, 2022 / 1:17 am

      Hello! My apologies for this error, preheat the oven to 350 F!

  3. Elizabeth
    August 30, 2022 / 8:57 am

    What size cast iron skillet did you use?

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      Author
      September 6, 2022 / 1:18 am

      An 11-12 inch would work great!

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