Peach-Bourbon Upside-Down Cake

I’ve always been impressed by the appearance of upside-down cakes. They look so elegant with the fruit beautifully arranged in the caramel on top. I never made one though because I was afraid of the potential disasters that could occur upon turning it out of the pan.  When I saw this recipe though, I decided to put my fears aside and finally give an upside-down cake a try.

After pulling the cake out of the oven and letting it sit for 15 minutes the big moment had finally arrived. I said a quick prayer and flipped the pan over onto a plate. When I lifted the pan and saw my cake in tact, it was as if the sky opened up and a choir of angels started singing. I instantly burst into an epic dance of extreme joy. Fortunately Greg was the only one around to witness this embarrassing moment.

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It turns out my fear that the cake would crumble out of the pan while leaving the fruit and caramel crusted in the bottom was completely unfounded. I didn’t even use a non-stick pan! I used a stainless steal straight sided 10 inch skillet and the cake came out just fine.

Not only did the cake come out looking pretty, it was delicious too. I really liked the addition of the ground pecans to the cake batter. They provided a mild pecan flavor, and gave the cake a little bit of texture. If you don’t like bourbon you could probably substitute spiced rum or brandy–or  you could just leave the alcohol out entirely.

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 This never gets old! 🙂

Peach-Bourbon Upside-Down Cake

From: Food Network Magazine, September 2014
Serves 8-12

1 ¾ c. sugar, divided
1 ¼ lbs. peaches, cut into ½ inch wedges
2-3 Tbsp bourbon
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. finely ground pecans
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c. buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine ¾ c. sugar and 1 ½ Tbsp water in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet and stir until the mixture looks like wet sand. Cook over medium-high heat, gently swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until light amber, about 5 minutes. WATCH THE SUGAR CAREFULLY. Once it starts to turn amber it will darken quickly and can easily burn.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and arrange the peaches in concentric circles over the caramel. Drizzle with the bourbon and set the skillet aside.
  4. Whisk the flour, ground pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  5. Beat the butter and the remaining 1 c. sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.
  6. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter over the peaches and spread evenly.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if the cake is browning too quickly. After removing from the oven, let the cake sit for 15 minutes. Then invert onto a platter and let cool completely.
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