Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peach Upside Down Cake

Erin is helping host with a bridal shower in a few days for her dear friend Liz.  When Liz and Mark were first dating, Liz mentioned that she loved bottled peaches but the brand she liked was hard to find in NYC. Mark, considerate man that he is, was outside the city on business and bought her a whole case of them at a Costco. Her roommates predicted that by the time she finished the case she and Mark would be engaged to be married. You can read Mark's blog post about it here.  He proposed using the last  two peaches in the bottle.  Notice the empty bowl sitting in front of Liz?  She of course said, "Yes".
I think a peach dessert is appropriate for her wedding shower, don't you?

This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown.  It's quick, easy and so delicious. 
 I love the buttermilk in the cake.  There are no eggs but the batter is still very light and fluffy and the fruit is the real star in this dish.  I only used half the crystallized ginger in Alton's original recipe.   After slicing it, run your knife through it in the other direction and mince it finely.  I tasted mine and it was strong.  Taste yours and decide how much you want to use as ginger has a strong flavor profile and can overpower the other ingredients in the cake if you use too much. 

Don't like ginger?  Just leave it out.  I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon over the peaches as well before adding the batter.  Next time I will add a little almond extract in the batter because I think it compliments the flavor of peaches.  I always have to adjust recipes for my high altitude, so remember to adjust this recipe if you are baking at 3,000 feet or more above sea level. 

I dolloped some sweetened whipped cream that had  vanilla, cinnamon and a little freshly grated nutmeg folded into it on top of the cake.  You could also serve the cake with ice cream on the side.

Individual Peach Upside-Down Cakes
(adapted from Alton Brown)

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 Tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger
1/2 cup (2.5 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream or ice cream, for serving; optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide 2 Tab. of the butter between 4 (6-ounce ramekins).  Melt the remaining 1 Tab. butter, and set aside.  Divide the brown sugar between the ramekin, sprinkling over the butter chunks.  Arrange the peaches in the ramekins.  Make sure the bottom layer of peaches is arranged nicely as it will show when the cake is turned out of the ramekin.  Sprinkle the ginger over the peaches.   Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, extract and reserved melted butter.  Add the wet mix to the dry and stir only 'til combined.  Pour the batter over the peaches, dividing evenly between the ramekins.  Place the ramekins on baking sheet and put it in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake is done inside (190 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer or test with a skewer).  You want the cake moist but there should be no batter on the skewer.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the dishes and turn them upside down onto a serving plate.  Serve immediately with whip cream or ice cream if desired.
This post is linked to Prairie Story's Recipe Swap Thursday and Fresh Fridays.


  1. Oh Bonnie! This looks so delicious. I hope I get a chance to see you next weekend when I'm in town for Liz's wedding!

  2. Bonnie, Considering their peach history it sounds like the PERFECT dessert to serve at the wedding shower! It sounds delicious!
    I was just looking for crysatllized ginger for a cookie recipe, but can't seem to find it anywhere(Trader Joe's used to have it)!

  3. Bonnie: This will definitely make it to my table (if it's not eaten before then!) I really like individual desserts...maybe it comes from never getting individual cereal packages when I was young and wanting them so. Who would NOT like ginger. Thanks for the recipe and they present so well too! Joni

  4. Aw, how sweet!! Yup, pun intended ;) This looks fabulous =)

  5. What a yummy little dessert.

  6. those peach upside down cakes look incredible! I love those peaches, the cake looks moist and delicious, what a great idea making individual cakes!

  7. Love everything about this post! The story really is what movies are made of, they should take out rights before someone beats them to the punch. The little peach upside down cakes are darling. Can't wait to make some myself.