Peach Upside-Down Cake

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Peach Upside-Down Cake
(Los Angeles Times)

Caramel topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream in a skillet or small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. This only takes a minute or two.


If using a cake pan, pour the topping from the saucepan and spread it evenly across the bottom of the cake pan. Put the peach halves on top of the topping, pitted-side up. The smooth, rounded part of the peach will show when the cake is turned out of the pan onto a plate. Set this aside while you prepare the cake batter.


If baking the cake in a skillet, arrange the peach halves on top of the topping, pitted-side up and set aside while you prepare the cake batter.



Beat the vegetable shortening and sugar until smooth in a large mixing bowl with a hand-held electric mixer or a large spoon. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue beating until the mixture is creamy.


Stir the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture. Don’t worry if it is dry and clumpy. Add all the milk at once and stir until the batter is smooth again.


Spoon the batter on top of the peaches and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Spread the batter gently and carefully ease it to the edges of the skillet or pan. Remember, when you finish baking the cake and turn it upside down, the peaches that are on the bottom will be on top.


Bake until the cake is golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.


When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.


To remove the cake from the pan, run a knife around the edge. Put a plate that is larger than the cake over the pan. Holding the pan and the plate firmly, quickly turn the pan upside down so the cake lands on the plate.


Whip the cream until it is fluffy and holds its shape, then beat in the sugar.


Serve the cake with the lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Use either a 10-inch round skillet that is 2 inches deep or a cake pan the same size. Either pan must be able to hold 2 quarts. If you use a cake pan, make the caramel topping in a small saucepan. If you are using a skillet that has a handle that is not ovenproof, wrap the handle in 2 sheets of aluminum foil to protect it while it is in the oven. It is also a good idea to place a baking sheet under the skillet or cake pan during baking to catch any fruit juices that might bubble over the edge of the pan. It’s easier to clean a baking sheet than an oven.

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