Peach Upside-Down Cake

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Tuesday was a big day.  My oldest son turned 17.  SEVENTEEN!  S-e-v-e-n-t-e-e-n….I’m a little distraught.  The boy will graduate next year, he is seriously growing up.  Of course he’s over six foot tall and becoming quite the handsome cowboy.  Here’s a picture I took last week when we branded.

I asked what kind of cake he would like for his birthday and he said some kind of peach cake.  He loves peaches.

I was pouring over the new issue of Southern Living Magazine and there is a whole section of peach recipes by none other than one of my favorite cookbook authors, Virginia Willis.  I saw the peach upside-down cake and knew this was something I could count on to be delicious but also something my boy would love.  (I’m still calling him a boy, I know, it’s denial.)

I had a really busy day on Tuesday, I attended a webinar with The Pioneer Woman and Land O’Lakes Butter which I will tell you more about soon, it’s exciting.  After getting lunch for the guys I headed to town for a little last minute birthday shopping.  I returned home about 4 o’clock and had no trouble getting this cake ready before the party.  It was a really easy cake to bake from scratch and it tasted amazing!  More like I had spent all day in the kitchen.  Plus it’s made in an iron skillet and you know I love that. No stress birthday cakes are my kind of birthday cakes!

I hadn’t read through the directions until I was ready to start.  I then realized I would be caramelizing sugar, which I’ve never done successfully.  I was a little nervous but it went off without a hitch.  That’s what I love about Virginia Willis’ recipes, they are going to taste amazing but aren’t too complicated for the home cook.

I made a few small adjustments to the recipe to work with what I had on hand (she uses a vanilla bean and I’m out of vanilla beans, how did that happen?) and I used canned peaches instead of fresh.  By all means use fresh if you can get them.  I will be making this again as soon as I get my hands on some fresh peaches.

Well I will keep telling myself that you have to let them grow up and meanwhile, y’all promise me that you will try this cake.  It’s perfect for every occasion.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

adapted from Virginia Willis in Southern Living Magazine


  • 1 cup cake flour*
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cans peach halves, drained and cut into wedges (or 4 whole fresh peaches)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

*if you don’t have cake flour, measure 1 cup of all purpose flour.  Remove 2 tablespoons of flour and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. 

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl combine cake flour (or all purpose flour and cornstarch), baking powder and baking soda.  Whisk together and set aside.

Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.  Cook until sugar is melted and turns dark amber in color.  Remove from heat and quickly stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Spread evenly and sprinkle brown sugar over the caramelized sugar.

Place peaches over brown sugar.  Set aside.

Add 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla into bowl of electric mixer and beat until creamy.

Add eggs beating until well combined.  Add sour cream beating just until incorporated.

Add flour mixture slowly mixing until all combined.

Spoon batter over peaches and spread evenly.

Place skillet on a foil lined baking sheet.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a tootpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in skillet.  Loosen edges with a sharp knife.  Invert cake onto a serving plate.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


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