This past Labor Day weekend ended up being a stay at home event for me and the family. We had some hopes of a weekend getaway, but never got our act together on planning. Regardless, the weather was pretty crummy and I was recovering from a head cold so it was probably for the best that we didn't stray from the house much. Despite these downers, my wife saw this as an opportunity to tackle a list of treats she had been looking for time to bake, and when she told me that a peach upside down cake was part of the plan, I knew that I'd be writing about it here.
One of the great things about upside down cakes are that they make is so easy to create a beautiful looking cake without having to mess around with icing. Of course, you won't find upside down cakes highlighting a wedding, but they certainly make for a great ending to a family dinner. Personally, I'd take a slice of this over a fancy layer cake any day!
The recipe used here is adapted from one found at Bon Appetit.
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1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Enough pecan halves to ring the outer edge of the cake (about 40)
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 12 wedges each
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat then whisk in the brown sugar until completely dissolved. Pour this mixture into a 9" diameter cake pan with 2" high sides and spread it evenly over bottom of pan. Take the pecan halves and place them all the way around the outer edge of the pan with the rounded sides down into the sugar mixture. Finally, take the peach wedges and arrange them inside circle of pecans until the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the flour, pecans, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and blend until the nuts are finely ground. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high until well combined, 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and vanilla until well blended then add to the mixer bowl a bit at a time while mixing on high until well blended. Next, add about half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, followed by the milk, then the other half of the flour, mixing until blended after each addition. Pour the batter on top of the pecans and peaches in pan and then spread evenly to cover.
Bake for 55 minutes until the cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack for no more than 25 minutes (longer and the sugar layer may stick to pan, making removal difficult). Run a small knife around the sides of the cake then place a platter atop cake pan then invert cake onto platter (hold the pan and platter together tightly while doing this so nothing slips). Allow the cake to rest for about a minute before slowly lifting off the pan. Let the cake cool to room temperature before serving.