Nectarine Upside-Down Cake with Salted Caramel

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
25 min
15 min
55 min

6 to 8 servings

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 nectarines, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fand coat a 9-inch-square cake pan with cooking spray. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fine salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan 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. Remove from the heat and immediately pour into the prepared cake pan (the caramel hardens quickly). Arrange the nectarines over the caramel in 4 rows; set the pan aside.

  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon fine salt in a bowl. Beat the butter and the remaining 1 cup 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. Reduce the mixer speed to low and 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 nectarines and spread evenly.

  • Transfer 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.) Let sit 15 minutes, then invert onto a platter and let cool completely. Sprinkle with sea salt.

  • Photograph by Con Poulos

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