Caramel-Peach Upside-Down Cake with Bourbon

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

Caramel Peaches:

Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the pan

2/3 cup sugar 

1 tablespoon light corn syrup 

6 whole allspice berries, optional 

3 large ripe peaches (about 1 pound) 

2 to 3 tablespoons bourbon, optional

Cake:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely ground white cornmeal 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon fine salt 

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature 

2/3 cup sugar 

2 large eggs, at room temperature 

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature 

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving, optional 

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the caramel peaches: Butter a 9-inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and brush the paper with butter.
  3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, allspice if using and 1 tablespoon water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and cook without stirring until the mixture becomes an amber caramel, about 5 minutes. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and set aside to cool.
  4. Halve and pit the peaches, keeping their skins intact. Cut each half into 3 wedges. Arrange the wedges in concentric circles over the caramel in the pan. Sprinkle the bourbon if using over the top of peaches. Set aside.
  5. For the cake: Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  6. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on low speed, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until the butter is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at time, waiting for the first to be fully incorporated before adding the second. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Increase the speed to medium and mix briefly to make a smooth batter.
  7. Pour the batter over the peaches and smooth the top. Bake the cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack, about 20 minutes.
  8. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake. Carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate and remove the parchment paper. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if using.

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