Bourbon Spiked Peach Pecan Upside-Down Cake

A dense pecan cake has slices of fresh bourbon-pecan peaches on top.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 8-10
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Caramel and Fruit:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds firm ripe peaches, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

3 tablespoons bourbon


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)

1/4 cup finely ground pecans

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup sugar

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

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk or 3/4 cup whole milk whisked with 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

[For Serving:] Vanilla ice cream (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. For the caramel and fruit: Stir the sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons water together in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet to make a mixture like wet sand. Cook over medium-high heat until melted and light amber, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt if making a salted caramel. Arrange the peaches, cut-side down, on top. Drizzle the bourbon over the fruit.
  3. For the batter: Whisk together the flour, pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Beat together the sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, stirring until just incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter over the fruit and spread evenly. Bake until golden brown all over and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes and then invert onto a platter. Cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream if using. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)