Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake

Upside-down cakes are great for summer barbecues -- and the leftovers make for a fantastic breakfast. We loved this recipe when made with grits, but heard from viewers that their results were gritty. Not all grits are made equal! So we've clarified the recipe to call for white corn meal.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Softened unsalted butter

Caramel peaches:

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

6 whole allspice berries, optional

1 tablespoon water

3 large ripe peaches (about 1 pound)


3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup fine ground white cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Serving suggestion: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream


  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper and brush the paper with butter.
  2. Caramel peaches: Combine the sugar, corn syrup, allspice and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high, and continue to 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.
  3. Halve and pit the peaches, but leave their skins on. Cut each half into 3 wedges. Arrange the wedges in concentric circles in the pan. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
  4. Cake: Whisk the all-purpose flour, white corn flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Slowly mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer. 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 each to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
  6. While mixing at a low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Increase the speed to medium and mix briefly to make a smooth batter. Pour the batter over the peaches and smooth over.
  7. Bake the cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 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 ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
  9. Serving suggestions: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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