Upside Down Peach Cake and The Snakes
Okay, people, here’s the thing: I try not to make things difficult. I try to only make you do the things you HAVE to do, like save pasta water to make the best sauces of your life or cook a mean risotto. I don’t think I’ve ever asked you to do anything tragically unnecessary, like truss a turkey or peel carrots or pop peas out of the pod. And I try very hard to be fair because I love you. And I want you to love me back. And make my stuff. Duh.
But today, I’m breaking my own rules. For this recipe, you need to get a couple of dishes dirty. And you need to get almond paste (don’t panic! It’s in the baking section!). And you need to use a blender or food processor. But guys, guys, guys. I promise you so hard that if you just stick with me through those dumb things, you’ll be rewarded with a cake so flat-out flavorful and moist and delicate you almost won’t believe it. Though I used a gorgeous hybrid nectarine I found at the farmers’ market to make this particular cake, I’ve also had success with swapping in peaches to make it a peach upside down cake. Any stone fruit works, really, so let’s just call it a stone fruit upside down cake.
A hybrid recipe born of a knock-off Mary Berry almond tea cake and Mammaw’s pineapple upside down cake, this cake has it all. It’s like the Chrissy Teigan of cakes: absolutely gorgeous, not too sweet, and full of interesting, flavorful commentary. And it also has a banging AND talented husband and two kids who I Instagram-stalk. Someone find the metaphor there, please.
One more thing: this recipe is a part of my collaboration with Sandhill Coffee. Everyone I’ve ever interacted with ever knows how much I love a good cup of coffee. I’d encourage you to check out this stuff, because it’s a great blend to use both in the cake and in a mug beside it. Enjoy!
Upside Down Peach Cake
Or nectarine. Or apple. Or whatever. We’re
Upside Down Coffee CakeBy Page & Plate, September 23, 2019
It may seem like any other upside down cake, but when you factor in the almond flavoring and the sweetness of the stone fruit, you'll find that this one is more than it seems.
Makes: 12 servings
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 10 oz of white chocolate chips
- 3 oz of Sandhill Coffee, brewed
- 4 peaches or nectarines, pitted and sliced thinly
- 8 oz of almond paste
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup of whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups of flour
- 2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of cardamom
- 1 tsp of salt
- Preheat oven to 350. Make your first decision of the recipe: are you going to go all-in on the heavy cast iron skillet or are you going to dirty a skillet and bake this in a 9" round cake pan. Once you've decided, add four TBSP butter to whichever skillet you've chosen and melt it.
- When melted, stir in brown sugar and coffee to make a paste. Paste sounds gross, but really, what you've made is a delicious cake roux. (Nobody is happier than I am in imagining that.) Lay out peach or nectarine slices in paste in a gorgeous, circular pattern, then set the pan aside.
- Here's the annoying part where I make you use a blender. I realllllly tried not to put it in, but you just gotta. In a blender or food processor (cringes), pulse the almond paste and sugar until smooth. Add to a large bowl.
- Melt the remaining butter, then beat into the mixture with the vegetable oil. (You can do this with your hands!) When smooth, add the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the milk, then stir until smooth. Add flour, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt all at once, then mix until just combined. Taste here to make sure you salted appropriately!
- Pour batter over the nectarines and then bake for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown.
- It's the moment of glory: once the cake has cooled slightly, run a knife around the edges, then place a large plate overtop of the pan. Flip the whole situation upside down (OMG THAT'S THE NAME OF THE CAKE), and revel. Go you!
Plot: Stick with me here. There’s a woman and her husband. They go to France, where her brother owns a hotel. Her parents show up. This is dramatic for a reason that we kind of don’t know! Then, her brother dies. And we think it’s a car accident, but MAYBE IT WASN’T! Lots of mystery. Lots of family drama. No conclusions.
Thoughts: In case you couldn’t tell, I despised this book. It was our bookclub pick for last month, and it is with deep regret that I tell you I was the only one who wasted my time with it.
I can’t even tell you what I hated most about it: the poor writing, the over-the-topness of all of the drama, the inconclusive nature of nearly every plot point, or the ending, which was possibly the worst ever.
Verdict: This is the most miserable book I have ever read. Pursue at your own risk!
PST! I created this recipe for Sandhill Coffee as a part of my ongoing relationship with their company. If you like what you see and are interested in working together to create some awesome recipes, snap some beautiful photos, or learn more about social media for food brands, hit me up at laura [at] pageandplate.com!