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Peach Upside-Down Cake

Celebrate summer’s bounty of peaches with this upside-down peach cake recipe. The butter and brown sugar create a magical caramel-like topping. You will want to make upside-down everything after trying this easy cake recipe with fresh peaches!

Slice of peach upside down cake gluten free

It is Palisade Peach season here and Colorado peaches are like no other.

Juicy, vibrant, and only at peak ripeness for a short time of the year makes these peaches a very special treat.

My Palisade peaches arrived thanks to a local Boy Scout fundraiser in which Cunningham Peaches participated. Next year I’ll double my order. So good!

What is an upside down cake?

An upside down cake is one in which the bottom of the cake eventually becomes the top of the cake when you flip it over onto a plate after baking. 

Usually the bottom layer of the cake is made with fruit and sugar and the cake batter is poured over top. Once baked, this fruit layer transforms into a topping, giving the cake an artistic and tasty top. No frosting or icing is needed for upside down cakes. 

What are some types of upside down cakes?

  • peach upside down cake
  • pineapple upside down cake
  • upside down banana bread
  • apple tartin is a type of upside down “cake”

Easy upside-down cake remind of my grandmother. She often made a pineapple upside down cake with a box cake mix, pineapple slices from a can, and jarred cherries. I can see the cake so clearly and even picture the 9 by 13 pan she used.

This peach upside-down cake is similar in concept but it’s a peach cake baked from scratch. It’s just as easy as my grandmother’s version and will come together quickly.

How do I make upside down cake?

  1. Mix together the cake batter.
  2. Melt butter and pour it into the prepared pan. Layer fruit on top.
  3. Pour the cake batter on top of the fruit.
  4. Bake then let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Carefully flip the baked cake onto a plate.

Here is more detail on creating these pretty upside down cakes:

Melted butter and brown sugar form the bottom layer in your round cake pan; sliced peaches are laid on top. The batter easily covers the sugary goodness and the peaches then it all turns upside down after baking for a beautiful presentation.

I like to arrange the peaches in a sunburst pattern but this cake is just as good if you fill the peach layer any which way you’d like.

Peach design before baking upside down peach cake

The cake batter is ideal for high altitude baking, and I’ll use the recipe again for other fruits throughout the year. I substituted the cake flour with 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend plus 2 tablespoons gluten free corn starch making cake perfect for gluten free bakers too.

Batter for upside down cake in a cake pan

Turning the peach upside-down cake over after removing it from the oven and allowing 10 minutes of rest time is the moment of truth. What a joy to find the sunburst design of peaches bathed in a crunchy layer of brown sugar and butter!

You might be wondering if you can use canned peaches for an upside down cake. Yes, you can bake with canned fruits. My grandmother’s pineapple upside down cake always used canned pineapple. 

If you have the chance to bake with fresh peaches– particularly fresh Palisade peaches– go for it. In the winter months you can get by with canned peaches and dream of the summer months that will return sooner than we think.

Gluten free upside down peach cake baked with white plate and fork

There are so many recipes in Nicole’s book that I will be busy baking for months. Her peach upside-down cake will be served for guests again this weekend. Next up I have my eye on her plum orange cake, gingerbread, and my son has requested the vanilla layer cake. Congratulations, Nicole, on your new book, Sugar High!

Recipe for Peach Upside-Down Cake

“Sugar High: Sweet & Savory Baking in Your High-Altitude Kitchen, ©2018 by Nicole Hampton, Graphic Arts Books®, reprinted by permission.”

Yield: 8-12

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Gluten free upside down peach cake

Peaches are the star in this classic recipe for upside-down cake. Printed with permission.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 firm but ripe peaches, pitted and sliced (I removed the peel as well)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper cut to fit.

In a large bowl beat together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, egg white, and vanilla, and beat for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the milk.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat until combined.

Pour the melted butter into the bottom on the greased cake pan and tilt the pan around so the butter evenly coats the bottom. Sprinkle the brown sugar evening over the butter. Arrange the peach slices on the bottom of the pan, on top of the butter and brown sugar in one even layer.

Pour the cake batter over the peaches and spread evenly in the pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Place a serving platter upside down on top of the pan. Using oven mitts invert the platter and pan together in one swift motion. Give it a gentle shake, if needed, until the cake releases onto the platter. Cut into wedges to serve.


Gluten Free Option: I substituted 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend plus 2 tablespoons gluten free corn starch instead of the cake flour to make this cake gluten free.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g

This data is provided by Nutrionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

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Baking at high altitude has its challenges and Nicole Hampton of Dough Eyed has taken the mystery and frustration out of the process with her new book, Sugar HighPlease note that I received a complimentary, advance copy of the book from the publisher, Graphic Arts Books

Nicole bakes here in Colorado and has been busy compiling her favorite sweet and savory recipes along with useful high altitude baking tips. Her book is filled with recipes for breads, cakes, cookies, bars, tarts, pies and more.

Sugar High

Sugar High cookbook title page with pink cake on front

I jumped into Sugar High with this recipe for Peach Upside Down Cake.

Now who is ready for more peach recipes? I certainly am!

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