(This recipe also appears on Edible East End.)
As a child, it wasn’t summer without freshly picked peaches from the East End. I have such fond memories of picking fruit and visiting farm stands, praying that my parents would let us take home an extra bag (or two) for my friends. While I used to just eat peaches on their own, I now try to incorporate them in sweet and savory dishes alike.
My new favorite way to enjoy peaches is in cake – well, technically on top of cake. The quintessential image of an upside down cake is a yellow cake covered in pineapple rings and jarred maraschino cherries. I wanted to make a lighter and more seasonal cake that would allow local peaches shine through without being covered by sugar. This cake also gets topped with a sweet vanilla caramel sauce, complementing the sweet yet tart flavor of the peaches.
This sauce is a little thinner than the sticky caramel you’d dip apples in. If you want a thicker and firmer caramel, just reduce the milk by one tablespoon, and swap out white sugar for brown sugar.
You can also make this cake without the caramel sauce. If you do, increase the honey in the cake by 1-2 tablespoons, according to taste. It would also be lovely with a little cardamom! You can add a pinch or up to 1/4 tsp. to the batter prior to baking.
Peach Upside-Down Cake with Vanilla Caramel Sauce
2 Peaches, sliced thinly into half-moons
1 tsp. Butter
1 tsp. Honey
1.5 cups + 2 Tbsp. Almond Flour
¼ cup Melted Butter (measure after melting)
¼ cup Honey
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Coconut Milk
¾ tsp. Baking Soda
Vanilla Caramel Sauce
3 Tbsp. Full Fat Coconut Milk (or Cream)
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Butter
¼-1/2 tsp. Vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a small skillet, melt the butter and honey, then add the peach slices. Toss the peach slices in butter/honey mixture and add a squeeze of lemon. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until peaches begin to soften. Shut off heat and set aside until they cool.
- Lightly grease a 7-inch pan with a small amount of butter. Trace the bottom of the pan with a pencil on parchment paper and cut out circle. Place parchment circle on the bottom of the inside of the pan.
- Arrange peach slices in desired pattern on the bottom of the pan. I arranged mine in a wheel pattern.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix almond flour, butter, honey, vanilla, lemon juice and coconut milk until well combined.
- Whisk eggs in a small bowl and add to large mixing bowl. Add baking soda and mix until combined.
- Pour batter into pan over the peach slices. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, or until top of cake is golden and slightly firm. Remove and let fully cool.
- While the cake is cooling, make the sauce. In a small sauce pan, heat butter, maple syrup and sugar on medium heat until melted. Add coconut milk. Stir or whisk until sauce begins to bubble.
- Let the sauce bubble for around 30 seconds, stir, and lower the heat to medium low. Add ¼ tsp. vanilla. Taste and add the additional ¼ tsp. vanilla for a stronger vanilla flavor, if desired. Allow the sauce to bubble and slowly boil again while stirring until sauce thickens and coats a spoon (this will take a few minutes, but it starts to thicken quickly so try not to walk away from it). Turn the heat off but keep the pan on the burner to keep the sauce warm.
- Once the cake is cool, carefully loosen the cake from the pan and flip it upside down onto a plate. Drizzle the warmed sauce over the cake, or pour and spread the caramel over the top. Enjoy!