By Tieghan Gerard for Half-Baked Harvest
Skillet Cinnamon Sugar Peach Upside Down Cake…because it’s Friday, and it’s summer! You don’t need to be a skilled baker to bake up this deliciously simple peach upside down skillet cake. This upside down cake has a show-stopping look, but only minimal effort. With fluffy vanilla cake made with browned butter, and caramelized cinnamon sugar-coated peaches, every bite is insanely delicious. Enjoy this peach cake warm, right out of the oven, with a dollop of vanilla bourbon cream. Roll your eyes back delicious!
Well, would you look at that, I finally have a peach recipe for you guys. And even though this cake took me a while to create, I couldn’t be happier or more excited. This cake is without a doubt one of my favorite ways to bake with peaches.
It is DELICIOUS…and super simple.
And just the kind of cake we’re looking for in this first full weekend of August. Again, so excited. I feel like I’ve been teasing you guys with the idea of a peach recipe for weeks. To be honest, I’ve been waiting for the perfect peaches to show up, it’s just that they arrived a little late. But it’s OK because the perfect peaches are here. And today we have cake to talk about, so let’s just get right to the sweet stuff.
the inspiration, the process, the craziness…
Alight, so I’m going to give you all a little sneak peek into my mind. Head up, it’s complete craziness.
This recipe started out completely different. It was never an idea for a cake. Somehow though, over the course of a couple of weeks, my peach dessert idea became a peach cake. But only after trying my hand at a few different ideas. Once I had the idea for the cake, I stuck with it.
Originally the cake idea was a three-layer cake with buttercream and the works. I made that four times in a matter of two days. Was it a delicious cake and could I have made it work? Yes, but it needed more time and so much reworking. It was good, but not great. I prefer to share only the best with you all. So after two days and way too many cake layers, I caved, and just gave in.
Well sort of. There was an element from the three-layer cake that I was loving and wanted to incorporate into a simpler recipe…the cinnamon sugar peaches.
And then this cake was created…
Well, once again, kind of. The first version of this cake wasn’t made in a skillet, it was just a normal upside down cake. But then I got to thinking about how delicious some browned butter could be in the cake. That made me think about turning this into a skillet cake. Which is finally how we got to this Skillet Cinnamon Sugar Peach Upside Down Cake.
It took a whole lot of head-scratching, and really, just some good old problem solving, to get to this final peach cake. But it was all worth it.
Think crunchy, cinnamon sugar on top, sweet, caramelized summer peaches. Paired with fluffy vanilla cake made with browned butter. Completed with a final caramelized layer of cinnamon sugar peaches with bourbon cream on top.
So good – cream or no cream, just so so GOOD.
I waited and waited for good peaches to arrive here. But I finally caved in. I asked the ever so sweet team from The Peach Truck in Nashville if they would ship me a box. They so kindly sent me two boxes…which I clearly needed for all my rounds of testing.
And guys, I’d never had a real southern peach before…oh my gosh, these peaches are special. Each peach was perfectly sweet, yet crisp and so flavorful. So happy I waited for just the right peaches, they really made this cake.
skillet cinnamon sugar peach upside down cake…the details.
The process is pretty effortless. Start out by browning salted butter on the stove. Browning the butter really adds a rich nutty flavor to this cake and makes it just a touch cozier. Remove the skillet from the stove and pour the butter into a mixing bowl, but be sure to leave a little butter in the skillet to thoroughly keep the skillet greased. You need the skillet to be coated in butter to ensure that the peaches you’ll be layering on the bottom of the skillet do not stick.
If you are concerned about your peaches sticking to the skillet, I recommend also lining the skillet with parchment paper, then buttering the paper too.
Now, add your basic cake ingredients to the browned butter in the mixing bowl. Just a touch of yogurt (or sour cream), eggs, sugar, vanilla, and milk. Once you add the eggs, simply stir in the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. That’s the batter.
Onto the layering. This step is very important.
First, mix together some cinnamon sugar.
Now sprinkle the bottom of the skillet generously with the cinnamon sugar. Add a layer of peaches, then another layer of cinnamon sugar. Pour the batter over the peaches and sprinkle another layer of cinnamon sugar over top the batter. Then add one more layer of peaches and finish with a final layer of cinnamon sugar.
This layering process is important. The cinnamon sugar on the bottom of the skillet will caramelize the peaches and give them a delicious flavor. The cinnamon sugar on top does the very same thing. But it also becomes crunchy in areas and the mix of textures is just delectable.
As the cake bakes, your kitchen will be filled with smells of summer peaches, butter and warming cinnamon.
It. Is. Truly. Wonderful!
the bourbon cream.
Is this needed? No, not really, and yes, you could easily just serve this cake with ice cream. But the bourbon adds another “cozy” layer that feels very southern and very fitting for this cake.
I found it to be the perfect light dollop to serve atop this warm cake.
And my favorite way to serve this skillet cake? Family style, with a couple of dollops of cream right on top. There’s truly nothing more delicious than eating this right out of the skillet.
Roll. Your. Eyes. Back. Delicious!
So cake tonight? YES!
One final note, as we slowly move into fall at the end of the month, don’t be afraid to swap the peaches for crisp autumn apples. I’m already excited to bake this once September hits!
- 1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) salted butter
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon plus, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 peaches, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add the butter to a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir often. Remove from the heat and carefully pour the butter into a large mixing bowl. Line the skillet with parchment paper, then rub with additional butter, making sure every inch of the parchment-lined skillet has been buttered. Set the skillet aside.
- To the mixing bowl with the browned butter, add the yogurt, eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, the vanilla, and milk, beating until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and the salt. Mix until just combined.
- In a small bowl, mix the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the buttered skillet with 3 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar. Arrange the peach slices in a single layer over the sugar, then sprinkle the peaches with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Pour the cake batter over the peaches. Sprinkle the top of the cake with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar, then arrange the remaining peach slices on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
- Place the skillet on a baking sheet. Bake 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean .Let the cake cool in the skillet for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen. Carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream and bourbon on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 3-4 minutes. Cut the cake into wedges. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream.
- Leftovers: can be stored, covered, in the skillet or in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- If you Don’t Have a Skillet: Use a 9 inch pie plate or spring form pan lined with parchment paper. You will need to bake closer to 55-60 minutes.