Peach upside-down cake with Cognac caramelRipe peaches, light-but-moist cake, and an easy homemade caramel sauce

Peach upside-down cake with Cognac caramel

This upside-down cake is perfection when made with the kind of fragrant peaches you can only get in mid-summer from a local farm.

To bring out the fruits’ delightful flavors, the slices are pan-roasted and then drizzled with a buttery caramel spiked with Cognac (which comes together in minutes — making caramel is easier than you might think!). Moreover, the cake batter that tops the ambrosial peaches gives just the right amount of structure to the dessert while remaining light and moist.

A dollop of vanilla Chantilly is the only thing you need to accompany such a gorgeous cake. Happy baking and happy summer!

Yellow peach slices


Food & wine pairing: Sauternes or Riesling Ice Wine with peach upside-down cake

Dessert-sherry wine iconA dessert wine, brimming with stone fruit flavors, is sublime here! Try a Sauternes from Bordeaux or a Riesling Ice Wine from Canada or Germany. Both of these wines have wonderful stone fruit notes that pair well with the peaches, and while they’re both fairly sweet, their inherent acidity will prevent them from being too cloying. Make sure to serve these dessert wines chilled.


Peach upside-down cake with Cognac caramel

makes 1 medium cake or serves 6 to 8
active time: 45 min

For the Chantilly

  1. 2/3 cup heavy cream
  2. 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the peaches

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 6 medium ripe-but-firm yellow peaches (2 lbs) (905 g) – quartered and pit removed (if using larger peaches, cut in 2″ slices)
  3. 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy

For the batter

  1. 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. pinch sea salt
  4. 4 extra large eggs – at room temperature, separated
  5. 1 extra large egg white – at room temperature
  6. 3/4 cup organic sugar
  7. 4 oz (115 g) unsalted butter (8 tablespoons) – at room temperature
  8. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. 1 – 9″ round cake pan – lightly buttered, lined with wax paper and buttered again

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Step 1: To make the Chantilly – Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip at medium speed until thick and ribbony. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Step 2:camera icon Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the peach slices, laying them on their side, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until golden. Sprinkle the peach slices with 2 tablespoons of sugar and flip them, being careful not to break them. Continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until golden-brown. Remove pan from heat and arrange the peach slices in a daisy pattern in the prepared mold, making sure to fit the slices tightly together. Set aside. Return the pan to the stove over medium/medium-high heat. Add the balance of the sugar, vanilla and Cognac and simmer, stirring continuously until a rich caramel forms (about 5 to 6 minutes). Immediately drizzle the caramel evenly over the peaches and set aside.
  4. Step 3: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  5. Step 4:camera icon Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip at medium speed until frothy. Increase to high speed and gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Continue to whip at high speed until firm peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Step 5:camera icon Place the soft butter, the balance of the sugar and the vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip at slow speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue whipping at medium speed until well incorporated and thick, about 1 minute. Add a third of the egg whites to the butter/egg yolk mixture and fold until well incorporated. Then add half the flour and carefully fold it in. Repeat again and fold until the egg whites and flour have been just incorporated. Finish by adding the balance of the egg whites and fold them in until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Spoon batter over the peaches, 1/4” from the edge. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 1 hour before un-molding, or keep in the mold until ready to serve. Invert the cake onto a serving platter and gently lift off the wax paper. Dust with the powdered sugar and serve each slice with a dollop of the Chantilly.
  7. Cook’s note: The cake can be made up to 12 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, in a cool place.


Peach upside-down cake with Cognac caramel

upside down cake, peach, cognac caramel

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14 Comments

  • Reply Masha September 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    This cake was amazing! I couldn’t believe I made such a perfect cake.. Take a look at the pictures: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cooking-Chicks/177365772461993
    Thank you so much Viviane! I love your site.

  • Reply El August 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I love this dessert. It’s beautiful. Perfect for farm fresh fruit!

    • Reply Viviane August 26, 2014 at 7:37 am

      Thank you, El… and big compliment coming from the “queen of desserts”!

  • Reply Judit + Corina @ Glamorous Bite August 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Viviane, you captured the perfect summer dessert with this beautiful upside down cake! The Riesling Ice Wine from Canada sounds as a dream pairing :)
    Cheers,
    J+C

    • Reply Viviane August 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Judit + Corina, Thank you! The Riesling Ice Wine is indeed quite delicious with this cake, especially on a hot summer day… Cheers!

  • Reply lisaiscooking August 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I can almost smell those lovely peaches from the photos. What a delicious-looking cake!

  • Reply Evelyne@cheapethniceatz August 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    It’s Ontario peaches time, a really big deal here. this looks amazing and might have to make it. And wow on the Cognac caramel.

    • Reply Viviane August 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Thank you, Evelyne! It’s New York peach-time too! We can’t get enough of them… Very glad you like the Cognac caramel too!

  • Reply Anita at Hungry Couple August 25, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Just stunning! I’ve been scrolling through all your recent recipes and there’s not one thing that you’ve made that I wouldn’t be thrilled to eat!

    • Reply Viviane August 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Anita! Thank you so much for your very kind words… You just made my day!

  • Reply Carole Hamilton August 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    These are truly intriguing and beautiful presentations

  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes August 18, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Indeed a perfect coffee cake, Viviane. The brandy caramel must be terrific paired with the sweet juicy peaches.

    • Reply Viviane August 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you, Angie! I look forward to peach season every year, just so that I can make this cake! Have a great Sunday, my dear…

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