This is a first for me. I’ve been thinking about it and I realized that up until this cake, I can’t say that I’ve ever made an upside down cake before. I know, how in the world is that even possible!!!
Before I start listing all the reasons that you need to make this, have I told you guys how terrible I am at making decisions? Okay, yeah, I know I have.
I should probably warn you that I might be about to rant about this just a little bit. For reals though, I’m horrible at decisions, especially where pictures are concerned. You’d think after taking, editing, and sharing about 973 bajillion photos of food that I’d be getting quicker at the whole process, but I’m totally not. I feel like the opposite is happening. I’ve been getting so annoyed at myself for spending way too much time obsessing over pictures.
Granted a huge part of the challenge has been the Winter and only having a tiny, few hour, window of usable natural light during the day, but still! I’m just saying, if I’ve ever given the impression that I want you all to think my real life is perfect, well I don’t. My backstage is every bit as messy (actually, it’s probably way more because chocolate) as everybody else’s. <—Truth.
I just want to be straight with you guys because that’s what friends are for, right? See, so hypothetically speaking, I’m counting on you to give me a good high-five to the face next time I fall into a panic attack over crumbs or something. Um, not that I’d know anything about that ’cause that’s like never ever happened to me, uh huh…..
All-righty, but we’ve got some cake to discuss. I should be sure to give my mom an honorable shout-out here because this was an idea I had that she helped turn into something 1ox better. I was throwing around the idea of something involving peaches and cream and cake. It was her idea to do it upside-down style in my poor, way too neglected, cast iron skillets. I really need to put those in a more accessible spot in the kitchen because I’m constantly forgetting to use them. (You think I can tap my heels together or wiggle my nose or something to get a more spacious and funtional kitchen? Yeah, didn’t think so.)
Her suggestion totally saved the day and turned this one into something that I’m super excited about sharing. Upside down cake people, be prepared for more of it ’cause I’ve fallen in love over here. Obviously the best part ever is when you get to flip it out of the pan with all the steaming, bubbling, syrupy goodness and reveal the gorgeous top/bottom of fruit! I can’t wait to try every flavor fruit I can think of, except possibly tomato because that would be weird and gross, but I think apple is definitely happing later this year!
So basically, you really have to make this. Also, even though it kind of feels like cheating a little bit, I used a cake recipe that is already one of my favorites. I thought it went really well with the fruity topping and helped balance this for the perfect sweet summertime treat.
Caramelized Peach Upside Down Skillet Cake (Vegan)
There's nothing like a caramely, sweet upside down cake with plenty of fruit!
- 4 - 5 medium peaches peeled and sliced
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 lemon juice and zest from it
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup aquafaba liquid from 2 cans cooked chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup organic vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or organic vegetable shortening ,melted
- 1/4 cup applesauce can sub pumpkin puree if you don't mind a little more golden color
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- non-dairy vanilla ice cream or non-dairy whipped cream for serving
Melt the coconut oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add peaches. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the brown sugar, lemon juice, and zest and continue cooking for another few minutes until the juices start to thicken and caramelize with the sugar, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle vanilla, cinnamon, and salt on the peaches and gently stir to combine. Spread the peaches into an even layer on the bottom of the pan and use a spatula to scrape down the sides as much as possible of any stuck sugar crystals. Once the pan has cooled a little, use a napkin or paper towel dipped in oil to grease the inner sides of skillet as well as you can.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Pour aquafaba into bowl of stand mixer and beat until its begins to look light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Slowly drizzle in sugar while beating on high and continue until it forms stiff peaks (it should take about 5 more minutes). In separate bowl, stir together the lemon juice, applesauce, melted coconut oil, oil, and vanilla extract.
Now, while continuing to beat the aquafaba mixture, slowly pour in the liquids and beat just until evenly combined (the volume of fluffiness will fall a bit but don't worry, it was still worth it for the end result).
Now in another separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients. Use a large spatula to gently fold in the ingredients just until fairly combined. (It's actually better to leave some small lumps then to overmix and lose volume.)
Carefully pour the batter over the peaches in the skillet and place the whole thing in the oven to bake for 30 - 40 minutes until the top starts to brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow the skillet to cool for at least 5 minutes and loosen the edges all the way around with a thin bladed knife. Then wearing oven mitts, invert a large plate over the the skillet and carefully flip the skillet upside down while holding the plate tightly to the skillet. Use a rubber spatula to scrape out any of the extra syrup left in pan and pour over cake.
You can eat it while it's still warm or allow it to cool completely (warm is AMAZING!!), but ice cream or whipped cream with it is a must!