Peachy Upside Down Cake, Gluten Free

Peachy Upside Down Cake, like the classic only the summer version. Gluten-free.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake might be a classic, but peach upside down shouts summer time.  It’s a once a season deal unless you buy the frozen peach slices, but it won’t taste quite like a fresh summer peach cake.

I’d like to tell you some fabulous story about how we happily all trot off to go peach picking or berry picking and come home with bushels of the stuff. But that would be a big fat fairy tale. A hundred years ago with small children attached to our hands, we once tried berry picking and it was so freaking hot and so much work for a tiny amount of berries – not to mention we’d turn around and one kid would be eating the berries we’d just picked,  and then the other – that I swore that would never  happen again.  Even a farm stand is pushing my city girl boundaries. These are grocery market peaches and they look like they might be this year’s crop, but you just never know (kidding).

The are two ways to make the brown butter peach smush. To peel or not to peel. Peeled peaches will result in smush color that is well, peach and a flavor that is mild. Unpeeled  peaches will result in this fabulous peachy pinky red smush color and amazingly enough, the peel gives the whole mess a way deeper fruity flavor.

If you go with unpeeled peaches, when you place them in the pan prior to adding the cake batter, you’ll want to pick the peaches out with a fork and avoid the peels. It’s a little messy, but the resulting flavor is well worth the chaos and mayhem.  Just call it rustic.

After the initial peach sauté, be sure to drain the peaches into a bowl using a strainer. Some of  that liquid is for the cake batter. Save the rest by placing it in a covered container in the refrigerator. It makes a great fruity liquid for other batters as well as a topping for ice cream or french toast.  Put it right next to the leftover blueberry smurf slush from these.

Peeling peaches? Boil some water in a big pot. Make an X slash into the peach at the end opposite the stem. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby and a place to put the peach while you finish the others. Get out a large slotted or spider utensil. Dip the peach into the boiling water and leave it for 30 seconds (for a big fat peach). Use the slotted spoon and lift the peach out of the boiling water and into the ice water for 30 seconds. Move the peach to a waiting area. Pick up the skin at the X  and peel away. It should come off quite easily. And there you have it. Peachy, right?

Thinking ahead, if there is more than one cake or muffin to make with peaches, probably it would be a good idea to double up on the smush stuff and stash the extra in the refrigerator for the next recipe – saving some work. But keep it stashed for a week or less for best flavor.

I’m so grateful that August is flying by and it’s almost time to replenish the stash of chocolate and bake holiday cookies. I love summer because of the berries – in my yogurt – but I am probably one of the only blogger bakers you will meet who doesn’t want to see one more baked berry anything after say, two weeks back.

Chocolate? Fall stuff? Stay tuned. But first, might as well pull up a cup of coffee and join me for a piece of peachy upside down cake.

Peachy Upside Down Cake, like the classic only the summer version. Gluten-free.

Peachy Upside Down Cake, Gluten Free
Peach upside down cake is a nice change from the classic pineapple version. To peel or not to peel the peach is your choice. Not peeling is simpler, and creates a deeper flavor that is lost when the peel is taken off the peach before they are sautéed. It is slightly messy when pulling out pieces of peach for the cake. Worth it, though. But both methods will yield you a tasty upside down cake. Serves about 8.
Brown Butter Peach Smush
  • 4 large ripe peaches, Sliced into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Upside Down Cake
  • 195 grams Canteen flour blend (1 ½ cups) (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 100 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 90 grams unsalted butter, softened (6 tablespoons)
  • 115 grams Greek yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons brown butter peach liquid
  • zest of one lemon
Brown Butter Peach Smush
  1. Cut unpeeled or peeled peaches in half and then into wedges (about 8 wedges per peach half). Melt butter in a large sauté pan. Add peach wedges when the butter is bubbly and sprinkle the brown sugar and salt over the top. Gently stir every once in a while so that all the peach wedges get a chance to be in the bottom of the pan. Sauté over medium high heat until the peaches release their liquid and the mixture starts to thicken, about 10-12 minutes, gently stirring frequently.
  2. When they are finished caramelizing remove from the heat and pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl collecting the brown butter peach juice for the cake. Let the peaches drain for at least 15 minutes. Place the leftover liquid from the peach smush into a jar and refrigerate.
Upside Down Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan. Place a teaspoon of granulated sugar in the bottom of the pan and rap the pan to distribute evenly. Place peach pieces on the bottom of the pan taking care to not disturb the sugar. Fill the bottom of the pan with a single layer of caramelized peaches, packed tightly together.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and granulated sugar until combined. Add the butter, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and peach liquid to the flour mixture and blend with an electric mixer until the batter is light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan over the peaches. Rap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  3. Bake 40-50 minutes or until an instant read thermometer measures the center of the cake at about 185-195 degrees. The toothpick test might not be reliable for this cake because it can come out without crumbs but the center might not be thoroughly baked. Err on the side of over baking this cake to ensure the center is baked.
  4. Have your serving plate ready for when the cake comes out of the oven. You have to flip the cake out of the pan while it is piping hot in order for the topping to come out in one piece. If you let the cake cool at all the peaches will stay in the pan. Use pot holders and flip the cake onto the serving plate and carefully remove the pan – it might take a little work to release but be patient. It’ll come out. If any of the fruit remains in the baking pan you can patch it onto the cake while it is hot more easily than when it is cool. Let the cake cool a little bit before serving – it is best tasting served slightly warm. Drizzle with a little bit of leftover brown butter peach liquid.
canteen flour blend is two parts superfine brown rice flour plus one part each superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch (2:1:1) by weight. See About Flours for more info.


Peachy Upside Down Cake, Gluten-free.


  1. Are your recipes low cholesterol? That is very important to many of us and very difficult to find good recipes – esp kosher stuff – that is low cholesterol.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      I have no idea, Toby. But I’m guessing that some might be less caloric than others. Our recipes are not developed for low fat diets – we use butter and shortening, for example.

  2. Made this cake today and all I could say is WOW!!
    Loved by all and nearly gone. I did not have a lemon so I replace the vanilla extract and lemon zest with a half teaspoon of fiori di sicilia. Tried cutting parchment paper to fit bottom of pan and cake came out easily.
    Beautiful as well. Thanks so much.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Sounds wonderful! Fiori di sicilia would be a great addition. Glad you enjoyed it.


  1. […] down cake is rumored to come in flavors other than just pineapple, like blueberry or peach. The Canteen kitchen, just to verify the validity of said rumors set out to bake a cake or two or […]