Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Lasting Impression

My first experience with this cake was a revelation. Or so it seemed at the time—I was probably eight or nine years old and this cake seemed so very exotic. I was visiting a neighbor, someone from a place called Vermont, and she was making upside down gingerbread using peaches. Hmmmm……

Unusual though it seemed the combination made a lasting impression, and soon I was experimenting trying to duplicate that deliciousness. (I began cooking very early and have been doing it ever since!) Over the years this recipe changed considerably, but stabilized to its present form about twelve years ago. It is my extreme pleasure to post my recipe for Peachy Upside Down Gingerbread.

Peachy Upside Down Gingerbread


2 15 oz. cans peaches in heavy syrup, drained, syrup reserved

2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. cinnamon


1 c. molasses

¼ c. reserved peach syrup

¾ c. boiling water

2-1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. nutmeg

½ c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 egg

Select a 9 inch round or square pan. Grease, line with parchment paper, and grease and flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

Drain the peaches, reserving ¼ c. of the syrup. In a small bowl combine the 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Combine with fingers. Sprinkle evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. If using a square pan, arrange peaches evenly in rows. If using a round pan, arrange peaches in concentric circles. Set aside.

To prepare the batter combine the molasses, ¼ c. of the reserved syrup (discard any remaining syrup), and the boiling water. Stir to combine. Set aside. Measure the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the molasses mixture and beat on low until well combined. Scrape the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat on low just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan being careful not to disturb the arranged peaches. Spread the batter evenly and smooth the surface. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. After the 10 minute resting time, invert the cake immediately onto a wire rack. Reset peach slices as necessary.

If serving warm, carefully slide the cake onto a serving plate. If serving cold, cool completely on the wire rack and transfer to a serving plate or platter. Serve with whipped cream.


  1. Mmm. I have peaches in the freezer from the farmer's market - would they work in this recipe?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. How did you prepare the peaches for freezing?