Upside Down Peach Cake

Peaches! My favorite fruit on this entire earth. I have yet to have any luck planting peach trees here on the farm. No luck, as in I killed two of them. Probably because I brought them home and then failed to put them in the ground for several months. Not my best plant parenting. Luckily, we are a stone’s throw away from the great peach producing state of South Carolina which actually out produces Georgia in peaches. This year I received a text from a friend that one of her other friends would be making a trip to a nearby peach farm and was willing to take orders. Between myself, my mother, and my mother-in-law we ordered two and a half, twenty-five pound boxes. I was in peach heaven!

We enjoyed a few fresh ones and froze the majority for future use, but one recipe that I absolutely had to make before the summer was over was this fantastic variation on Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I love it so much and will likely never make the traditional tropical version again if I have the option. Give it a try and see if you agree.

Upside Down Peach 08

 Upside Down Peach Cake

11 tbps unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3-4 large peaches, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk

Upside Down Peach 01

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Using a 10” cast iron skillet, melt 3 tbps of butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and let melt until it melts and bubbles to make a sticky, thick syrup.

Upside Down Peach 02

Remove from heat and allow to cool five minutes. Place the peaches in the pan in a circular pattern.

Upside Down Peach 03

In a large mixing bowl, beat 8 tbps of butter with the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla then the eggs.

Upside Down Peach 04

In a separate bowl, mix the flower, baking powder, and salt. Stir half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir in the milk. Stir in the remaining dry mixture and stir just until mixed. Pour the batter of the peaches spreading it to the edges of the pan.

Upside Down Peach 05

Place in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until the edges of the cake pull from the sides and a knife poked into the center of the cake comes out clean (pushed only through the cake portion, not the fruit).

Upside Down Peach 06

Allow the skillet to cool for 20 minutes before flipping it over onto the cake plate. Allow to cool slightly and then serve while still slightly warm (with vanilla ice cream as a bonus treat).

Upside Down Peach 07

 

Hummingbird Cake

I’m not sure when the first time I ever had Hummingbird Cake was, but I do know it was many years ago after I had moved to Laurinburg as a college student. I remember loving every scrumptious bite and wondering where this Southern tradition had been all my life.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago while standing in the grocery store aisle where I saw the 50th Anniversary issue of Southern Living (Feb. 2016).

Hummingbird 03

Being one of my favorite magazines I grabbed a copy and let it make a home on my living room end table until I had a quiet moment to enjoy it. Low and behold, the Hummingbird Cake was featured as a reader favorite from 1978 with many appearances since then.

Hummingbird 02

It had been so long since I had last enjoyed a delicious slice of this favorite of Southern cakes that I just had to find an occasion to make one. When a going away party was planned for a friend I grab the opportunity and got to baking. 
For those who have never had Hummingbird Cake I would describe it as a sweeter carrot cake with a bit more texture due to the fruit chunks.

HUMMINGBIRD CAKE

3 cup flour
2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
8 oz crushed pineapple undrained
2 cup chopped bananas
1 cup chopped pecans (optional – I omitted)
shortening/flour for greasing pans
Double batch cream cheese frosting (One patch = 8 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 16 oz powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla)
1 cup chopped or whole pecans for decoration (I chopped)

Hummingbird 01

Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together flour (I sifted the 3 cups first), sugar, salt, soda, and cinnamon. Add oil and eggs, stir until just moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, and bananas. Pour into 3 well-greased/floured 9″ round cake pans. Bake 25-30 mins. Cool in pans for 10 mins. Cool on wire rack out of pans for 1 hour. Layer with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle top with nuts.

The batter is very thick and chunky so don’t be alarmed when it doesn’t resemble other cake recipes.

Hummingbird 05

I recommend freezing the layers before icing them because it is a very tender cake that is easy to tear when icing. I also prefer thinner layers of icing than many people which is easier to do with a frozen cake rather than a fresh cake.

Hummingbird 06

The nuts are optional both inside and outside the cake. Neither Neal or myself care for nuts in our cakes very often and think this recipe is just as great without them. Neal suggested fresh fruit as a top garnish and I might indeed give that a try next time around. However you choose to top your Hummingbird Cake, I hope you enjoy this Southern classic as much as we do.

Happy Homesteading and God Bless!

Jennifer