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Posted on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

Blueberry-Peach Upside-Down Cake with Basil-Infused Whipped Cream

By Jessica Webster


Caramel + seasonal fruit + vanilla cake + infused whipped cream = a perfect summer dessert.

Jessica Webster |

A few weeks ago, I found myself in line at the Whole Foods bakery behind an older man who had been sent to the store to procure a very specific baked good. His wife had requested a blueberry-peach upside-down cake.

“She had it at a party and said it was one of the best things she ever tasted!”

The shop was sold out for the day, so they added the man’s name to an already impressive waiting list for the next afternoon.

I went off to discover why so many Ann Arborites seemed keen on buying a blueberry-peach upside-down cake.

After wading through dozens of questionable recipes online, I settled on a peach upside-down cake from Southern Living magazine. This recipe starts with delicious caramel and ends with a simple cake flavored with vanilla bean.

And now I get it. Blueberry-peach upside down cake is ridiculously delicious.

The cake is moist, not too dense or overly rich, and stands up well to all the fruit. The fruit, of course, is the real star of the show. Don’t worry if the peaches you purchase aren’t perfectly ripe — the 45 minutes in the oven will soften them up nicely as they bubble in the delicious caramel.

To make this an even more intensely summery treat, I topped the cake with a basil-infused whipped cream. Mint would also work well in the recipe.

Blueberry-Peach Upside-Down Cake adapted from Southern Living

3 medium peaches, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
1 cup blueberries, washed and dried
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and divided
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 vanilla bean (you can substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if necessary)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss peaches with lemon juice. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

2. Cook 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes or until sugar melts and turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat. Immediately add 1/4 cup butter, stirring vigorously. Spread caramelized sugar to coat bottom of skillet evenly, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach wedges in concentric circles over sugar mixture, overlapping as needed. Scatter blueberries on and between the peach slices.

3. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out seeds into bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Beat vanilla seeds and remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, beating until blended. Gradually add sifted flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended and stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Spoon batter over peaches in skillet, and spread to cover. Place skillet in the oven.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen.

5. Carefully pour out any excess liquid from skillet into a measuring cup, and reserve. Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate, and drizzle with any reserved liquid. Cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Cut cake into wedges using a serrated knife. Top with whipped cream, if desired, and serve immediately.

Basil-infused whipped cream - recipe by Martha Stewart

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, patted dry and chopped
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine cream, basil, and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over (not in) a pan of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 hours, for more pronounced basil flavor). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Whisk until medium peaks form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Jessica Webster

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

I don't have a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and saw another recipe that warned me against using a spring-form pan (too messy), so I used my 12-inch skillet. The cake was thinner, but I really liked the cake-to-fruit ratio.