Nectarine Upside-Down Cake

The pure joy I felt when I flipped this cake out of the pan is comparable to few things in life. It was magical. I mean, I did grease the pan like a crazy person, so I also wasn’t that surprised, but still. Magic.

This Nectarine Upside-Down Cake was inspired by the traditional pineapple variety. It’s made almost the same way, by layering fruit with a quick homemade caramel sauce and spreading a dense cake batter over the top. However, because nectarines are less sweet than pineapple, the final product is subtle and delicious. I don’t love overly sweet desserts, plus the muted sweetness really lets the in-season nectarines shine!

I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m allergic to peaches. I found this out later in life (after I had already tasted the delicious fruit many times), which totally stinks. Luckily, I can get somewhat of a peach fix by eating nectarines, which don’t cause my throat to close! The point in mentioning this is that you can absolutely feel free to substitute peaches in this recipe. It would be so delicious, and I’d be jealous if you did.

A quick note on the cake batter- it will be dense and not as wet as you probably expect. That’s ok! Simply spread it over the fruit and caramel using a silicon spatula, very gently, so as not to disturb your beautiful fruit pattern.

I serve this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or fresh whipped cream, but it’s also delicious as-is with a cup of tea. Whatever way you choose, make sure you share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram so I can see your cakes in all their glory!


½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, plus more for greasing

3-4 ripe nectarines

1 cup sugar, divided

¼ cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground nutmeg

3 eggs

Whipped cream and vanilla ice cream, if desired, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter, and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. For good measure, grease the parchment too.
  2. Remove the pits from the nectarines and slice into ½ inch wedges. Arrange in a circular pattern on the bottom of the greased/lined cake pan.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of the sugar with the water. Bring to a rolling boil and let cook until it turns light brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. When the caramel is finished, immediately remove from heat and pour over the nectarines at the bottom of the cake pan. 
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat remaining sugar and butter until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add to the wet ingredients in the mixer. Pour batter over the peaches carefully, trying not to disturb the pattern. You may need to spread the batter using a rubber spatula.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool slightly, then run a knife along the edges and flip the cake out onto a plate or serving tray. 
  7. Serve cake at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

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