{recipe} Spiced Peach and Fig Caramel Cake

Tomorrow I’m heading up to British Columbia for one last week of summer vacation. I haven’t been since I was ten years old so I’m pretty excited about it. Before I go, I wanted to share a cake that highlights some of my favorite late-summer fruits.

I love making upside-down cakes because they it’s so easy to make them beautiful. A little extra time arranging the fruit in the bottom of the pan yields a knockout when it’s flipped over. Hints of cardamom and cinnamon highlight the fruit’s sweetness. And a bit of red wine in the batter gives a tender crumb and deepens the spicy, caramelicious flavors.

I like this with peaches, but plums and figs are a great combination as well. Of course, if you don’t like figs you could always make it without them–but I think you’ll be missing out, because they soak up the spiced caramel butter in a pretty stellar way.

Recipe: Spiced Peach and Fig Caramel Cake
makes one 8 or 9 inch round cake


  • 6 Tblsp butter
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cardamom
  • 6 small figs, cut in half
  • 2 large or 3 small peaches, peeled, cored, and sliced thickly
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
  • Put butter in an 8 or 9 inch round pan and place it in the oven to melt, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven when melted. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top.
  • Arrange the fig halves in the pan in an attractive pattern, cut side down, and arrange peach slices on top. Set aside.
  •  Beat egg whites with a large pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and red wine. Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in flour, baking powder, and a large pinch of salt. Mix until just combined but do not overmix.
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain. Pour batter on top of fruit.
  • Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Place serving plate upside down on top of the cake and carefully flip onto serving plate. Remove pan. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. ginny says:

    currently in the oven! subbed port for red wine because it was right there on the counter.

    • Karen says:

      @Ginny – awesome! And actually port sounds even better than red wine, yum! I will have to try that next time… port and figs are a great combination.

  2. Wow, this is beautiful. I have possibly the last peaches and nectarines of the season ripening on the counter, and this is a great candidate for what to do with them. For whatever reason the only upside-down cake I’d ever heard of is pineapple, this looks much better.