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The Best Cake Ever: Peach Upside Down

Bring this to anyone, anywhere and get anything you ask for!  It is a mesmerizing blend of sweet, tart, crunchy, chewy, airy, and fruity.

Ingredients

For the Topping

4 large, ripe peaches, pitted and sliced into thick wedges

1 stick unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

4 Tbsp apple butter (spiced)

1 cup maple syrup

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the Cake

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

2 Tbsp apple butter

2 Tbsp salted caramel (I used the Trader Joe's brand)

2 large eggs

2 tsp baking soda

3 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose King Arthur flour

1 tsp salt

Instructions

Make the topping

  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until butter is melted, all ingredients are incorporated and sauce is thickened slightly (it should be rolling with medium-big bubbles coming up to the surface).
  3. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Make the cake

  1. While the sauce is cooking, slice the peaches and preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Using leftover butter papers (or cooking spray) generously oil two round 9-inch cake pans.  Cut out two circles of parchment to fit in the middle of each pan's bottom by placing the pan on the paper, tracing it, cutting out the circles then pressing them into the oiled bottom.
  3. Spray the parchment with oil once again and arrange the peach slices in a circular fashion (see photo).
  4. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand) combine oil, brown sugar, apple butter, salted caramel, and eggs.
  5. Mix until smooth and well-combined. 
  6. In a separate bowl whisk baking soda with flour and salt.
  7. Add flour mixture slowly and stir until combined, leaving as few lumps as possible (but making sure not to overmix).
  8. Divide topping in half.  Take one half and divide again, pouring each half evenly over arranged peaches.  Reserve the rest for serving.
  9. Next, divide batter and pour evenly over peach and topping mixture.  Using a spatula, try to encourage the cake batter to reach the sides, but don't worry too much.  (It will spread substantially during baking.)
  10. Place cake pans in oven over a foil-lined baking sheet to catch the drippings.
  11. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until cakes are done.
  12. Remove from the oven, let cool 20 minutes, loosen outsides with a palate knife and then invert onto a plate carefully and peel back parchment rounds.  Rearrange any peaches that many have slipped.
  13. Pour over reserved topping sauce to serve. 
  14. Refrigerate for up to one week!

*Try any fruit you like, although peaches, apples, rhubarb + strawberries and pineapples will hold up best.

Recipe by DinnerDivide at http://dinnerdivide.com/2017/09/the-best-cake-youll-ever-make-or-eat/