Monday, July 15, 2013

Mystery Cuisine: Peach Upside-Down Cake

Two happy events occurred recently. One was the arrival of summer peaches, which I mentioned in my last post. The second was the publication of a new Booktown Mystery by Lorna Barrett, titled Not the Killing Type.

I've written before about Barrett’s cozy mystery series, which also contains recipes. In fact, I look forward to the recipes just about as much as I do learning about the latest happenings to protagonist, Tricia Miles, and the other residents of the fictional Stoneham, New Hampshire.

This new book didn't disappoint, both with the plot and the recipes. I enjoyed the emotional growth Tricia goes through as she works to solve the current town murder. Barrett gave this plot a lot of depth. Then I saw the recipe for Grandma Miles’s Peach Upside-Down Cake and knew I had to give it a try. So I headed to a farm stand located at a North Topeka gas station and found some delicious peaches (along with yummy tomatoes and cantaloupe.)

This is an easy recipe. I didn't bother peeling the peaches, and I added cinnamon to the recipe since I think its warm, fragrant flavor goes well with peaches. The result was a delicious cake that works both as a breakfast coffee cake (as it’s used in the novel) or a dessert.

The Picky Eater gave his approval.

I've had a slice for breakfast two days in a row. Plus a slice for an afternoon snack.

Yep, this recipe is a keeper!

Peach Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett

1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the melted butter into a 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter, and then lay the peaches on top in a single layer. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the peaches. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat the flour mixture and the milk, alternating between the two (one-third flour mixture, half the milk, one-third flour mixture, half milk, and remaining flour mixture.)

Spoon the cake batter on top of the peaches and smooth until even. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a plate. Serve warm (though it tastes great cold, too!)


  1. i love mysteries and if they contain recipes all the better!! this cake looks gorgeous - love upside down ones and have never tried peach before - YUM
    Mary x

  2. Thanks for reading my book--and trying the recipe. I'll have try it with cinnamon, too!

  3. I'm a fan of recipe containing mysteries too and have added this to my Amazon Wish List. Up till now I've only read those by Diane Mott Davidson but look forward to expanding my horizons. What a delicious way to celebrate the return of peach season!

  4. This looks beautiful! Look how neat all the peaches are, and i'm so jealous that you have such lovely peaches available. Books sounds good too, I like a good mystery too :D

  5. How much fun is it to read a book and get a delicious recipe like this. Cake is beautiful. My first experience with food in a novel was Like Water for Chocolate. That's old!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  6. I have only done this with apricots and cannot wait to try it with peaches. You've made it look divine!
    I am sure the book will be just as yummy!!~ Teri Lenz

  7. Hey Linda! I just saw this, and I posted a plum upside down cake today. Summer fruit is sooo much better than canned pineapple rings ;)

  8. You are outstanding!!!!!!!!
    Picky eater---