Stone Fruit Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake

{Apologies for the lack of quality pictures in this post — I had to sneakily take pictures while we were running around prepping for our event}

This cake was the dish I made for the event my garde manger class put on at the end of the quarter.

Any stone fruit would be fine for this cake. We decided on peaches, but you could use nectarines, cherries, apricots, plums, etc. This cake pairs perfectly with some freshly made vanilla bean ice cream. So, so good.

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This recipe is from Rustic Fruit Desserts, a really wonderful fruit dessert book written by my instructor, James Beard award winning, Chef Cory Schreiber. I had a great time in his class this summer, he’s so knowledgeable about all Pacific Northwest foods and was always willing to answer any questions we had about the various foods we were using.

If you’re looking for a new, fun cake to make this is a great one. Super easy, really tasty. It would even make a good addition to any future brunches you might be thinking of 🙂

The ice cream we served with this was another recipe of Chef Schreiber’s and I’ll be sure to share that with you soon.


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Stone Fruit Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake:
Serves 8


Fruit Topping: 

  • 4 small stone fruits, such as apricots, plums or pluots (I used peaches)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (3 3/4 oz.) packed brown sugar


  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz.) fine cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (4 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice fruit in half and remove the pits. Thinly slice the fruit.
  3. To prepare the fruit topping for individual cakes, distribute the melted butter among eight 5-ounce ramekins, brushing the butter up onto the sides of the ramekins. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar into each ramekin, then place fruit on top of the sugar. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
  4. Alternatively, to prepare the fruit topping for a single large cake, melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet set over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and blends with butter to form a caramel. Remove from the heat and arrange the fruit on top of the caramel.
  5. To make the cake, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer wit the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  6. Distribute the batter evenly among the ramekins (about 1/4 cup per cake) on top of the fruit, or transfer all of the batter to the skillet and gently spread it evenly over the fruit. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes for individual cakes or 45 minutes for the skilller, or until the center of the cake springs back lightly when touched. Allow the individual cakes to cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto plates; the larger cake will need 20 minutes to cool before you flip it over.

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