Gingerbread Peach Upside-Down Cake


Recipe By: Mary Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina – Grand Prize Winner, Old Mill Recipe Contest 2020

“Each time I make this recipe it takes me home. The recipe began with a clipping from a 1937 Farm Journal Magazine for gingerbread. We were apple growers in western North Carolina, and my grandmother Coela Coston added apples and pecans to make it an upside-down gingerbread cake. Mama Coston died in 1965, but she had already taught me the recipe. When I moved to South Carolina, peaches were much more abundant than apples, so I adapted her recipe into this Gingerbread Peach Upside-Down Cake. It is one of the most flavorful and comforting desserts you’ll ever taste.” – Mary Leverette


Gingerbread Peach Upside-Down Cake

  • Author: Mary Leverette
  • Prep Time: 20 to 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 to 65 minutes


Peach Topping:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sorghum
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 to 4 medium-ripe peaches, peeled, cored and thinly sliced


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sorghum
  • 2 ½ cups The Old Mill Plain Unbleached Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water


  • Extra peach slices
  • Whipped cream, if desired


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and stir in the brown sugar, sorghum, and
    pecans. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan or deep cake pan.
    Arrange the peach slices over the sugar mixture.
  3. For the cake, place the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric
    mixer on low speed until creamy, 30 seconds. Add the egg and sorghum and blend until smooth. Set aside. Place the flour in a medium bowl, and stir in the soda, ginger, cloves, and salt. Alternatively add these dry ingredients and the hot water to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Pour the batter on top of the peaches. Place the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and invert at once onto a heatproof serving plate. If you are using a springform pan, invert, and then after 20 minutes unclasp the sides of the pan and carefully remove the base from the top of the cake.
  5. Garnish with extra peach slices. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Note: If desired, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the recipe. You can substitute nectarines or plums for
peaches in this recipe.

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7 thoughts on “Gingerbread Peach Upside-Down Cake”

  1. Angela Henderson

    If you can’t get sorghum have you ever tried anything in its place with good results?
    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing. I love old family recipes.

    1. We’ve not tried any substitutions for the sorghum ourselves. We carry some great sorghum that you can order online from us!

    2. Mary Marlowe Leverette

      I have used commercial blackstrap molasses. The flavor will be much stronger and the color much darker than if you use sorghum molasses.

  2. I hope Old Mill Cafe plans to serve this cake and I hope to bake it soon, here in Greenville, SC for my family. We will be visiting the Old Mill Cafe when we visit Gatlinburg next week. I look forward to both the cake and dinner at the old mill.
    Thank you Mary Leverette for sharing and congratulations on your win.

    Cookie W

  3. Well — my cake turned out perfect! Delicious with the homemade whipped cream topping. I’m sure it’s just my oven but mine took almost 50 minutes to bake. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Very flavorful and moist!

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