If you want to be as popular as fireworks for your 4th of July picnic or barbecue, Chef Rachel Murphy of Robert Morris University Illinois suggests a Peach Upside Down Cake – an all-American dessert with a little summer twist of peaches and berries.

Chef Rachel is a dessert chef extraordinaire, having created many original as well as tried and true favorites during her tenure as pastry chef at Spire Restaurant in LaPorte, Indiana. A resident of Frankfort, she received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Culinary Arts degree at Robert Morris and a couple years ago returned to her alma mater to complete her MBA. When she isn’t taking classes, she serves as the Kitchen Manager in the University’s Culinary Program and also teaches pastry classes.

The Peach Upside Down Cake combines the classic baked brown sugar topping with summer fruit on a light cake, but the whipped mascarpone topping sets it off as the delightful ending to a family or neighborhood holiday gathering. A piece of this dessert with a generous dollop of the topping and a cup of coffee or an after-dinner drink will go perfectly while you sit back and watch the fireworks.

Have a Happy 4th!

Here’s the recipe:

Peach Upside Down Cake

Yield: 1 – 9×13″ pan

Sugar Mixture:

Butter ½ C

Brown Sugar 1 C

Peaches (cut about ½” thickness) 3 C

  • In a small pot, melt the butter.
  • Add in the brown sugar and mix until combine and melted.
  • Remove from the heat and pour the mixture on the bottom of the pan.
  • Slice the peaches and place an even amount on top of the sugar mixture, slightly overlapping.


All Purpose Flour 2 ½ C

Baking Powder 2 ½ t

Salt ¾ t

Butter (soft) 1 C

Sugar 1 ½ C

Eggs 2

Vanilla Extract 2 ½ t

Milk 1 C

  • Stir to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all the ingredients are combined before continuing.
  • Alternate adding the flour and milk. Mix until all the ingredients are combined ensuring to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  • Drop the cake batter across the top of the peaches and sugar mixture in the prepared pan and smooth until even.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes. If it is not completely baked, cover with foil and cook until the cake is completely cooked.

* You can also add about 1 C of your favorite berries when layering the peaches in the sugar mixture. Or, toss the 1 C of berries with 1 T of flour until coated and gently fold into the cake batter.

Whipped Mascarpone:

Mascarpone 1 C

Heavy Cream 1 C

Powdered Sugar ¾ C

Vanilla Extract 1 t

  • Put all ingredients into a bowl and whip to a medium peaks.

Assembly: Slice pieces of the cake and dollop with the whipped mascarpone, chopped pistachios, and fresh berries and sliced peaches.