Upside-Down Peach Mochi Cake

August  2, 2021
6 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Serves one 8x8-inch pan or 10-inch skillet
Author Notes

Peaches. Cream. Caramel. Need I say more? This dense, chewy cake has all the flavors I want in late summer. Just like with Spanish flan or French tarte tatin, caramel lines the pan, so every springy piece of mochi cake has a sticky topping with big lobs of peaches. Mochi cake isn’t a cake in the same way as a fluffy angel food or a buttery pound cake— because there’s no worrying about precise leavening, measuring, whipping, or folding. I think of it more as a pudding thickened by glutinous sweet rice flour. This means there’s a lot of room to groove. Check out my off-script guide to mochi cake, then riff to your heart's content. Don’t know where to find glutinous sweet rice flour? Check your local Asian grocery or online. —Sohla El-Waylly

What You'll Need
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Upside-Down Peach Mochi Cake
  • Peaches & Caramel
  • ¾ cups (149 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 medium ripe peaches, quartered and pitted
  • Cake
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups (170 grams) heavy cream
  • ¾ cups (179 grams) peach nectar or puree
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cups (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ vanilla bean pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract—see Author Notes)
  • 2 cups (254 grams) glutinous sweet rice flour, preferably Koda Farms Blue Star Mochiko
  • Flaky salt
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the caramel: In a 3-quart saucepan or saucier, add the sugar and ¼ cup of water. Cook over medium heat, gently stirring with a fork until mostly dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with a lid and simmer until just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid and keep cooking until the sugar caramelizes to a dark brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully pour the hot caramel into a 8x8-inch brownie pan or 10-inch cast-iron skillet, then immediately (and carefully) pick up the pan to swirl the caramel and evenly coat the bottom and sides. Arrange the peaches cut-side down on top of the caramel. Place in the fridge to cool.
  3. Make the cake batter: In the same pot that the caramel was cooked in (no need to wash it), add the sugar and ¼ cup of water. Cook the sugar following the same method as above, until it caramelizes to a dark brown. Add the cream, nectar, and salt and bring to a simmer, whisking to dissolve the caramel.
  4. Using a paring knife, scrape the inside of the vanilla bean half, then add the beans and innards to the simmering peach caramel. (If you’re using vanilla extract, add it at this point, then skip the refrigerating step that follows.) Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours. Remove the vanilla pod. Use your fingers to scrape any remaining vanilla goodness into the cream mixture, then discard the pod.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the melted butter until smooth and creamy. Add the caramel-peach mixture and whisk until everything is homogenous. Add the rice flour and whisk again until combined.
  6. Scrape the batter into the pan with the peaches and bake until deeply browned and the cake bounces back when gently pressed in the center, 55 to 65 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes or at most 30 minutes before inverting and serving. Finish with flaky salt. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

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Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae

2 Reviews

erikfred July 24, 2023
I made this last night as written, with the exception of swapping in plums for the peaches. It is SO good! I remember from the video Sohla describing a mochi cake as a custard set with rice flour, and now having made this I agree that that is the perfect description. The cake has an incredible texture that is definitely chewy but also much more delicate than standard mochi. And the ring around the edge that gets extra crispy and even a little bit burnt in the caramel/fruit juices is to die for.

Some words of warning: this may be because I used plums, which completely disintegrated in the oven, but this was an extremely gooey and bubbly bake. Think cobbler or fruit pie. Also, the mochi batter puffs up enormously before collapsing as it cools, so plan ahead and use an oversized baking dish if you can and also use a tray or foil underneath to catch the drips. Your oven will thank you!
Natalie F. December 25, 2021
Used mangoes instead of peaches and made a "Upside-Down Mango Mochi Cake" for Christmas Eve! It was delicious!