Salt & Wind Travel

Upside Down Peach Rhubarb Polenta Cake Recipe

Sometimes everything’s just upside down.

It’s like waking up on the right side of the bed, but you do it, you know, upside down. And try as you might, you can’t flip it over – you’re a mental roly-poly. Today was such a day – like I’d had a mental fog that left me without clear thought, without any eloquence, just totally upside down. When things are that turned around, you need something sweet, like this upside-down peach-rhubarb polenta cake — because even when it’s upside down, it’s alright. 

Go stock up on all your cooking essentials then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Single slice of peach rhubarb cake with ice cream
Upside Down Peach Rhubarb Polenta Cake Recipe

Upside Down Peach Rhubarb Polenta Cake Recipe

A twist on the classic, this Upside Down Peach Rhubarb Polenta Cake Recipe is a must-make in the early spring.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 269 kcal


  • 2 cups (1/4-inch thick slices) ripe peaches (from about 3 medium // about 14 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/4-inch pieces) rhubarb (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup unrefined granulated sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temperature plus extra for the cake pan
  • 1 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus extra for the cake pan
  • 1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (about 2 ounces)
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice, whole milk, or almond milk at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  • Macerate The Fruit: Combine peach slices, rhubarb, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a large nonreactive bowl, toss to coat, and set aside until juicy, at least 5 minutes.
  • Prepare The Cake Pan: Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with extra butter and extra flour; tap out excess flour. Then line the pan with a round of parchment paper, cover with additional butter and flour, tap out excess, and set aside.
  • Make The Polenta Cake Batter: Combine 1 1/3 cups of flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps; set aside.
  • Place the 1 stick of butter, brown sugar, and remaining 3/4 granulated sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on a medium speed, until the butter is creamy and consistency of wet sand. Add the eggs, one at a time, letting each egg fully incorporate before adding the next.
    Add the juice or milk, the vanilla extract, and mix until combined (it may look curdled at this point but don't worry about it), about 1 minute. Reduce mixer to low and add dry ingredients, little by little, and mix until just incorporated.s
  • Assemble The Polenta Cake: Arrange the fruit mixture on the bottom of the cake pan (including any excess juices) then spoon the batter evenly over the fruit and spread it out evenly. Bake until the cake is golden brown, evenly risen, springs back when lightly pressed, and a cake tester or skewer inserted in the middle comes out with only a few crumbs, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Place a plate upside down on top of cake pan; invert cake onto plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with ice cream or whipped cream.



Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 369mgPotassium: 143mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 431IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 1mg
Keyword polenta cake, upside down cake
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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