Congratulations, Sarah Saunders!

Sarah SaundersThird Place Winner in the 2014 Peach Cook Off,  Sarah Saunders won this honor with her Upside Down Peach Cake. Recipe follows at end of article.

Being new to this area and all its horticultural programs, Sarah has immersed herself into the Chilton County life. She attended the Master Gardener Class in 2014 in Coosa County. She has been an active member of the Chilton County Master Gardener Association while an intern and continues to contribute her time and talents to many of its service projects. She has helped with 4-H and other extension office activities. Sarah has been asked to be the liaison from CCMGA to the developing Thorsby Community Park committee. Sarah resides Thorsby with husband, Jerome and daughter, Kate. They are remodeling a house in the Jemison area.

She is well versed in computer skills and developmental aspects of planning and carrying out projects. Poised and an excellent speaker, Sarah represented Chilton County at the National County Agents Conference in Mobile, July 19-20.

Peach Upside-Down Cake


4 medium fresh ripe peaches (approx. 1 ½ lb.) peeled and cut into 1/3 inch-thick wedges

2 tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 cup cake flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

1 ¼ cup granulated sugar divided

¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature and divided

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 large eggs

½ cup sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss peaches with lemon juice. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

2. Cook ½ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup of butter in a 9-inch cake pan (make sure it is stove top safe) over low heat, stirring frequently with wooden spoon, 10 minutes or until sugar and butter melt. Remove from heat. Spread the mixture to coat the bottom of the skillet evenly, sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach edges in concentric circles over sugar mixture, overlapping as needed.

3. In electric stand mixer, beat vanilla, ¾ granulated sugar and ½ cup butter at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, beating until blended. Gradually add sifted flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended and stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Spoon batter over peaches in skillet, and spread to cover.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in skillet on wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen.

5. Carefully pour out any excess liquid from skillet into a measure cup, and reserve. (It’s ok if you don’t have any excess liquid – it all depends on how juicy your fruit is.) Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate, and drizzled with any reserved liquid. Cut cake into wedges using a serrated knife and serve immediately.

Adapted from Virginia Willis, Southern Living

June 2012