If you're like me, peaches are always on your Summer fruit to-buy list. The last couple of years fresh peaches from nearby farms haven't been so good; kind of small and not juicy or sweet.
I think this year is going to be different, though.
I picked up some peaches at the grocery store yesterday to make this Summer Peach Cake and found them juicy, sweet and very, very good.
The next few weeks will be peak peach season and I'll be at the store with bells on my toes, picking out the good ones!
I renamed this Summer Peach Cake to Perfect Summer Peach Cake because it is! The vanilla-almond base cake itself is so flavorful and delicious and then there are the fresh peaches all the way through the cake, then finished off with a crunchy almond-sugar topping. It's really amazing.
This peach cake is one of the four challenge cakes we got to choose from this month in The Cake Slice Bakers from America's Test Kitchen's The Perfect Cake. I've been so pleased with the cake choices and ATK has done a great job getting "perfect" cakes to turn out.
Perfect Summer Peach Cake takes a little time to put together. Peeling and cutting the peaches into wedges took awhile and was a bit messy, and then you roast part of the peaches and let them cool for 30 minutes before continuing with the cake.
The cake takes almost an hour to bake and then they recommend 2 to 3 hours to cool (which I didn't - I dug in after hour 1). I really recommend that you make this cake, but be sure and set aside the time to do so.
I'm posting this photo, not because it's so great, but because it reminds me of Pac-Man. Right?
This is a fantastic cake and I know you and your family will love it. Read the recipe thoroughly before starting and have all your ducks (or peaches) in a row, and putting the cake together will go smoothly.
- 2 ½ lb peaches, peeled and cut into ½" wedges
- 5 tablespoon peach nectar
- 4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- For the Cake:
- 1 C (5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ C packed (3 ½ oz) light brown sugar
- ⅓ C (2 ⅓ oz) plus 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 8 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ C sour cream
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅜ teaspoon almond extract
- ⅓ C panko bread crumbs, finely crushed
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Grease and flour a 9" springform pan. Stir 24 peach wedges with 2 tablespoons of the peach nectar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl; set aside
- Cut the remaining peach wedges crosswise into 3 chunks and gently toss with remaining 3 tablespoon of peach nectar, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoon sugar in another medium bowl. Spread these peach chunks onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until juices begin to thicken and caramelize at the edges of the pan, 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the peaches cool completely on the pan, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- For the Cake: In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar and eggs until thick and thoroughly combined. Slowly whisk in the cooled, melted butter.
- Whisk in the sour cream, vanilla and ¼ teaspoon (only) of the almond extract until combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (don't over mix).
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly to the edges.
- Sprinkle crushed panko over the cooled, roasted peaches and toss to coat the peaches. Arrange those peaches evenly in the batter and press down gently. Spread the rest of the batter on top, smooth with a spoon, then arrange the reserved peaches over the top of the batter, making sure to get wedges in the middle also.
- Combine the remaining 3 tablespoon granulated sugar and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon almond extract in a small bowl, then sprinkle it evenly over the top of the cake batter.
- in the 350 degree oven, bake the cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs (not completely dry), 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
- Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife gently around the edges of the baked cake to loosen it, then remove the sides of the pan (bottom will still be attached).
- Let the cake cool completely on the rack, 2 to 3 hours. Slide a thin metal spatula between cake bottom and pan to loosen it, then slide cake onto your cake platter.
Tips and Stuff:
The original recipe calls for peach schnapps, but I used peach nectar. If your peaches are farm fresh and ultra juicy, you can skip the nectar/schnapps.
It also calls for unsalted butter, but I used what I have - salted butter.
Read the recipe thoroughly before beginning, as there are unusual instructions for dividing the peaches and soaking/roasting them.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 443mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 31gProtein: 5g