Fresh Peach Cake

By Ann Fulton

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My enthusiasm for fall apples knows no bounds and I hold no grudges against pumpkin spice everything.  But just because schools are back in session doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to all the amazing fruits and veggies that are still at their peak.  (Speaking of school, when this recipes posts, I will be dropping off my older son for his first year at college.  For those who enjoy the occasional photos of people along with food, I’ve included some fun then vs. now pictures as I’ve been walking down memory lane a lot recently!) 

This recipe is based on Savour’s recipe via Food52, although my version has several changes, including a mistake that ended up adding a little something special.  After first making this cake according to the recipe, I reduced the sugar, used yogurt in place of buttermilk, kept the flavorful juices from the peaches, and clarified the quantity of fruit to be used.

The size of peaches can vary dramatically throughout the growing season, and the original “3 peaches” had to have been based on small peaches—hence the feedback from some that there was way too much juice and the peaches made the cake soggy. For the record, most of the feedback was glowing. I also reduced the amount of nutmeg by 1/4 teaspoon to make it less apparent to those who find it to be a pungent spice.

Beyond peach season, a variety of fruit can be used. Berries are a personal favorite, and I’m tempted to try apples and pears this fall.  Sometimes, I top off the second cup of peaches with red raspberries from the freezer if I find myself a little short—or simply for a pop of color and slight flavor twist.

My happy mistake came when I mindlessly stirred the fruit and accumulated juices into the batter instead of draining the peaches and arranging them on top as the original recipe instructed.  We like the distribution of fruit throughout the cake, and the sweet juices are too tasty to not include.  They also allow for the use of thicker Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk, the yogurt being an ingredient that more people seem to have on hand.  

The addition of almond flour differentiates the simple base from the classic butter cake, although you could use additional flour if preferred.  This dessert has a rustic quality that reminds me of my grandmother’s apple cake, and my dad loves when I make it with gluten-free flour.  You could also experiment with half all purpose, half whole wheat flour. I haven’t tried white whole wheat flour, but it would likely work well.

I promised some photos, and for the throwbacks I used John’s favorites.  The first is from his first birthday party…

He said the following photo from Disney when he was eight has always been a favorite.  

One last throwback photo…this is when he won a trip to the Script’s National Spelling Bee as a 7th grader.  (That was probably as exciting for Jack and me as it was for John!)

Ok, I’ll break for the recipe and finish with a few more below. 🙂 

Fresh Peach Cake
A simple summer dessert to return to again and again.

Yield: 8 servings
  • 2 cups diced ripe peeled peaches (may substitute berries; see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided use
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt (see notes for substitution options)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (may use an additional 1/2 teaspoon vanilla if you don’t have this on hand)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (may substitute gluten-free equivalent)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds; see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado or other course sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9-inch cake pan. (If substituting a 9-inch pie plate, it will need to be the deep dish variety to accommodate the batter; could also use an 8-inch square pan.)
  2. Toss the peaches with the nutmeg and 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.
  3. With a handheld or stand mixer, cream together the butter and remaining sugar. Add the egg, yogurt, and extracts, and stir to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until smooth, taking care not to overbeat.
  5. Fold in the peaches with all of the juices, and then transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees F and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Check a little early and allow for additional baking time depending on oven and various options used. The cake should be just cooked through the center and pass the toothpick test.
  • You may substitute 2 cups of berries, nectarines, or even experiment with pears or apples. (I haven’t tried the latter two in this recipe, which is basically a simple butter cake with a hint of almond.) Sometimes a couple of peaches yield just under 2 cups, so I make up the difference with frozen red raspberries.
  • Buttermilk may be used in place of the yogurt. It will create a looser batter so the cake may need a few extra minutes of baking time. The batter will seem thick with just the Greek yogurt, but the juices from the peaches will thin it. If substituting fruit that doesn’t produce much juice and the batter seems especially thick, you may add a few tablespoons of milk to loosen.
  • For those with a nut allergy or who simply don’t have almond flour on hand, you may use additional all-purpose flour. It does, however, add a little extra flavor and texture to the cake.
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Above is the first day of school of John’s senior year (Fastest. Year. Ever.), and below is 18 whopping years after that first birthday pic…all ready for new adventures!  

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  1. Nadja

    Success – thank you for this recipe! I’ve made this with pears, (my own “Conference” tree has fruit in abundance this year), and to make up for the lack of liquid as compared to the peaches, I used lemon juice to marinate the pears. For the same reason, I opted for buttermilk instead of yoghurt. I didn’t have almonds at hand, so used ground hazelnuts (my almond flavor is called Amaretto and the next time I’ll use two tablespoons instead of just one ;-)). Instead of of nutmeg I used cinnamon , as lemon and cinnamon enhance the delicious flavor of my pears.
    This recipe worked out in a slightly bigger dish than you recommended, so I’m confident that doubling the recipe and baking it in my deep baking sheet will work out, too (I often cook for 7 to 10 people). Nadja

  2. Carolyn Massey

    Love cobblers and pies made with fruit. Never thought of peach cake. My family would love this and adding the juice and yogurt will keep it moist. I do not like too much nutmeg so would also cut down.

    1. Ann Post author

      It’s so simple and tasty, Carolyn. You can absolutely omit the nutmeg if you’re not a fan–perhaps even use cinnamon in its place.

  3. Kate Post author

    I love the pictures and would enjoy reading more about how the drop off went. On a separate note, I got right to the peach cake and it was a hit with my husband and children. Just one tiny slice left!

    1. Ann Post author

      My apologies for the late reply, Kate. Somehow I missed your comment until now but am delighted you enjoyed the photos and the cake!

  4. Sue Hoxworth

    Love the pictures of John! I remember when you were pregnant and seeing you joy around your neighborhood! Best Wishesto John as he starts a new phase of his life and Best Wishes to you and Jack as you go through this phase of your life!

    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much, Sue. Those days don’t feel like that long ago! I’m happy to report that he’s off to a great start. We’ll give you a full report on one of our market run-ins!

  5. Cynthia Morrison

    Love the pictures – how time does fly~! Thanks for continuing to give great recipes to all your readers!!! I cannot wait to try this new peach cake!!!