It’s peach season y’all!
Growing up in Georgia, peaches were a big deal…we are the peach state after all. 😉 Little did I know that after moving to the Carolinas (I’ve lived in North and South Carolina) that South Carolina peaches are also a big deal and equally as delicious as Georgia peaches. I have this rule that I won’t buy peaches until July and then only while they are in season. I can’t tell you the last time I bought a grocery store peach. Only fresh and local will do. They’re one of those foods I will only buy in season (see also okra, corn, squash, zucchini, watermelon). They just taste so different and so good when they’re local and in season.
I took a basket of SC peaches home to Georgia (the irony) and my mom decided we would make a peach cake with what we weren’t eating.
She selected Ina Garten’s Fresh Peach Cake recipe. PSA: Ina never steers you wrong. This woman knows her stuff.
I would compare the cake more to a coffee/breakfast cake than a dessert. The assembled by making the batter and then splitting it in half. The first half goes in the pan and gets covered with peaches and a cinnamon sugar mix.
That is covered by another layer of batter, more peaches, more cinnamon sugar and toasted pecans. The peaches bake down into the cake producing a delicious mix of cinnamon, sugar and peaches with just the right amount of crunch from the pecans. The batter is a mix of butter and sour cream and together they make for a really moist and flavorful cake. I am certain that you could also use plain Greek yogurt and yield the same results. Also, the recipe calls for 3 large peaches. If your peaches really aren’t “large,” I would definitely use 4 smaller ones. I think my cake could have used just a tad more peach than I thought necessary. And for my last modification, the sugar in the recipe is divided with part of it going into the cake itself and the rest into a cinnamon sugar mixture that tops the peaches. I found that I didn’t need nearly as much of the topping as the recipe called for and it was still plenty sweet. I’m reflecting that in the recipe below.
Sever this cake in big squares on its own, with a little whipped cream or warm with vanilla ice cream. I will say that I actually enjoyed this cake more the next day after it had a chance to sit rather than the day of and that’s rare for me. My dad and I discussed that this recipe would also work well in the fall with apples. I just love any fruit based cake/dessert. So good!
Fresh Peach Cake
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (use 4 if your peaches are smaller)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. While this is happening, in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. And in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon
With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.
Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.
Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe heavily adapted from Ina Garten.