The Perfect Summer Cake

peach cake“a simple white cake, made with fresh peaches, just in time for summer”

peachesOvercome by the smell of fresh peaches at the market this week, I decided to take home a half dozen and work out a new dessert. Usually Chef Virginia Willis’ cobbler recipe (“Meme’s Cobbler,” Bon Appetit Y’all, 10 Speed Press) is my go to for any fresh summer fruit.  But recently while traveling I had an really fantastic peach cake. It was very light, not to sweet, and through it’s simplicity it let the flavor of the fresh peaches shine. That dessert was front of mind when I began work. I started with a basic white cake recipe and integrated peaches, cut into medium sized chunks, and all of the residual juice and pulp. In the oven the cake rose terrifically, creating the light and airily effect I was looking for. Plus cake was super moist – with an almost pudding like consistency. I finished the dessert with a very simple white butter cream frosting and I served it slightly warm with vanilla ice cream.  A huge hit.

The recipe follows:

Simple Summer Peach Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Cake:

6 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into small chunks
1 cup + 2TBS sugar, divided
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting:

1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 11 x 7 inch baking pan (6 cups) with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix the peaches and 2 TBS sugar and set aside

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 the butter is mixing, in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. 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. Remove the bowl from the mixer and lightly fold in the peaches until integrated.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool in the pan until it reaches room temperature.

For the frosting, using an electric mixer, beat the butter at high spped until light and fluffy, around 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar, then the vanilla and salt, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Frost the top evenly and then let the cake set about an hour before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

note – because of the buttercream frosting, do not refrigerate this cake.  It will change the texture of the frosting.

 

 

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