Peach Cake: A Dessert So Nice I Made It Twice

I don’t like baking.  I don’t like cake.  And I really don’t like turning on my oven in the summer.  Why then, did I recently find myself making this peach cake twice in the same week? Let me tell you why. It is freaking delicious.

Every summer since I discovered my favorite farmer and his one-man market, I have gone a little peach crazy.  Each week beginning in mid-July, he sets aside a box of bruised, super-ripe or otherwise slightly inferior peaches, which I then purchase at a deep discount, typically about 80 cents a pound.  I usually buy 10-15 pounds at a time.  People ask me what I do with all these peaches—can them or freeze them or something? But here’s my guilty little secret: I really just eat them all, with substantial help from my husband and son.

Somehow, though, a few weeks ago, I ended up with a bowl of cut-up peaches in the fridge that were a little ripe to eat raw, even for me. So, I got it in my head that I would use them to make a peach cake.  I even went so far as to purchase a little bottle of buttermilk so that I could follow the recipe, which I have now slightly adapted from Lisi’s Luscious Desserts.  Company was coming, so I figured that I better do this up right.  And it. Was. Good.  So good, in fact, that a few days later, with my new crate of peaches on hand, I made another one for an Olympic-themed party.  Apple pie may be the quintessential American dessert, but the peak of apple season is still a month away, so peach cake was it.  And let me tell you, there was no complaining about my substitution.

Super-Moist Peach Cake Deliciousness

Recipe adapted from Lisi’s Luscious Desserts.

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk

4 cups peeled sliced peaches (from about 3 pounds) (can be cooked or raw)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter a 13×9×2 inch glass baking dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

With a fork, beat the butter and sugar until smooth—and a little lighter,  about 3-4 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla.

Scrape and mix again.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk, repeat and finish with the flour.  Scrape and mix again, until all comes together. (I don’t know if you have to really do it like this, but I am a nervous baker, so I did.)

Pour the batter into the prepared dish.  Spread with a spoon, palette knife or rubber spatula.

Arrange peaches over the batter—it is OK if some overlap.

Spray or lightly butter a piece of tin foil and cover the cake with the foil (butter side down). Seal tightly.  Bake for 30 minutes covered.

Remove the foil carefully, then bake another 30 minutes or so until the top is a nice golden brown and the edges are crusty.  A toothpick should come out just barely clean.

Cool for about an hour.  Enjoy with ice cream, whipped cream or neither.  I recommend eating it for breakfast while standing over the sink.

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