A Very Short Little Peach Cake

Peaches! We have them…the first of the season from south Georgia, and boy are they a welcome sight. It seems like forever since peaches were in season, and now at last they’ve arrived, even a bit early, like everything this year.

After the first week of eating them in a few juicy bites, or with some Greek yogurt and granola, I began to calm down once I realized that these were early peaches and we should have peaches for a while to come. And that’s when I started thinking about baking. Now, I don’t bake a lot…mainly because there are just two of us and, well, if I make it, we will eat it…rapidly and until no crumbs remain. But peaches do inspire me to start trying some new ideas.

My first thought was something cake-y. More so than a crisp or a cobbler, but maybe more versatile than a muffin. I love shortcakes…why not combine the idea of fruit and shortcake into one…besides the fact that I’ve never seen it done? And hence the result: a very short little peach cake!

Dressed and ready for the oven.

I started by utilizing some of my favorite flavors from both peach and other fruit crisps, including oats, plus some other fresh ingredients that I think compliment the peach itself, like orange zest and ginger. Then, combining ideas from a couple of shortcake recipes that I liked, I came up with this easy little cake. The shortcake-styled batter is topped with a layer of peaches and almonds, then sprinkled with sugar and baked until golden and the almonds are toasty. The final cake is moist and flavorful, a cross between the biscuity texture of a shortcake and the moist crumb of a traditional cake. It isn’t overly sweet and is quite good on it’s own as a dessert, snack, or even breakfast. But of course for the true shortcake experience you can top it with your favorite topping of plain yogurt (to feel virtuous), whipped cream (to feel sophisticated) or even ice cream (for total gluttony, uh-huh) and all are good. Oh yes, peaches do love some cream!

A slice of moist and not too sweet cake, perfect for a snack and reminiscent of a traditional peach shortcake, but all rolled into one!

All hail to the mighty peach, and welcome to the season, at least in our neck of the woods. What? No peaches for you yet? Well, as soon as they come in, here are a few more tasty looking treats using peaches that you might want to check out: my Mom’s Easy Peach (and Blueberry) Crisp, City Hippy Farm Girl’s Peach and Almond Clafouti rift on my Apple Clafouti, and Geni’s Peachy Summer Muffins and Peachy Puffy Pancake at Sweet and Crumbly. And there are oh so many more great ideas out there. Just click on any one of the folks I follow, go to their site and search for peach recipes, and the world of peach is at your fingertips. Yay, I love peach season!

A little side note. You may or may not have noticed that my posting frequency has dwindled to about once a week over the last couple of months. I’ve alluded to a few reasons for that in addition to just plain being busy, like we all are, plus I’ve been working on a rebrand for my business. I hope to be back up to a more regular twice-a-week posting schedule pretty soon, and appreciate you bearing with me. Like the song for Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, if you believe in me posting more frequently, clap your hands! No seriously, you could just “Like” me on Facebook at the top right sidebar of my home page, and that would be wonderful, plus it would encourage me to post more there, too! Thanks for reading this public service announcement. Back to work.

A Very Short Little Peach Cake
Makes 8 decent sized slices, or 4 extremely generous ones! 

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats, ground to coarse flour in a processor
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 teaspoons (I use cane sugar)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 cup whole buttermilk
1 generous cup sliced fresh peaches, about 3 small peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Plain Greek yogurt, heavy whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to serve. (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round non-stick cake pan, and I usually use the butter wrappers for this…waste not!

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients (flour through zest) and stir with a fork or whisk to well distribute. Add the butter and lightly mix with your hands to combine the dry ingredients with the butter, resulting in a coarse meal appearance. Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until just combined, do not overmix. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the peach slices in an even and single layer over the smoothed top of the batter, gently pressing and using an artful design if desired. Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the peaches, then sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top.

Bake the cake in the 400 degree F oven for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and shrinking from the sides of the pan, and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake and cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 8 minutes. Remove the cake gently from the pan, and place it back on the wire rack to cool completely. Serve as is or with a dollop of your favorite creamy topping. Enjoy.

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61 thoughts on “A Very Short Little Peach Cake

  1. oo that is a fantastic cake, i am dying for peaches but i think mine really did get killed in that frost, none for me this year.. in fact i am going to go out and check that tree right now just in case some of the little fruit escaped~! because i seriously want this cake! c

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    • :) This cake kind of reminded me of your lemon curd cake, Cecilia, I think because it was a one pan, not too sweet and easy to make (and good) cake. I think this would be good with plums, too, but haven’t tried them yet. ~B

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  2. Oh how I love peaches Betsy. We have a ways to go before they are in season. I make a lot of crumbles and cobbles so I look forward to trying this for something different. You can’t make too many desserts with fruits in the summer as far as I’m concerned.

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    • I agree, Barb! You absolutely must take advantage of summer fruits in any way you can think of! And I find as the years pass that I can’t get my fill of fresh peaches. I was actually shocked when I saw these at our local farmer’s market, and didn’t believe they could possibly be good so early, but I was wrong!

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    • Hi Geni, thanks for your lovely compliments and you’re most welcome for the shout-out. This comment got placed in my spam folder, and I just found out from another blogger whose comments were being tagged as spam by Askimet, that this was happening to some folks. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, and thank you for commenting. Hopefully this won’t happen again, but at least now I know to look!

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  3. I am very fond of peaches and look forward to them every year. Our cherries have just come in. Peaches can’t be far behind (Well, apricots are first…). Your cake looks pretty with the almonds on top.

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    • Cherries…now there is something that both my husband and I love, and I can’t get local here. When we do get them the price is astronomical because of where they come from. I’ll bet this cake would be pretty awesome with cherries, though!

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  4. What a brilliant cake! I love peachy cakes and muffins and this definitely looks like something my family and clients would love. I too get just a little too excited when the stone fruit arrives here. I ended up with about 10 bags of frozen peaches last year! Think I’ll be making some Short Little Peach Cake. :)

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    • Thank you Karista! This ends up being a really great snack cake, because it isn’t too sweet on it’s own, but of course some of that depends on the peach. Adding the creamy topping of choice does take it into the truly dessert arena. 10 lbs. of frozen peaches, wow! If only I had the freezer to accommodate that I’d be right with you! :)

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  5. There is really nothing not to like about this lovely little cake, Betsy, it really is wonderful. I think I may just have to make it for JT’s birthday in June (his family are pie people and my family were cake people and this combines the two very nicely). And I love it that it’s not too sweet. The almonds must have been delicious with the peaches.
    Good luck with the rebranding.

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    • Hi Eva, glad you like the looks of this. The almonds are great on the cake, and you can taste the fresh ginger and the orange zest in it, too. I think a little scoop of ice cream would make it very festive indeed! And thanks for good wishes on the rebrand, I’m almost done, thankfully!

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    • Thank you, Claire! These peaches were mighty good, that’s for sure. I was quite surprised to see them so soon, even coming up from mid-south GA. The first ones were two weeks ago, about 3 weeks early…but as long as they keep coming, I’m okay with that!

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  6. Beautiful and I love the size of it too! We have two tiny peach trees that have sprouted up from stones which must have been thrown out with bits for the chickens. Don´t think we´ll be eating our own peaches this year, but Big Man´s cousin has plenty of trees and always share with us!

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    • You can’t feel too guilty about a small cake like this, especially when it has goodies like oats, ginger, nuts and fruit…at least that’s what I’m telling myself! How fun to have access to familial trees! I’d make a pest of myself. :)

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  7. Oh, I wish I had a piece of that cake, Betsy. I’d no idea that peaches were already showing up in your markets. I never buy them for months yet, waiting for local, tree-ripened fruit over that which has ripened during shipment. I’m going to pay closer attention . Maybe there are some good peaches to be found, after all. YAY!

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    • It was an unexpected treat to stop by our Saturday Farmer’s Market in our little town and see these beauties there. The orchard is one in the more southern part of the state and has been run by five generations of the same family. These peaches were an early variety…really early this year! Wish I could send you a piece of cake, John, I surely would share. :)

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  8. Fantastic looking cake Betsy – I actually had a piece of cake at work today which was made with… you guessed it… peaches. Talk about coincidence! The peach season isn’t really underway here yet but boy am I looking forward to it!

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    • You know, CCU, I’ve been waiting for peaches since Brydie made the peach clafouti I mentioned above when it was summer in your part of the world! I have to say, I’m happy it’s my turn to have them again, and thank you for your kind words! :)

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    • These were actually some of the best Georgia peaches I’ve ever had. I always get some in Alabama when I go to visit relatives, but these were better! Thank you for your comment and for visiting, and I hope you will try this peachy cake…I’m sure it would be good with your peaches, too!

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  9. We’ve a thunderstorm here.. I posted and then the internet stopped, I think? I’ll repost.. that I love peaches and am so impressed that you looked here and there and just popped out with this recipe of your own! It’s so pretty and I love this sort of not-too sweet cake.. short and not-too-sweet I guess:) xoxo Smidge

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    • Thank you Healthy cooking. I love trying to find ways to make delicious and healthy dishes…a win-win! I apologize for not responding sooner. Askimet put your comment in my spam folder for some reason, along with some other blogger’s comments. I was just made aware of this, so found you and un-spammed you. Thanks for commenting and I hope you’ll stop by again!

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  10. Lovely! What a superb cake. We have a peach tree which was already planted when we bought the house – right up against the wall which covers over the 2 spare bedroom windows making the rooms very dark – we are now in the process of turning it into a topiary or sorts. :-) Mandy

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    • How lovely to have a peach tree. We have no fruit trees because of the aforementioned shade problem around here. I hope your peach tree will still bear fruit once it has it’s “haircut”! Have a great day! :)

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    • I just got two more bags of peaches at today’s market. Each time I go they are harvesting a different variety, so they are all a bit different…but so good! I’m in peach heaven right now, and wish you a happy season when it arrives, Norma!

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    • Thank you, Chef Connie, you are most kind! :) I apologize for not responding sooner, but you were sent to my spam folder and I just found out that from some other blogging friends who had the same thing happen. I’ve un-spammed you, but you may wish to check and see if that’s happened with others. It’s a WP issue evidently.

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  11. I love the image of the peaches. They are such a beautiful fruit always remind you of summer and warm weather. I love the look of your peach cake. I’m sure it was very moist and full of that peach flavour xx

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    • Thank you Charlie, and peaches are kind of summer personified…or fruitified…whatever! :) We are going up well into the 90’s this weekend so it seems summer has arrived early along with the peaches here.

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  12. We don’t have wonderful peaches yet. Yes…there are rock hard, no aroma peaches in the markets but I can’t wait for the ripe ones that have the juices running out on the first bite. Your dessert sounds terrific.

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