Peaches and Cream Cake – layers of tender peach cake, peaches and cream filling, peach compote and a whipped vanilla buttercream.
It’s finally here! I’ve been through several rounds of recipe testing with my new Peaches and Cream Cake and I’m so pleased with the end result.
For the Birthday Girl
A couple months ago, Avery informed me she wanted a peach cake for her birthday. “Peach cake layers, peach frosting, and it needs to be orange,” were her exact words. I asked if she meant that she wanted my Peach Crisp Cake, but no, Avery wanted a brand new peach cake, done exactly as she described. She’s certainly a girl who knows what she wants. But still, I expected her cake choice to change at least a half dozen times before her birthday. Nope! She never changed her mind once.
So, last week, I got started on the cake. I’m not sure why, but I expected this cake to be a breeze to make and put together. Whoa! Was I wrong.
Trial and Error Day 1
Going into this cake, I had several ideas (based off what’s worked for some of my other cakes) for achieving the peach flavor:
- Freeze dried peaches
As I thought about these options, I immediately picked the peach puree to start with. I really wanted a natural peach flavor to shine in the cake. So, peach puree seemed like the obvious choice to make that happen. I added the peach puree to my cake batter (which I based off my Classic White Cake) and tried a sample before baking the cake. To my surprise I couldn’t taste the peach at all. Ugh! Honestly, I really thought it was going to be that simple.
I still baked the cake (which didn’t taste any more peachy after they baked) and moved on to my next option – peach Jell-O.
The flavor of the strawberry Jell-O in my Strawberry Cake makes for one of my favorite cakes. It’s actually not very artificial tasting and just has a really nice fruity flavor to it. I figured it would work great with peach too. Nope! Like the puree, the peach Jell-O didn’t add any flavor to the cake. Again, I was shocked. Peach was all of a sudden as hard of a flavor to bake in a cake as watermelon (you can read all about that cake saga HERE).
Trial and Error Day 2
After the first two failed rounds of my peach cake, I ran out of time and ingredients. I decided to put the cake on hold until the next day. That night I talked about my failed peach cake attempts in my Instagram stories and loved all the feedback that came in. You gave me so many suggestions. I was suddenly so excited to try again the next morning.
One of the ideas was to use freeze dried peaches. Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of that. I love the way freeze dried strawberries and raspberries add natural flavor to buttercream. Peach would probably do the same for my cake. So, that next morning, the kids and I set out on a hunt for freeze dried peaches. That’s when I hit my next hiccup! Freeze dried peaches are so hard to find! I checked my natural food stores, Wal-Mart (which usually has them but was out), and my regular grocery store. Nothing. Right as I was about to give up, someone told me to check Target. Hallelujah! Target had them and my defeat disappeared once more. I was sure this round would be my winner.
As soon as we got home, I blended up my freeze dried peaches and added them to my batter. I couldn’t wait to try it, but again, no peach flavor! The kids both tried the batter and agreed they couldn’t taste any peach. At this point, Avery was panicking that she would have to pick another cake recipe. No way could I disappoint her! Nor was I willing to give up on this peach cake. I was determined to figure something out.
I then tried the oil and some flavored syrup, which both turned out to be way too sweet and artificial.
A Winning Combination
For the next round, I got my hands on some peach nectar and crossed my fingers. Thank the heavens, it finally worked! I finally tasted some peach in the cake. I was pretty pleased with it but actually had a little adjustment I wanted to try.
In my Peach Crisp Cake, I use peach yogurt instead of buttermilk and I love the moisture and subtle hint of peach it adds to that cake. So, I used half peach nectar and half peach yogurt, and finally felt like I had the cake I was looking for this whole time.
It’s certainly a subtle flavor of peach in the cake, but it’s there (and it’s not at all artificial tasting!). Plus, the peach flavor in the cake is enhanced by the peaches and cream filling and peach compote. Add all that to a vanilla buttercream and it really tastes like peaches and cream.
Fillings and Frosting
I knew with the subtle peach flavor of the cake, I’d still want plenty of peach flavor in the rest of the cake. My favorite part of this cake is the fresh peach compote made with fresh peaches. You’ll use a little of it in your peaches and cream filling and then some of it as a filling by itself too. If there’s any leftover, save it to serve with each slice of cake.
If you don’t have fresh peaches to make the compote, you can use canned peaches drained) or frozen peaches. You can also use peach jam in the peaches and cream filling instead of the compote. I tried all of these options and was pleased with them as back ups to fresh peaches.
And here’s a short video tutorial to take you through the steps of the assembly process, all of which is also outlined in the instructions below.