Monday, September 2, 2013

Buttermilk Peach Streusel Cake

Are you in a panic over peaches? In a few weeks they will be a summer memory as apples tumble in to take their place. The last few weeks I've been making all things peaches. I made a pie last week. And then jam. I did an interesting Amish buttermilk pie with the intent to add peaches, but I haven't gotten that far. Yet.

The trouble with peaches, if one could ever so sadly ascribe such a tawdry phrase as that to such a delicate fruit, is that peach recipes tend to be "stickly." Syrupy. Sugary. I wanted something with some teeth in it. So when I came across this buttermilk cake recipe by Lisa Boyle from her cookbook, The Cake Book, I knew it would great. What's not to like? A thick buttermilk batter, crunchy streusel on the inside AND the outside. And then those wonderful summertime peaches nestled in the middle.

If you make one thing to celebrate the end of summer, please make this. You won't be disappointed. It was a hit both at work and with my neighbors. And it's the kind of recipe  with which one can be creative. Next time I will tumble a few red raspberries on top of those peaches for a bit more flavor and color. 

For a great Christmas dessert, use frozen peach slices and dried, sweetened cranberries for a festive cake.

For the batter, I chose to swap out most of the white sugar for light brown sugar. I also added rum flavoring. In the future, I will just probably sprinkle a bit of rum over the peach slices. One could also certainly use a bit of bourbon.

Unlike the original recipe, I whipped the butter and then added the eggs, one by one, without adding any sugar. I mixed all the dry ingredients together and then added that to the wet mixture. When all was incorporated, I beat it for several minutes for a luxurious thick batter.

  • Streusel Topping and Filling

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar (I used 1/4 c. light and 1/4 c. dark)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 2/3 cups chopped pecans 
  • 7 tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted
  • Cake Batter
  • 2 cups (242g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup white granulated sugar and 3/4 cup packed, light brown sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I used 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, about 3/4 teaspoon rum extract, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract)
  • 3/4 cup whole-fat buttermilk
  • 2-3 peaches (one heaping cup) sliced a bit thicker than 1/4-inch.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. If desired, cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom.


In a small bowl stir together the flour, sugar, spices, salt and pecans. Stir in butter and mix until moist and crumbly. I use my fingers. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside. (I also mixed in the sugars.)

In another medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and egg yolk one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. ( I beat the butter without the sugar and then added the eggs. At first, the eggs will seem to "curdle" and then suddenly they will "whip" beautifully into the egg mixture.)

Add the extracts to the buttermilk and stir. 

With mixture on low, begin adding flour to butter/egg mixture in three additions and the flavored buttermilk in two additions. (If adding the sugar now, continue to beat several minutes after all the dry ingredients have been added until batter is thick.)

Remove a little more than half the batter to spread on the bottom of your greased springform pan. Sprinkle half the streusel topping over the batter. Now concentrically place your sliced peaches around the pan and then in the center. Spoon remaining batter over peaches and then cover with remaining streusel mix. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before releasing from pan. Allow to cool completely before glazing.


Be sure to sift your cup of powdered sugar to remove any lumps. Add the cream and vanilla and mix until smooth. Drizzle over completey-cooled cake and allow to set.

Use a sharp, serrated knife to slice this cake. It's even better the next day, I think--moister.

This cake had a beautiful rise to it and took the full 60 minutes to bake.

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