Pretty in Peach! This Peach Layer Cake is the perfect way to wrap up the summer months. Vanilla cake with a peach filling and peach flavoured frosting.
Can you believe we’re halfway through August already? I’m actually not complaining, as I am eagerly awaiting the Fall season – aka best season ever. I’m actually not a summer kinda girl. It’s my least favourite season, which apparently makes me crazy according to my husband. I just don’t like the heat. Unless I’m on vacation or somewhere tropical, in which case bring on the sun and scorching temps. But when I’m at home in a west-facing apartment, sweating as soon as I get out of the shower… no thank you. I’ll take the cooler temps and rainy days over that any time. Except on days where I need to take pics — no rain then, please!
Mid-August was the worst time of year growing up. You KNOW those back-to-school commercials started as soon as the clock hit midnight on August 1st. The worst. And we didn’t have the luxury of skipping through them back in the day. Your summer is barely half over and you’re already reminded, constantly, that you’ll soon be confined to a cold brick building for the majority of your day. Not to mention the homework, and those evil teachers that would give you some on the first day of school. Horrible. Can you tell I don’t miss it? It’s a wonder I made it through my younger years at all.
Enough of my rambling, on to this Peach Layer Cake!
To me, August is stone fruit season. We get a lot of goodies grown in the Okanagan, and I wanted to make the most of that. I actually don’t have a ton of stone fruit recipes, and only one that calls for peaches, which is actually kinda sad because peaches may just be the best stone fruits out there.
This peach layer cake is packed with flavour, and the homemade peach filling is amazing! You’ll want to be eating it with a spoon. It would make a great topping to some vanilla ice cream, too! I kept the cake simple – classic vanilla – so that the peach flavour would stand out. You can add peach liqueur to the frosting like I did, or simply use vanilla extract if you don’t have any liqueur on hand.
This is only the second ombre cake I’ve ever made. The first one I made was earlier in my blogging days, and it didn’t turn out as clean and pretty as I’d hoped. Neither did the pics! I needed to redeem myself, and what better way than with a pretty peach ombre frosting?
The ombre frosting is actually really easy to do. Things like a cake turntable and an icing smoother make it infinitely easier, but you could just as easily do a rustic ombre effect. I actually intended for this cake to have clean, smooth, pristine sides. It initially did, but I thought it looked a little plain. I didn’t want to mess around with a drippy ganache, plus I’ve done a lot of drippy ganache cakes lately, so I decided to do an easy swirl pattern on the sides using my offset spatula. You can see this technique used here and here as well.
If you are a peach lover like I am, and are looking for something a bit fancier, then this Peach Layer Cake is for you! Sweet, flavourful, and delicious.
Peach Layer Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6" cake rounds, line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3mins).
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for approx. 30mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Place 1 cup of the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Mash peaches to break down into a puree. Add remaining 1 cup of peaches and cook for 5 minutes. Add cornstarch slurry and simmer until thick. Cool completely before using on cake.
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.*
- Place bowl over a hot water bath on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins).
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add peach liqueur and whip until smooth.**
- Place one layer of cake onto a serving plate or cake stand. Top with a thin layer of buttercream and pipe a dam around the outside using a large round tip to hold the filling. Place 1/2 cup peach filling inside the dam and spread evenly. Repeat with next layer. Top with final layer and crumb coat the cake. Chill for 30mins.
- Portion remaining frosting into 4 bowls with one having slightly more than the other 3 (the white frosting).
- Add drops of the color into each bowl and mix thoroughly. - 7 drops of peach into one-3 drops of peach into one-3 drops of yellow into one
- Starting with the bottom and the darkest color, spread roughly onto bottom quarter of cake with a small offset spatula.Clean spatula and do the same with the lighter peach colored frosting and the ywllow frosting on the middle sections. Clean spatula add the remaining white buttercream to the top of the cake and upper third.
- Try to ensure all layers have the same amount of thickness. Take a bench scraper or a large offset spatula and smooth the sides and blend colors. Use a small offset spatula to create a swirl pattern on the sides and top.
** The buttercream may look like it's curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth. Peach filling recipe adapted from Epicurious