Pretty in Peach! This Peach Cake is the perfect way to make the most of stone fruit season. Vanilla cake layers with a homemade peach filling and peach flavoured frosting.
Can you believe we’re halfway through July already? I’m actually not complaining, as I am eagerly awaiting the Fall season – aka best season ever.
I’m 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 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!
To me, summer isn’t berry season, it’s stone fruit season. We’re lucky enough to live so close to the Okanagan that we can make the most of all the delicious fruits grown there. 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. Note to self to create more stone fruit cakes.
Enough of my rambling, on to this Ombre Peach Cake!
How to make this Peach Cake
I used my favourite vanilla cake recipe for the cake layers here as I wanted the homemade peach filling to stand out. The peach filling is actually very simple to make — 4 simple ingredients, about 20mins, and you’re done.
Chop your peaches and cook half of them with the sugar and lemon juice until soft. Mash them up, add remaining chopped peaches and the cornstarch and cook for a few more minutes. Simple as that! Cool completely before using on the cake.
The peach filling can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.
For the peach frosting I simply added some peach liqueur to it. Ideally though, if you can find some freeze-dried peaches to grind into a powder and add that, I think it would be an amazing flavour addition! I would add about 1/4 cup or so of the powder to the frosting. Note that it will tint the frosting pink though.
How to make an Ombre Cake
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. 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.
- Once you’ve filled and crumb coated your cake, portion remaining frosting into 4 bowls with one having slightly more frosting (this will be the white frosting and you need a little extra for the top). I should have measured these properly (sorry!) but the good thing about ombre cakes is that they are forgiving, so less or more of one color isn’t a huge problem.
- For the remaining three bowls, add the following amounts of color and mix thoroughly.
- 7 drops of Americolor Peach gel into one
- 3 drops of Americolor Peach gel into one
- 3 drops of Wilton Buttercup Yellow into one
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.
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.
Looking for more summer fruit recipes?
- Pineapple Cake
- Raspberry Mango Cake
- Lime & Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Cheesecake Cookie Cups
- Easy Plum Cake
Tips for making this Ombre Peach Cake
- The recipe as-is will also work in two 8″ pans. For three 8″ pans, 1.5x the recipe.
- To make cupcakes, all you need to do is reduce the baking time — start checking at 15mins or so.
- I used peach liqueur to flavour the frosting but if you have access to freeze-dried peaches that you can grind into a powder, that would be your best bet! Use 1/4 cup of the powder in the frosting. It will tint the frosting though.
- I used Americolor Peach gel and Wilton Buttercup Yellow to color the frosting.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
- Learn how to keep your cakes moist using Simple Syrup.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, check out my Flat Top Cakes post!
Recipe revised. Originally published on Aug 14, 2016
Ombre Peach 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 yellow 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.