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Peach Breakfast Cake
The best of summer fruit as a suitable morning treat.
Come summer, I’m never not bringing home a small haul of fresh peaches and nectarines every time I go to the market. The season for sweet stone fruit is so fleeting, the flavor and texture unparalleled to their frozen and canned counterparts. When I’m not eating a peach straight up, I’m tossing them into as many bakes and cobblers that I can.
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My pursuit to popularize cake for breakfast isn’t me trying to trick anyone into eating frosting and sprinkles before noon. Instead, I want to solidify these simple, fruit-laden cakes as acceptable options amongst the muffins, scones, and donuts.
In this case, there are so many peaches packed into the squatty cake with barely enough batter to hold it all together. The peaches add so much flavor and pockets of jammy sweetness while the cake is still sturdy enough to eat out of hand (I’ve tried). You’ll question the amount of fruit when putting this cake together, I did too, but it will all work out once baked - its crisp, crunchy sugar topping contrasting the tender cake.
I’m always tempted to add a dollop of something creamy to these single-layer cakes, but you need not bother with this one. The crunchy turbinado sugar melts into a thin, crisp shell. The whole cake bakes up golden and buttery. Serve with a cup of coffee or slice up at the end of summer BBQ.
This cake is closely related to a buckle. As we learned a couple summers back, a buckle is like a fruit-forward coffee cake. In a buckle, fruit is scattered on top or folded into a simple cake batter. As it bakes, the batter rises and “buckles” around the fruit.
Where similar one-dish, baked fruit and batter cobblers, crisps, and slumps must be spooned, a buckles can be sliced and served.
Peach Breakfast Cake
1 ¼ cups (155g) all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
½ cup (100g) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup (120ml) sour cream
2 ½ to 3 cups (about 415g) sliced peaches (from 3 medium peaches)
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round or spring-form pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars by mixing on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add the dry ingredients two batches, alternating with the sour cream, to the batter and stir together with a large rubber spatula until combined. Tip in the sliced peaches. Gently fold the batter to incorporate the peaches without breaking the fruit.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the majority of the peach slices so that they lay flat in the batter, but don’t fuss too much. Sprinkle the top of the batter with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 38 to 42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing it from the pan.
Serving and Storage:
Slice the cake after cooling completely.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The top will lose its crisp overnight, but will remain moist and tender inside.
Select peaches that are ripe and flavorful, but not so soft that they don’t cut into clean slices. While you don’t need to use the most pristine of peaches, a bad, flavorless one will not magically turn into a great tasting cake.
No peaches? Try subbing in other similar stone fruit like nectarines and plums.