Brown Sugar Peach Cake ~ I’m crowning this classic yellow cake loaded with fresh peaches, and topped with a brown sugar caramel icing the dessert of the summer.
Since the highlights of this cake are the juicy fresh peaches and the Southern caramel icing, we’ll take a logical shortcut and use a good quality yellow cake mix as our base. Nobody wants to be stuck fiddling with measuring cups and spoons while everybody else is out having fun, so this just makes sense.
TIP: Cake mixes are forgiving and doctoring them is easy ~ I used less liquid to account for the pound of fresh peaches we’ll be adding, and subbed peach nectar for water. No biggie.
The frosting is equally as easygoing, and I think you’ll be surprised to see how straightforward it is to make. I stir up some butter, brown sugar, and cream in a saucepan, just until it comes to a boil, then stir in some vanilla and powdered sugar. The whole lot gets poured right over the top of the cake.
You have work quickly, there’s no time to even really spread this frosting, it sets up almost immediately, and in fact, if you try, you’ll mess it up. When you slice it into pieces you’ll get that crackled effect that signals yummy caramel. If you refrigerate the cake, the frosting will become deliciously fudge-like. Then take a spoon to the pan and grab yourself a taste of the hot frosting. That’s what I’m talking about.
If you keep a yellow cake mix in the cupboard you can whip this thing up in no time. It fits in a standard 9×13 pan and it serves a crowd.
This made a great little breakfast cake the next morning, too, the cake is not too sweet, the peaches are juicy, and the frosting, well, the frosting is amazing.
I adapted this recipe from The Food Charlatan. The original uses 2 boxes of peach jello, which I omitted. I use fresh rather than frozen peaches, and I substitute peach nectar for the water, which gives a more natural peach flavor. The frosting I use here is the same one from one of my favorite cakes, my PECAN PRALINE PUMPKIN CAKE, it’s easy to make and delicious!
- 1 15-ounce yellow cake mix (I like Duncan Hines)
- 3 large eggs (or the amount specified by your cake mix)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or the amount specified by your cake mix)
- 1/2 cup peach nectar
- 1 lb peeled and chopped peaches (3-4)
- 1 drop orange food coloring (optional)
- 1 stick, 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Blend together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and nectar and food coloring, if using, until well combined. Fold in the peaches and turn the batter into a lightly sprayed 9x13 pan. Bake for about 28 minutes, or until done...you can check with a toothpick, it should come out without batter clinging to it, but moist crumbs are fine.
- Put the butter, cream, and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Take off the heat at add the vanilla and the sifted sugar. Whisk until well blended and the little lumps of sugar have disappeared. Put it back on a low heat if necessary.
- Pour the frosting over the cake, trying to get it evenly coated on the first try, because it will set up quickly and you won't be able to spread it without cracking the surface.
- Let the frosting harden at room temperature or in the refrigerator before cutting.