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We went to a barbecue a few weeks back and had a wonderful time: great friends, delicious food (as always), sun, Anomia-induced laughs and, to cap it off, this cake. Whoa. My champion baker friend CJ made the cake using a recipe from smitten kitchen and it was perfection– light but very moist, bursting with berries, just sweet enough. I wouldn’t be exaggerating to declare it the best cake I’ve eaten all year. CJ and I are both big fans of smitten kitchen; I can say that I haven’t yet made one of Deb’s recipes that didn’t come out exactly right. To boot, she always seems to make, or at least write about, exactly what I want to bake/cook/eat at any given moment. It’s awesome.

I needed to bake something to take to an evening meeting; I wanted a cake or bread that skirted the line between dessert and muffin and thought immediately of the berry bundt. Since I had an abundance of very ripe peaches that needed to be used, I chose to modify the berry bundt recipe to make this buttermilk peach cake. I used lime zest for an accent flavor and replaced vanilla with almond, since I love peach anything with almond. I left off the icing, but would have used the one from the original recipe if I wanted more of a dessert. As much as I love the berry bundt cake, I have to pat myself on the back a little for my version– this peach cake rocks! It is moist and flavorful– the peach, almond and lime are all distinct– and manages to be light and dense at the same time. The icing was not missed, though it would be a decadent addition, for sure. I can’t wait to try more combinations of fruit, nuts and spices. So, whether you have berries or peaches on hand, or another fruit to substitute, I highly recommend this cake.

Buttermilk Peach Bundt Cake (adapted from smitten kitchen)

  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks (1 c.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • zest of one lime
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 3 c. diced ripe peach, from 2 – 4 peaches, depending on size

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan very, very well using butter, canola oil or cooking spray. Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies or you’ll have a heck of a time getting the cake out.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar and lime zest and cream together until very light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. (My best advice is to walk away, or dice your peaches now, and just let it go. The creamier it gets, the better– mine was almost white.) Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between additions and scraping down the bowl, and then the almond extract. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk– 1/3 of the dry mixture, then 1/4 c. buttermilk, repeat– mixing to incorporate each addition and ending with buttermilk, just until everything is together. Fold in the peaches and any juice on your cutting board gently with a rubber spatula; dollop your batter into the greased bundt pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 45-60 mins. (sorry for such a range, but the original recipe calls for 55-60 and mine was done in 45); the cake is done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for 15 mins. on a wire rack and then invert the cake onto a plate or serving platter and cool completely. Voila.

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