Peach cake is one of those uniquely Baltimore things that live long in people's memories. It may surprise some, but throughout the 1800s millions of peaches were grown every summer on Maryland's Eastern Shore and shipped all across the country. The true Baltimore peach cake is always a yeast-based cake, and most neighborhood bakeries make it as a large sheet cake rather than as a round cake so it can easily be sliced into nice, big squares and maximize the amount of peaches per slice. When peaches are plentiful in markets and roadside stands, pick up some luscious, ripe ones and make this cake as a special treat for family and friends.
This recipe was originally published in The Baltimore Sun.
Total time includes 1 hour for the cake batter to rise.
- 1 3/4 Cup unsifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons softened butter or margarine
- 1/2 Cup very hot tap water
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups peeled, sliced peaches
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup apricot jam
- 1 drop red food coloring, optional
Step 1: Grease two 9-inch round pans or one 9-inch square pan.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 package (1/4 ounce) undissolved active dry yeast. Beat in 2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine.
Step 3: Gradually add 1/2 cup very hot tap water to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup flour, or enough flour to make a thick batter. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
Step 4: Stir in remaining flour and spread batter evenly into two greased, 9-inch round pans or one 9-inch square pan.
Step 5: Arrange 1 1/2 to 2 cups sliced peaches on the cake batter. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and sprinkle mixture over peaches. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Step 6: Preheat oven to 400 F. When oven is at temperature, bake cake for 25 minutes.
Step 7: In a 1-quart sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup apricot jam and add 1 drop red food coloring, if using. Brush on warm peach cake.