Our caramel peaches and cream cake recipe this week is the perfect sweet treat for the transition from summer to fall.
The peaches and light ermine buttercream with whipped cream on top are all light and summery, whilst the warm and cozy brown sugar cake drizzled with the caramel sauce evokes fall.
As every baker knows, the frosting truly is the icing on the cake and in Frosted, Bernice breaks down the different flavors, textures and characteristics of each topping and what it pairs best with. Never again will runny, overheated frosting mar a beautifully decorated birthday cake or deflated whipped cream ruin your dinner party dessert.
Whether you’re a baking beginner or a baking whiz, Frosted will add perfection to your bakes every time, helping you whip up inspired treats and irresistible yumminess!
Caramel Peaches & Cream Cake: Ingredients
YIELD: 12–16 SLICES
VANILLA ERMINE BUTTERCREAM
- 1 batch of Ermine Buttercream (see recipe at the end)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or high-quality vanilla extract
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) water
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1⁄4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
BROWN SUGAR CAKE
- 2 1⁄4 cups (270 g) all- purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 1⁄2 tsp (12 g) baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp (4 g) cinnamon
- 1⁄4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups (285 g) packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- 3⁄4 cup (170 g) sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (180 ml) mil, room temperature
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 2 tbsp (16 g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- 1⁄2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3 large peaches (not super ripe and juicy), thinly sliced
- Handful of cherries, blackberries and/or pecans
Caramel Peaches & Cream Cake: Instructions
Begin by making the custard for the Ermine Buttercream at least a few hours before frosting the cake, so it has time to cool.
For the caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a medium, light-colored saucepan with a lid over medium heat. Melt the sugar in the water, but DO NOT STIR IT. After about 10 minutes, the sugar will turn an amber color. Remove the mixture from the stove, and stir in the cream. The mixture will bubble violently, so be careful. Stir the mixture until it’s completely combined, then whisk in the butter and pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, mixing until they’re completely combined. Cover the caramel, and allow it to cool to room temperature.
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease two 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans with baking spray, and line them with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, oil and brown sugar together, on medium speed, until they’re light and fluffy. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sour cream and vanilla, and mix just until they’re combined.
With the mixer at low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the mixture, followed by the milk and then the second half of the dry ingredients. Increase the mixer speed to medium, then beat the mixture, just until the flour is fully incorporated, making sure to scrape the flour from the sides of the bowl.
Distribute the batter evenly among the pans, filling each pan only about one-half to two-thirds full. Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, until an indentation made with your finger in the top center of the cake springs back. If the indentation remains, return the cakes to the oven for 2 minutes, or until the center springs back. Remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely.
Finish the Ermine Buttercream, then add the vanilla bean paste; mix until it’s evenly distributed.
For the whipped cream, use an electric mixer, at full speed, to beat the cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla bean paste to the whipped cream and beat again, at full speed, just until stiff peaks form.
To frost, cut the cooled cakes in half horizontally to make four cake layers. Use an offset spatula to spread one-third of the buttercream onto the first layer of cake. Top the buttercream with a layer of sliced peaches, followed by a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. Repeat for the second and third layers of the cake. Place the fourth layer on top. Spread the whipped cream on the fourth layer of cake and then top with the extra fruit and another drizzle of caramel. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing it.
This Caramel Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Ermine buttercream is an old-school buttercream that’s not too sweet, not too buttery, not too heavy and not too light.
My recipe differs a little from the standard, as I make a little less custard for the amount of butter used.
My version is a little more stable at room temperature. There are many variables that affect the emulsification of buttercream. Heat is one of them, so I adapted this recipe so that it won’t give you or me any problems, even in the middle of summer!
The best part about ermine buttercream is that, although it is really fluffy, it still holds up well with layer cakes.
YIELD: 21⁄2 CUPS (577 G)
- 3⁄4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) milk
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⁄8 tsp salt
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour and milk over medium-low heat. Whisk continuously, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin and allow the custard to cool completely to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, at medium-high speed, beat the butter and salt for about 5 minutes, until the butter is fluffy and pale. Slowly add the cooled custard, a little at a time, to the butter; adding the custard slowly prevents the mixture from clumping and the butter from deflating. When all of the custard is incorporated, scrape down the bowl, turn the mixer up to high speed and beat the buttercream for 1 minute. Mix just until it’s incorporated.