Monday, September 20, 2021

Peach Cake by Maya Corrigan #Recipe

This peach cake recipe is adapted from Marian Burros’s Plum Torte recipe, which appeared in the New York Times food section every September from 1983 to 1989. The Times was flooded with complaint letters after announcing the recipe would no longer appear annually. It is so popular it will never disappear. It's available online at the Times Cooking site, where it has more than 7,500 five-star ratings. Three years ago Leslie Budewitz shared her adaptation of it on this blog. 

I decided to call this adaptation a cake rather than a torte because it's closer to a coffee cake than to what I associate with the word torte. After living in Germany and Austria for four years, I’m used to tortes being layered, often flourless, cakes. Whatever you call it, this is truly one of the easiest and most adaptable recipes I’ve ever tried. You can make it with virtually any kind of fruit. I'll try it with apples the next time I make it. 

The basic cake recipe has only 5 ingredients, perfect for my sleuth's granddad in the Five-Ingredient Mystery series. He won't try any recipe that has more than five ingredients.


Basic Recipe
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 cup self-rising flour, sifted
      (or all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp baking powder and pinch of salt)
2 eggs
4-6 pitted and sliced peaches, enough to cover the top of the batter in a single layer

Optional additions on top
Up to 1 tsp sugar if fruit is tart
Up to 1 tsp lemon juice if fruit is very sweet
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
Blueberries or other fruit for color variety

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl.
Add the flour and eggs and beat the mixture.

Spoon the batter into a 9-inch nonstick springform pan (or 8 or 10-inch pan). If your pan isn’t nonstick, grease and flour it. You can also make this in a 9-inch round or square cake pan.

Arrange the peach slices on top of the batter in a single layer. If desired, sprinkle with optional toppings. I sprinkled on regular sugar and some sugar and blueberries. 

Bake for 1 hour. Let the cake cool. Remove the sides of the spring form pan before serving. Sift confectioners sugar over the cake if desired.

Serves 8.

Enjoy! The first time I served this to company, everyone who ate it demanded the recipe, so be prepared to pass it along if you give your friends a taste of it. 

The next time I make this cake, I'll try it with apples and maybe a few cranberries, if they're in season. Most of us are used to fruit pies, but fruit with cake is also yummy.

What kind of fruit would you enjoy baked in a cake?  

Maya Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries featuring café manger Val and her live-wire grandfather solving murders in a Chesapeake Bay town. Maya lives in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Before writing crime fiction, she taught American literature, writing, and detective fiction at Northern Virginia Community College and Georgetown University. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords.

Visit her website to sign up for her newsletter. One subscriber wins a book each time a newsletter goes out. Check out the easy recipes, mystery history and trivia, and a free culinary mystery story on the website.

Book covers of the 7 Five-Ingredient Mysteries by Maya Corrigan


  1. I would love the combination of fresh peaches and blueberries.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kay. I gave the recipe to a friend who made the cake with plums and blueberries, and that turned out well too.

  2. This is beautiful and looks delicious - especially on that plate!

    1. Thanks, Molly. I borrowed that plate for the photo from a friend who fell heir to several sets of beautiful china. She was coming over for dinner and dessert, and I asked her to bring one of her lovely dessert plates as the price of admission. ;-)

  3. Maya, that is one beautiful cake! It really is a classic recipe, isn't it -- adaptable and virtually fool-proof.

    1. Thanks, Leslie. The recipe is so easy to make too, all in one bowl.

  4. peach I love peaches so we make peach upside down cake with corn meal

  5. Very pretty with the circles of peaches and the splash of blueberry color.
    Now I want a piece!

    1. Thanks, Libby. I don't do well with icing, so most of my cakes aren't pretty, but this one is an exception.

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  7. Looks like a delicious peach cake. Yum

    1. Thanks for your comment. It's definitely as delicious as it looks.