Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cinnamon-Peach Picnic Cake



I'm not one to agonize over my caloric intake. If I want a piece of cake, I'll eat it. I'll eat the whole cake if you give me a couple days. If I want cookie dough, I'll not only eat it, but I'll eat it on ice cream. Ice cream and chocolate chips for dinner? Sure, and for dessert immediately after. But when a dessert incorporates fruit, it makes me feel like I'm doing something good for myself when I eat a slice and even better if I eat the whole thing. Is that messed up?

Cinnamon-Peach Picnic Cake
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

1/3 c sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp almond extract
1 c buttermilk
2 c diced peeled peaches (3 to 4 peaches)(about 1 1/4 lb.)
1 (2-oz.) pkg. sliced almonds (about 2/3 cup)

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine sugar, cinnamon and ginger in small bowl.


Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.


Beat butter in large bowl at medium speed 30 seconds or until creamy.


Beat in brown sugar until combined.


Beat in egg until well-blended. Beat in almond extract.


At low speed, beat in flour mixture in three parts alternately with buttermilk until just blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (Mixture will look curdled.)




Stir in peaches.


Spread batter in pan; sprinkle with almonds and cinnamon mixture.


Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.



This cake screams summer. Loaded with fruit, the texture was soft, yet crunchy with the nutty sugary topping. Be sure to share this with friends or eat it three times a day because the moisture will force it to get moldy quick.

This cake was so moist from all of the peach juice it was almost a little ridiculous. Testing the cake after baking, the toothpick came out clean. After cooling the cake and carving out a corner, the cake was clearly moist/wet. Granted, I did use 3 big peaches, a total of 1.56 pounds, a quarter pound more than the recipe called for.

Consider cutting back on the sugar/cinnamon/ginger mix. A good quantity of it, about half, was just loose on the cake after baking. It might make sense to toss the peaches with half the mixture before stirring them into the batter and then sprinkling the other half of the sugar mix over the nuts. That'd give you the sugary goodness and help with the moisture. I'll try it that way next time.

Oh, the recipe description in the magazine suggested other stone fruits to substitute for the peaches if you're so inclined. I'm thinking nectarines and apricots would work well, and plums too.

Cost:
  • sugar: $0.13
  • flour: $0.16
  • butter: $0.56
  • brown sugar: $0.60
  • egg: $0.31
  • almond extract: $0.50
  • buttermilk: $0.26
  • peaches: $1.39
  • sliced almonds: $1, SWAG
Total: $4.91 or about $0.31 for each of 16 tiny servings.

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