Peaches are my very favorite summer fruit.  (Nectarines come in second.)  I have been buying (and eating) peaches by the dozen.  We simply cannot get enough of our beloved local peaches.

Most of the time we eat them out-of-hand with the juice dripping to our elbows.  A few have made their way into frozen desserts and pies.  And then there’s cake…

I made this cake to celebrate my baby’s first birthday.  She loves peaches as much as the rest of us.  More than that, she loves cake …even if we did celebrate her birthday three weeks late. (Ahem.)

Brown Sugar Cake with Fresh Peaches
by Lindsey Johnson

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (12 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk

Frosting and filling:
2-3 ripe, but firm peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup peach jam
Creamy Almond Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (For high altitude–375 degrees F.)

Grease and flour two 8″ or 9″ round baking pans* and line with parchment or waxed paper.

Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the shortening and sugar until very light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl down after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.

Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Only beat until combined. Remove bowl from mixer base and scrape the sides and bottom with a large silicone or rubber spatula to make sure all the ingredients are completely incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the baking pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes.  The tops will be lightly golden and springy to the touch.  (Insert a cake tester into the center–only a few moist crumbs should cling to the tester.)

Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Creamy Almond Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract, optional
about 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (or a few teaspoons milk)

Beat the butter at high speed with an electric mixer. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the extracts (if using). Beat until light and fluffy. Add the remaining powdered sugar alternating with the cream (no more than 1-2 tsp. at a time), until you reach the desired texture. The frosting should be light and creamy.

Assembly:

Place one of the cooled cake layers on a serving platter.  Spread half the frosting on the layer, arrange 2/3 of the sliced peaches over the frosting and spread 2/3 of the jam over the peaches.  Top with second layer.  Spread remaining frosting over the cake layer and top with the remaining peaches and jam.

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For the record, this is how you are supposed to eat the cake when you turn one:

*The cake shown in the photos is a 6″ cake.  I used the remaining batter for cupcakes.  But the recipe will make a traditional 8″ or 9″ cake.

Lindsey Johnson is a stay-at-home mother of three small children who are just naughty enough to keep her too busy to cook as much as she would like.  You can find more recipes on her blog, Cafe Johnsonia.