Peaches and cream cake

Peaches and cream cake

Torta alle pesche e crema

The Italian Baker

This summer cake is delicious. When I was a teenager I used to go to my best friend’s house and study for our end-of-year school exams. Or at least we used to pretend to study, while we listened to music all afternoon and talked about boys and make-up. Ah, well, all part of being a teenager I guess... My friend’s grandma was famous for being an excellent home baker. She would make this cake saying: “You need energy to study! You must have a piece of cake!” Well, that was the sweetest sacrifice I ever had to make, I can tell you! Baking is about holding onto memories, so every time I make this cake, I think about that lovely woman... a real Italian, caring nonna!


Quantity Ingredient
125g butter, melted, plus extra, softened, for greasing
200g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
3 large peaches
240ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise
130g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 quantity see method for ingredients
icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Butter the base and sides of a 23-cm springform cake tin and dust with flour.
  2. Halve the peaches, remove the stone and cut into slices. Put the water, cinnamon, star anise and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Add the peach slices and cook until tender then strain, reserving the syrup, and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, for the cake, sift the flour into a bowl and add the baking powder. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a mixing bowl and a hand-held electric whisk), whisk the eggs, the remaining sugar and the vanilla together until at least doubled in volume. Add the melted butter and continue to whisk until very pale and frothy. Finally, stir in the sifted flour.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, spread a generous amount of crème pâtissière over the entire surface and arrange the peaches over the crème in a sunburst pattern. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the peaches are starting to caramelize and the cake is dark golden and cooked around the edges.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin before inverting on to a plate. Serve in slices, with a dusting of icing sugar if you wish.
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