Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Baltimore Peach Cake – Infested with Beauty and Deliciousness

I’ve never been to Baltimore, so I can’t comment on the current state of affairs, but what I can tell you is that this easy to make, yeast-based “cake” really is amazing, and would have been even more so with a few minor tweaks. I was afraid of it coming out too dry, so I went with a very wet dough, and also didn’t bake it quite as long as I could have, but these are easy fixes, and my next one should be spot on.

As you saw, I did test with toothpick, as you should, but I made the mistake of sticking it between the peaches and not underneath one. If I had, I would’ve popped it back in for a few more minutes, and it would have been fine. Also, I’ve heard a thinner cake would have also helped the situation, which simply means using a larger baking dish. I went with a 9 x 12, so if you have the more standard 9 x 13, that should work out even better.

They say this recipe was brought to Baltimore by German immigrants, who apparently used to top it with caramelized onions, which on one hand seems like it would work, and yet on the other hand, doesn’t at all. Anyway, maybe one of our more adventurous viewers will give that a whirl, but regardless, I really do hope you give this unique Baltimore Peach Cake a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one 9 x 13 pan:
3 or 4 sweet, ripe peaches
1/3 cup sugar
1 package dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter, for the dough
1 large beaten egg
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon fine salt)
about 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons butter to grease baking dish, and to drizzle the top
2 tablespoons demerara sugar, or any sugar for the top

For the glaze:
1/3 cup peach or apricot preserves or jam, heated up with a splash of water to glaze the top
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19 comments:

dr. mutu said...

You could also drop the temperature to 300 which I use for Romanian cozonac, which is also made with a relatively sticky dough. 375 may kill the yeast too fast, while 300 allows it to raise some more during the initial baking phase.

TheBereangirl said...

Oh Chef John, I'm SO going to make this for our next family brunch!😋 If I made this with apples, then I'd consider using the onions.

ANEWELL said...

Amazing recipe from an amazing town!! Thanks Chef

Train Wreck said...

<3 Baltimore

Angie said...

I just pulled mine out of the oven! I used blueberries instead of peaches...because I can't follow the exact recipe like a normal person. Oh, well! I wish I could attach a picture, but I'll just post it on my Pinterest board.

Lin said...

I love that towel!! so pretty!
(of course i love Chef John more, but let's not state the obvious here)

mother hen said...

The timing is hilarious. The cake is delicious. 😂

Angie said...

Soooo... I would like to revise my first comment and add a suggestion. I cooked my "cake" in a 9x13 for 40 min. It was okay after I let it cool. It was obviously overcooked, but still ok. Fast forward to the next day. In the garbage it goes! 40 min was WAY too long for that size pan. I would suggest 25-30 min tops. Else you'll end up with fruit flavored cardboard! Thank goodness this is a cheap recipe.

Angie said...

So, I baked this using blueberries! The good news is, this was an excellent alternative to peaches. Bad news? DO NOT cook this beauty for 45-50 min using a 9x13 dish! You will end up with fruit flavored cardboard. LOL If you use a 9x13, 25-30 min tops. I'm glad this is a cheap recipe and I can make it as many times as I need to.

Angie said...

I baked this using blueberries! The good news is, blueberries are an excellent alternative. Bad news? I endd up with fruit flavored cardboard.LOL My suggestion is, if you used a 9x13 in dish, as I did, please FO NOT bake for 45-50 min. I suggest 25-30. This recipe is cheap, so I'm trying this again!

Kunst said...

Thanks for the Baltimore plug. Though not a native, I have live in the city for more than 35 yrs. There are different takes on peach cake, but yours is very much like what I have seen. Some places use canned peaches, which is only acceptable in the non peach season. Some have the peaches sitting on a layer of custard, some don't. All is good and is not overly sweet, so its good at breakfast with tea or coffee. Schmerkasse is the other biggie here. Its similar to NY cheese cake, but not as sweet and done in a large sheet pan, sold in slabs. I was just in Woodlea Bakery, a Baltimore staple for old pastries. https://www.woodleabakery.com
As the locals would say... "Day gots Smeer cake and peach cake at Woodlea's on Blair rood... Hon.

Bob Waters said...

I cannot get a simple download without all the crap with facebook, instagram, etc. I just wanted a recipe to copy and cook with. Goodby Chef John. Sorry that we are here at this point. Write back if you want. Otherwise, we are gone.

Toshiko said...

Hi Chef John, this was very easy and turned out impressively beautiful. Thanks so much for the recipe! One thing to note: It's not sweet at all, even with the sugar sprinkle and apricot jam glaze, and nice sweet peaches. I was really surprised. I didn't mind but before I make it for my Dad I'll need to bump up the dough sugar a bit and maybe even drizzle the top with a thin pastry glaze. My apologies to Baltimore!

WWII said...

Picked our peaches today and made this. I had to bake it a lot longer to get it to cook in the middle. I kept checking it with a thermometer. Anyways, it looks fantastic. Thanks Chef John.

TheBereangirl said...

I couldn't wait for our next family brunch, I made it using my 100% hydration rye starter. So I had to modify the recipe some. It came out a little dry, over baked? -- but it was still delicious! This weekend I'm going to use honey instead of sugar in the dough, and bake it less. I'm also going to try a blueberry cream cheese version.

Nora Rocket said...

It worked it worked! And I will echo Toshiko above that this is not at all a sweet cake. It made me want to incorporate a savory herb that plays well with peach, like rosemary or sage. We ate our cake for breakfast with thick cut bacon - an excellent accompaniment. Love your work Chef John!

Evelyn Charters said...

I feel Bob Waters frustration ... there should be a simple Print button!
Chef John, I have to labouriously (Canadian spelling) copy, cut and paste your recipes into a Word document before printing them.
I love your recipes but get irritated when I want to print a paper copy of a recipe.
Every other food blog has a simple print feature.

MARIMAR said...


40 minutes is so long, my cake was burned , I am curious to know how this cake taste, because my is dry.?

Sally K said...

A most awesome recipe!
I did change a few ingredients as I am diabetic, and I added the cinnamon! As it was a loose dough, I whipped it up in my food processor.
I don't know how to leave a picture but rest assured she was a beaut and tasted great.