Peachy Keen Buttermilk Cake Recipe

Sunday, July 10, 2011

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When I was a little girl, my mother had two sets of dishes: the “everyday” dishes” and the “good” ones.  The everyday dishes were, of course, the ones we used for meals every day.  The “good” set only came out for holidays and special occasions. She had a set of “good” glassware too.  They only made an appearance when the “good” dishes were being used.  I never understood why that was.  The  good dishes were much prettier and nicer than the “everyday” ones.  Why didn’t we use them all the time?  What were we saving them for?  Didn’t we deserve to eat off of the good stuff?

My mother had special guest soaps in the bathroom too.  They were shaped like little flowers and they smelled wonderful.   But, we weren’t allowed to use them either.  Mom said they were “just for show”.  We used bars of Ivory or Camay.   I didn’t get that either.  Why shouldn’t we use those pretty and yummy smelling soaps for “everyday”?

Our house was full of things that were only for company or “just for show”.  I remember telling myself then that, when I grew up and had a home of my own, I’d always use the good china and fancy soaps – every day.  But,  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because I often find myself doing the same darn thing!   I have to constantly remind myself that my family is the most important thing in the world. They deserve the good stuff – every day

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Likewise, there are cakes I bake just for company, and cakes I bake for “everyday”.  The “everyday” cakes are usually very plain and uncomplicated little numbers to enjoy with our morning coffee, or nibble on for an afternoon pick-me-up.  Rarely does an “everyday” cake cross over into the more elite “company” category.  With their swooshy, swirly mounds of buttercream, and layers of assorted ooey, gooey fillings, “company” cakes are meant to impress.  Those cakes are the showstoppers.   This Peachy Keen Buttermilk Cake is different.   It isn’t fancy, but it is special.   It’s simple, elegant, and appropriate for almost any occasion.  It’s the little black dress of cakes.

I first saw this unassuming little cake flitting around the blogosphere more than a year ago, only then it was sporting raspberries.  I just knew I would love it,  and I bookmarked it.  Then, distracted by other, flashier showoff cakes, I forgot about it.  The other day I found myself with a container of buttermilk about to expire and a few peaches that were past their prime.  I was trying to think of a way to save them both, when I remembered “the cake”.  Ah yes, the cake!  It was the perfect thing!

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With only a handful of basic ingredients, this cake is incredibly quick and easy to make.  Aside from the time it takes for the butter to soften, the batter can be whipped up less than ten minutes – and that includes peeling and chopping the peaches.  Plus, you get the added benefit of having your whole house filled with the most delightful aroma as it bakes.   It has a lovely, light, fluffy crumb, enveloped in a firm, slightly crackly crust.  When cooled to room temperature, it slices beautifully.  The bits of peaches throughout add a little bright pop of flavor to every bite.

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This cake was such a huge hit at my house, that I’m already getting hounded to bake another one.  Why not?  I still have some buttermilk and another peach in the fridge.  This time, I think I’ll dig out the good china.   And, maybe even the sterling silver.  Just for us, because we’re worth it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and wash my hands with some fancy, schmancy scented guest soaps.

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22 responses to Peachy Keen Buttermilk Cake Recipe

  1. On July 10, 2011 at 11:56pm, The Duo Dishes said...

    The cracks on top of the cake are very enticing. Love getting a slice with a very crunchy, cracked top because it tastes good with the fluffy inside. Hopefully you’re eating the next one with the polished silver!

  2. On July 11, 2011 at 12:06am, Amy said...

    This cake looks so delicious! I’ve bookmarked this one for when peach season rolls back around in Australia (couple of months to go). We also had “good” and “everyday” dishes but now that there aren’t any little kids in the house a lot of the “good” things have become everyday. Don’t we all deserve a little special in the everyday?

  3. On July 11, 2011 at 1:56am, Rosa said...

    A lovely cake! A perfect teatime treat.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. On July 11, 2011 at 6:43am, Katrina said...

    This cake sounds delicious! Yum!

  5. On July 11, 2011 at 7:34am, bellini said...

    I think this cake is special too and our family deserves the very best.

  6. On July 11, 2011 at 12:03pm, The Food Hunter said...

    I’ve been on a fruit kick lately so this fits in perfect. Will probably try it this weekend. Thanks

  7. On July 11, 2011 at 1:41pm, Angie@Angiesrecipes said...

    A wonderful coffee cake!

  8. On July 12, 2011 at 5:34am, Lucy said...

    This cake sounds gorgeous – so simple but delicious! I know I would keep coming back for more and more.

  9. On July 12, 2011 at 6:00pm, Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

    I’m laughing because my mother had all sorts of things “for good” — i.e., *we* were not good enough! The fancy soaps (shell shaped, as I recall), the living room couch (!), the dishes and silverware…. In my house, everyone is good enough to use anything they find.

    • On July 14, 2011 at 4:26pm, Susan said...

      Lol! I almost mentioned the plastic slipcovers on the living room sofa, but I restrained myself. ;)

  10. On July 12, 2011 at 10:57pm, Nancy Gardiner said...

    I think this is my fantasy breakfast. Cake can be considered breakfast, right?!

    • On July 14, 2011 at 4:26pm, Susan said...

      Absolutely! :D

  11. On July 13, 2011 at 2:26pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    I am the same way. I tend to make simple desserts to share at hte office, but if I’m having a dinner party, I pull out all of the stops. I rarely make homemade ice cream for example if it’s not for an occasion or a dinner party.

    I also have a set of “good” dishes. What’s worse is that my “everyday” dishes are ugly as sin. I inherited them from my MIL. I still feature them in photos when I take photos from my blog, even though my good dishes would look way better! I think I have good reason though. I had 14 place settings of Mom’s old china. I tend to break things so I’m down to about 11 dinner plates. I only have 10 for my good set. The more I use them, the more likely I am to break them, so I’d rather make sure I have enough non-ugly plates for every dinner party.

    I have made a similar butter milk cake with berries. With peach season coming up, Ithink I should branch out a bit more.

    • On July 14, 2011 at 4:28pm, Susan said...

      I know what you mean. My Waterford crystal costs over $60 a stem these days. If I broke them, I couldn’t afford to replace them! ;)

  12. On July 14, 2011 at 4:16pm, Kay said...

    I made the original cake from Gourmet magazine, but I’m going to try it with peaches, my favorite fruit. When I made it with raspberries, I had a hard time removing the cake from the pan. I was thinking about using parchment paper for the bottom in addition to the usual “grease and flour”. From your pics, it doesn’t look like you had this problem. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous.

    • On July 14, 2011 at 4:29pm, Susan said...

      Parchment always helps. Though, I just lightly buttered the pan and had no issues. :)

  13. On July 17, 2011 at 2:55am, erin said...

    That looks amazing and yummy. Do you think it would work with apples?

    • On July 17, 2011 at 12:15pm, Susan said...

      Absolutely! I’d saute the apples in butter first with a little cinnamon and sugar, as the baking time for the cake is only 25 minutes or so. They might not get soft enough otherwise. :)

  14. On July 24, 2011 at 10:24pm, Tabby Animals said...

    Looks crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside. I want a slice of this badly and it really made my mouth watering. My mom is just like your mom. She always hide those “just show off” things in her big drawer and she only get it when she needs it.

  15. On August 09, 2011 at 12:45am, Houston Food Lovers Club said...

    Well, I made this tonight with sauteed apples that had a handful of Craisins soaked in apple juice until they were plump…. And it was awesome! I put about a 1/2 teaspoon of apple pie spice into the flour mixture to make the cake a little spicier, too. This would be a perfect fall treat.

    Susan, I love this made with peaches, too. Eaten still warm from the oven, it makes the happy time!

  16. On October 10, 2011 at 4:28am, aramyra said...

    sorry to ask. 1/2 stick butter equal to how many grams? i am sure butter comes in so many different weight. 127gm, 250gm or 500gms.

  17. On October 12, 2011 at 10:22am, Cupcake recipe said...

    This recipe looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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