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Bernice Baran’s Caramel Peaches ‘N’ Cream

This luscious cake comes from one of our favorite new books: Frosted: Take Your Baked Goods to the Next Level with Decadent Buttercreams, Meringues, Ganaches and More (Page Street Publishing, 2021), written by Bernice Baran, founder of the wonderful Baran Bakery blog. According to Bernice, “This cake is perfect during the transition from summer to fall. The peaches, light Ermine Buttercream and whipped cream on top are light and summery. The warm and cozy brown sugar cake drizzled with the caramel sauce evokes fall. This one is a crowd-pleaser, for sure!” We couldn’t agree more.

Yield: 12-16 servings                                                                       

Ingredients


Vanilla Ermine Buttercream:

  • 3⁄4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3⁄4 cup (180 milliliters) milk
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or high-quality vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 milliliters) water
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1⁄4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Brown Sugar Cake:

  • 2 1⁄4 cups (270 grams) all- purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons (12 grams) baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 milliliters) canola oil
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (285 grams) packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 3⁄4 cup (170 grams) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180 milliliters) milk, room temperature

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) confectioners’ sugar, spooned and leveled
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Toppings:

  • 3 large peaches (not super ripe and juicy), thinly sliced
  • Handful of cherries, blackberries and/or pecans

Instructions


Begin to make the buttercream:

  1. Begin by making the custard for the Ermine Buttercream at least a few hours before frosting the cake, so it has time to cool: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour and milk over medium-low heat. Whisk continuously, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin and allow the custard to cool completely to room temperature.                                                           

Make the caramel sauce:                                   

  1. Place the sugar and water in a medium, light-colored saucepan with a lid over medium heat. Melt the sugar in the water, but DO NOT STIR IT. After about 10 minutes, the sugar will turn an amber color. Remove the mixture from the stove, and stir in the cream. The mixture will bubble violently, so be careful. Stir the mixture until it’s completely combined, then whisk in the butter and pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, mixing until they’re completely combined. Cover the caramel, and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease two 8-inch (20-cm) cake pans with baking spray, and line them with parchment paper.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, oil and brown sugar together, on medium speed, until they’re light and fluffy. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sour cream and vanilla, and mix just until they’re combined. With the mixer at low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the mixture, followed by the milk and then the second half of the dry ingredients. Increase the mixer speed to medium, then beat the mixture, just until the flour is fully incorporated, making sure to scrape the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  1. Distribute the batter evenly among the pans, filling each pan only about one-half to two-thirds full. Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, until an indentation made with your finger in the top center of the cake springs back. If the indentation remains, return the cakes to the oven for 2 minutes, or until the center springs back. Remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely.                                                           

Finish making the buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, at medium-high speed, beat the butter and salt for about 5 minutes, until the butter is fluffy and pale. Slowly add the cooled custard, a little at a time, to the butter; adding the custard slowly prevents the mixture from clumping and the butter from deflating. When all of the custard is incorporated, scrape down the bowl, turn the mixer up to high speed and beat the buttercream for 1 minute. Mix just until it’s incorporated, then add the vanilla bean paste; mix until it’s evenly distributed.                                                  

Make the Whipped Cream:

  1. Use an electric mixer, at full speed, to beat the cream with the confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla bean paste to the whipped cream and beat again, at full speed, just until stiff peaks form.                                

Assemble and frost the cake:

  1. To frost, cut the cooled cakes in half horizontally to make four cake layers. Use an offset spatula to spread one-third of the buttercream onto the first layer of cake. Top the buttercream with a layer of sliced peaches, followed by a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. Repeat for the second and third layers of the cake. Place the fourth layer on top. Spread the whipped cream on the fourth layer of cake and then top with the extra fruit and another drizzle of caramel. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing it. This Caramel Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

Reprinted with permission from Frosted by Bernice Baran, Page Street Publishing Co. 2021.

Photo credit: Bernice Baran          

Recommended Equipment:


Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Round Layer Cake Pan

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Editors
Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at info@pastryathome.com. We would love to hear from you!
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