Hillary Davis’ Savoie Cake Drenched with Peach Melba

Straight from the pages of the new book French From the Market (Gibbs Smith 2024) by Hillary Davis, this recipe is quintessentially French and you’ll thank yourself for baking and serving it. Remember, French doesn’t necessarily mean fussy, but it does mean delicious. Here’s what the author has to say about it:

A recipe dating back to the fourteenth century, this ancient cake is popular in the Haute-Savoie region in the French Alps. Although the cake is light and fluffy, it is amazingly sturdy and super easy to make. I serve it with fresh peaches and raspberries, with a good soaking of their juices.

Makes 6 servings



  • Unsalted butter, for the soufflé dish
  • Granulated sugar, for the soufflé dish
  • 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar, plus more to garnish
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch fine sea salt

Peach Melba

  • 4 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons water or Grand Marnier, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar or powdered sugar, plus more as needed
  • 4 ripe peaches
  • Juice of 1⁄2 organic lemon


Make the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of an 8-inch soufflé dish or spring-form pan. Coat the bottom and sides of the soufflé dish generously with butter, then fit the parchment paper into the bottom. Coat the parchment with butter, then coat the bottom and sides of the soufflé dish generously with granulated sugar.
  2. Sift the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl and using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on high speed for about 2 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow. Sift the powdered sugar and cinnamon over the egg yolks and beat on high speed for 6 minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat to combine.
  4. In a large bowl and using a handheld mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with a pinch of fine sea salt on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes, then beat on high speed for 2 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  5. Very gently fold the flour mixture into the yolks. It will be thick.
  6. Fold one-third of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then a bit more, then the remaining whites, very gently so as not to deflate the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared dish.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.

Make the Peach Melba

  1. While the cake bakes, in a blender, combine the raspberries, water, and superfine sugar. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and reserve. If you prefer, pass the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the raspberry seeds. Taste and add sugar, as needed, or more water to make a pourable sauce.
  2. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. If you used a soufflé dish, carefully run a knife around the edges of the cake. Place a plate on top of the soufflé dish, turn both upside-down, and unmold the cake onto the plate. If you used a springform pan, unlock and remove the rim.
    Finish and Serve
  3. Peel and slice the peaches into a large bowl, then toss them with the lemon juice.
  4. Place a slice of cake on each plate. Ladle a generous amount of the raspberry sauce over half of the cake slice, add some peaches, and sift a little powdered sugar over the top.

Recipe excerpt from French From the Market by Hillary Davis. Photography by Sheena Bates. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith Books.


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