Peach Cake Goes Plant-Based
Peach Cake always reminds me of summer. In fact, it reminds me of the cake wheel at parish picnics. Growing up in Kentucky, nearly every summer weekend had a local church picnic. These “picnics” were more like carnivals. There were booths where you could toss rings around bottles, take your chance on winning a quilt, or a take a spin on a mini Ferris wheel. Yet, my first destination was usually the cake booth.
Here, you’d trade in your dollar bill for 10 dimes. With a roll of the wheel, you’d bet your dime on your lucky number. If your number comes up, you win a ticket. For a kid who loved homemade sugary baked goods as much as the air conditioning that kept them cool, this was bliss.
Into the magical cake vault you’d go. From the hot, humid Kentucky air you stepped into a secret wonderland of dessert nirvana. The smell of chocolate frosting and sprinkles hit as soon as you walked in the door. In front of you lay an assortment of all types of treats: chocolate cake with chocolate icing, white cake with white icing, strawberry cake, confetti cake, fudgy brownies, cinnamon coffee cake, chocolate chip cookies, homemade pies. And, inevitably, you’d find Southern Peach Cake.
Original Peach Cake Recipe
The original peach cake recipe could be quite simple: A box of vanilla cake mix + 1 can of peaches in syrup. I think somewhere along the way a couple of eggs and 1/2 cup of oil were involved. Either way, this summer treat was definitely a sugar bomb of processed foods. As a healthy, plant-based chef now, it’s time to remake this recipe. I need to honor the history and flavor of the dish, but also create something healthy, whole foods, vegan.
A Healthy, Plant-Based, No Added Sugar Vegan Peach Cake
Perfecting this recipe took quite a bit of patience. Yet, the result is so deliciously satisfying. Some of the healthy changes I made to update the classic Peach Cake recipe for a whole foods, plant-based vegan diet:
- Pureed peaches and plant-based milk replaced oil for moisture
- Dried dates replace sugar and syrup for natural sweetness
- Whole grain oat flour and spelt flour replace refined white flour for texture and structure
- White vinegar and baking soda replace eggs to provide lift
- Fresh diced peaches replace canned peaches for chunks of sweet, summer flavor
- A dash of nutmeg adds nutty flavor, balancing the sweetness of the peaches
- A Pecan Vanilla Frosting replaces traditional white frosting for the classic Southern peach-pecan pairing.
I’m incredibly proud of this recipe for Plant-Based Peach Cake. I hope you enjoy it too!
Chef Katie’s Tips
Cupcake Version: For a cupcake version, portion the batter into 16 muffin cups. Bake 30-35 minutes, until they pass the clean-toothpick test. Let cool at least 10 minutes before frosting. The nutrition values will change. There’s about 168 calories in a cupcake.
No Spraying Needed – Oil-Free Tip: Lining the baking pan with parchment paper means you don’t need to spray with oil. For cupcakes, use parchment paper cupcake liners.
Other Stone Fruits: Instead of peaches, you can use other stone fruits. Plums, apricots, and nectarines would all work.
Whole Grain Flours: This recipe uses a blend of whole grain flour. Oat flour provides light, fluffy texture. Spelt flour contains gluten, which provides structure and helps hold the cake together. You can subsitute whole wheat pastry flour for the spelt flour.
Gluten-Free Option: Because spelt is a member of the wheat family, it contains gluten. For a gluten-free version, substitute with an all-purpose gluten-free baking mix.
No Refined Sugar or Syrup? I’m on a mission to get rid of empty calories. This cake doesn’t use any refined sugar, maple syrup, or other refined sweetener. and the pureed peach provide sweetness, along with healthy fiber and essential nutrients.
Plant-Based Peach Cake with Pecan Vanilla Frosting
- Skill Level: Medium
- Servings: 8
- Ready In: 70 minutes
- Yield: 1 9-inch cake + 1 1/2 cups frosting
Plant-Based Peach Cake with Pecan Vanilla Frosting
- 9-inch cake pan
For the Plant-Based Peach Cake with Pecan Vanilla Frosting:
- 1 ¼ cups unsweetened almond milk (10 ounces)
- 1 ½ cup pitted dates (300g)
- 1 medium peach roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 cup spelt flour (140g)
- 1 cup oat flour (90g)
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 peach ½ diced and ½ thinly sliced, for garnish
For the Pecan Vanilla Frosting:
- ½ cup pitted dates (100g)
- ½ cup unsalted raw pecan pieces (56g or 2 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- ¾ cup water
To make the Plant-Based Peach Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350Line a 9-inch round cake pan or spring-form pan with parchment paper.
- For the wet mixture: In a blender, combine the almond milk, dates, 1 peach, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Puree until creamy, about 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.
- For the dry mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the spelt flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. Use a whisk or fork to combine. Make a well in the center. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until well-combined, but be careful not to overmix. Work quickly. Fold in the ½ diced peach.
- To bake the Plant-Based Peach Cake: Pour the cake batter into your pre-lined pan. Garnish the top with the reserved peach slices. Bake until it passes the toothpick test, 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes. While the cake cools, make the Pecan Vanilla Frosting.
To make the Pecan Vanilla Frosting:
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer to an airtight container and cover. Chill until it becomes firm and spreadable. Use within a week or freeze for longer.
- To finish the Plant-Based Peach Cake with Pecan Vanilla Frosting:
- Remove the cake from the pan. Let cool 10 more minutes Spread on the Pecan Vanilla Frosting. Slice and serve!
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 5 g||7 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||2 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 2 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 279 mg||12 %|
|Potassium 268 mg||8 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 42 g||14 %|
|Dietary Fiber 5 g||19 %|
|Sugars 23 g|
|Protein 4 g||8 %|
|Vitamin A||2 %|
|Vitamin C||2 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Shopping and Gear List
- Arrowhead Mills Flour Oat Organic, 16 oz
- Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Deglet Noor Dates (Pitted), 2 Pounds
- Standard Paper Cupcake Liners