Sweet Peach Cornmeal Cake – Bolo de Fubá | Baking

Peak peach season is the optimal time to make this ultra-moist sweet peach cake. Ripe fresh peaches are quickly blanched, skinned, then sautéed in brown butter and sugar. A whole peach is chopped and folded into the batter, for double peach delight!

peach cornmeal cake
Golden brown on the outside – light and fluffy on the inside!

BOLO DE FUBÁ

I discovered a traditional Brazilian treat, cornmeal cake, a sweet cake often served with coffee. That is the base of this peach cake. The cornmeal in the cake base lends texture and a subtle flavor that contrasts the sweetness of the peaches quite nicely.

In most cornmeal cake recipes, all ingredients are blended in a blender to achieve a creamy, almost custard-like consistency. Here, I left the cornmeal as is. It lends a nice texture to balance the smooth creaminess of the cooked peaches.

Of course, it may be worthy to note that the addition of peaches is completely nontraditional as well. I think that’s what makes this version so tasty!

Arrange the peaches however you’d like

PEACH PARTY

The cake is baked, then set to cool in the fridge. While the cake bakes, the peaches are prepared on the stovetop. Once the cake is cool, the peaches are layered on top in whatever pattern or arrangement suits your fancy. The cake adorned with peaches is then set back in the fridge for an hour, where the buttery sugary juices of the peaches slowly seep into the crumb of the cake, creating that delectable moisture and permeating peach flavor.

After some experimentation, I found that adding the peaches after the cake baked yielded the best results. The peaches keep some of their structure this way, and allowing the cake to sit lets it soak, achieving that perfect peachy bite!

Use a 9″ round cake pan for this recipe. You can make this for a party with friends, or just for yourself. It keeps extremely well and even holds up when left out on the counter overnight.

CHANGE IT UP

For gluten free and dairy free alternatives to the original recipe, scroll down to the recipe notes. A few simple substitutions turn this cake into a gluten and/or dairy free delight!

To save time, you can use canned peaches for this recipe. I’d recommend getting the ones with the lowest sugar content!

Simply delicious!

Sweet Peach Cornmeal Cake – Bolo de Fuba

Lauren Harvey
Peak peach season is the optimal time to make this ultra-moist sweet peach cake. Ripe fresh peaches are quickly blanched, skinned, then sautéed in brown butter and sugar. A whole peach is chopped and folded into the batter, for double peach delight! The cornmeal in the cake base lends texture and a subtle flavor that contrasts the sweetness of the peaches quite nicely.
Use canned peaches to simplify the recipe. Gluten and dairy free instructions in the recipe notes.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Brazilian
Servings 1 9″ cake

Ingredients
  

For the Cake

  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup regular or finely ground cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch salt

For the Peaches

  • 5 ripe peaches washed clean and patted dry
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

Peaches

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Score the peaches with a small knife. Make an X on the bottom of each peach.
  • As soon as the water boils, prep an ice bath in a separate bowl by adding lots of ice and cold water. Fill the bowl about halfway.
    If you don't have a bowl large enough to fit all the peaches, you can use another pot, cold and off heat.
  • Using tongs, carefully add the peaches to boiling water. Let boil about one minute, until the skin on the bottom looks like its starting to peel back at the corners.
  • Remove peaches from boiling water using tongs and add directly into the ice bath. Wait about 5 minutes to allow the peaches to cool.
  • Remove the peaches from the water and set out to dry. Remove the skin from one peach by gently pushing away at the X mark at the bottom. The skin should easily peel off.
  • Once all peaches are peeled, it's time to cut!
    Dice ONE peach into small pieces. This will go into the cake.
    Slice the other four peaches nicely. This will be for the top of the cake. You want the slices to be about medium thickness — enough to hold their shape but thin enough to eat easily.

Cornmeal Cake

  • Heat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9" round cake pan with parchment on the bottom.
  • In a clean bowl, add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, sift baking powder and flour. Add in cornmeal and pinch of salt. Whisk briefly to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk vigorously by hand to combine. Batter should be smooth.
  • Add in the one diced peach to the batter. Fold in gently with a spatula.
  • Pour thee batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.
    Baking times may vary. Check the cake at the 30 minute mark. If a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, leave in for another five minutes.
    Be advised, the top of the cake will brown considerably, no worries! The inside will be just fine 🙂

Assembly

  • In a large saute pan, add the butter. Let it melt. When it begins to bubble and emits a nutty aroma, add sugar. Stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining sliced peaches to the pan in a single layer. Let the peaches cook for about 5-7 minutes over medium heat. They should be soft and caramelized but not falling apart.
  • Remove from pan and set in refrigerator (after cooling) until ready to use.
  • Once the cake is finished cooking, turn it out onto a cooling rack. Once room temperature, place in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove cake from fridge and level the cake, using a large serrated bread knife to even out the surface of the cake.
    Arrange the peaches in a circular pattern, working from the outside in. Use the best-looking slices first, then fill in the gaps with smaller slices.
  • Let the decorated cake sit in the fridge for about an hour. This will allow the juices from the peach to absorb into the cake.
  • Slice and serve! Whipped cream optional.

Notes

TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Replace flour with Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour. Available from Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur or Trader Joe’s! To be safe, ensure the cornmeal package you use says Gluten-Free. Cornmeal, by nature, is gluten free, but you never know what may be added in certain products.
TO MAKE DAIRY FREE: Use unsweetened oat milk or almond milk in the recipe. Use dairy-free butter. 
USE CANNED PEACHES FOR A SHORTCUT: If you don’t have good quality fresh peaches available, using canned is perfectly acceptable. Skip the first section of the directions, since canned are already peeled. Instead of sautéing peaches for 5-7 minutes, melt down the butter and sugar, then quickly throw the peaches in the pan to coat, for about a minute. 
Keyword bolo de fuba, cornmeal cake, easy cornmeal cake, easy summer dessert, how to skin peaches, peach cake, peach cornmeal cake, peach dessert, spring dessert, stone fruit dessert, summer dessert recipe

Chocolate Cake with Strawberry-Mascarpone Filling | Baking

Some moments in life deserve a special celebration.

And every celebration deserves cake!

I made this decadent chocolate cake, adorned in pastel floral accents for Nana’s birthday.

Nana loves chocolate, and this cake was the perfect combination of rich chocolate and light, fluffy cake.

Pastel gel food coloring gives the piped rosettes their bright yet gentle hues. Using three different piping tips creates visual interest between each color. The sprinkles are Wilton brand, picked up at Michael’s Craft Store, and placed meticulously onto the buttercream with tweezers.

Below, I’ve included each step of the cake:

  1. The Chocolate Cake
  2. Mascarpone Strawberry filling
  3. Buttercream
  4. Assembly & Decoration

The Cake

Chocolate Cake

Lauren Harvey
A decadent, delicious chocolate cake. This recipe yields 3 eight inch cakes, meant to make a tall layered birthday cake.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 3 8 inch cakes

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (substitute: your preferred milk + 3/4 tsp cream of tartar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cup fresh brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tb vanilla extract
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tb baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Prepare three 8 inch cake pans. Grease the inside of each pan by evenly coating them with butter. Use a paper towel to wipe up any excess butter. Sift ¼ cup cocoa powder into a separate bowl. Sprinkle the sifted cocoa powder on the buttered surface, turning the pan upside down over parchment paper to tap out any excess. This process helps the cake release from the pan more easily.
  • If you are using buttermilk, skip this step. If not, mix your preferred milk (regular, oat or almond works) with ¾ teaspoon of cream of tartar. Whisk to combine and let set.
  • In a medium-bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine the sour cream, eggs, buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute prepared in Step 2), vegetable oil, vanilla extract and coffee/espresso. Make sure the coffee/espresso is cool to the touch before combining it with the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Using a hand mixer, combine the ingredients well for about one minute. Be mindful not to overmix.
  • Distribute the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350° F. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  • Rest the cakes for 10 minutes. Then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cook completely.

The Filling

The cake was baked in three 8″ cake pans (as per recipe instruction) and filled with a Mascarpone Strawberry filling (as per my affinity for Italian cheeses). This recipe I adapted from a Real Simple Article.

Mascarpone Strawberry Filling

Lauren Harvey
A light and well-balanced filling for the cake. Mascarpone balances out the sweetness of the cake's buttercream. Fresh strawberries work best!
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tb unsalted butter, softened to room temp.
  • 8 oz cream cheese (full fat preferred).
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese (I recommend Trader Joe's brand).
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar.
  • ½ container of fresh strawberries
  • 2-3 tb granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Pull the butter and cream cheese out of the fridge. Let it sit out on the counter while you prep the strawberries.
  • Remove the strawberry stems and cut into quarters. I used about a half container of strawberries. ~Leftovers are great to eat by themselves so no worries if you cut too many!~
  • Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar over the strawberries and toss to coat. Let sit for 7-10 minutes until juices are coming out and the strawberries are softened. This process is called macerating — using sugar to break down the fruit.
  • Mash strawberries with the back of a fork. You don’t want any big chunks but some small ones are okay. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer and large bowl, whip butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
  • Switch to low speed, add powdered sugar, mascarpone, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the macerated strawberries and add to mixture. Mix until just combined.

Notes

Recipe adapted from a Real Simple Article.
Keyword mascarpone, mascarpone stawberry filling, strawberry

White Vanilla Buttercream

White Vanilla Buttercream

Lauren Harvey
This White Vanilla Buttercream is the perfect base recipe for all of your decorating projects. Whether making a simple sheet cake, or a fully decorated birthday cake, this buttercream is easy to make and holds up well.
Make a few batches and add different colors for easy decorating!
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ lb powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter (3 standard sticks), softened to room temp.
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Beat butter until soft and fluffy.
  • Incorporate powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until combined before adding more.
  • Once all powdered sugar is mixed into butter, add salt and vanilla extract.
  • Add the whipping cream in a slow steady stream with the mixer still on.

Notes

When making buttercream, it is imperative to scrape the sides of the mixer consistently, as this helps to incorporate everything evenly. Particularly if you have a mixer like mine, with a deep bowl, it is important to scrape the bottom to make sure everything is mixed in evenly.
 
Adapted from a Preppy Kitchen recipe.
Keyword buttercream

The Decor

Cake Assembly

As far as timing goes, I baked the cake on Saturday, trimmed it and filled it with the Mascarpone filling. Then I added a crumb coat to seal in the freshness of the cake and to give myself a smooth base for decorating.

For more information about how to crumb coat a cake, check out this King Arthur Flour article.

The cake stayed in the fridge until Sunday morning, after making a second batch of buttercream (just in case) and preparing my colors. I decorated on Sunday and left in the fridge until the party Sunday night.

This kept extremely well in the fridge and the buttercream holds up after sitting on the counter for a few hours. I removed the cake from the fridge about 15 minutes before serving.

For all those roses…

To decorate, I used the watercolor technique around the entire cake; created by adding splotches of colored frosting and smoothing out against the white frosting. This served as my background for the piped rosettes. I began with the largest rosettes first, then filled in with smaller.

For the top of the cake, it’s important to divide the large rosettes evenly before filling in with smaller piping. Pipe the rosettes as if you are cutting the cake in half each time, instead of attempting to go in a circle. Pipe one rosette, then turn the cake around and pipe the next on the opposite side of the cake. Pipe the next in between these two rosettes, and continue until all are piped.

For a visual tutorial, check out this video by Wilton.

It’s an extremely fun technique that requires one hand motion. Practice on a sheet of parchment before decorating your cake! Once you feel comfortable with the rosette piping motion, start decorating your cake.

Piping for practice on parchment (say that three times fast) is also a great way to see how your piping tips look before using them on the cake.

The techniques used to create this cake were completely doable and I truly enjoyed putting it together. It takes patience and time, but it can be done!

* * * * * * * *

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL

On a Personal Note

Technique aside, what truly makes a cake like this worth a weekend of work is the people with whom you share it.

That look in their eye when you walk into a room holding a cake like this is simply priceless! That sheer excitement is the most magical part of food, when you bring a smile to the people who partake. That moment, that joy, is really what it’s all about. To be quite cheesy, those moments truly show that yes, food is an act of love.

For me it was a privilege to bring that moment to Nana, and to share this delicious dessert with my family.

Happy Birthday Nana.