There are few things better than a perfectly ripe peach in summer. I almost didn’t bother to incorporate peaches into a recipe as they’re so perfect on their own. However, there’s such a glut of peaches and nectarines available at the moment that there’s been plenty for both eating and baking with -very much a case of having your cake (or peach!) and eating it. This recipe came about because I wanted to add in some seasonal fruit into a zesty almond cake, and peaches really did feel like the perfect match. I also set myself the challenge of making this cake without eggs or dairy. As much as I enjoy plant based eating, I struggle to make vegan-friendly cakes. Removing the dairy is easy enough but I’ve always found the chemistry of eggs tricky to mimic, with recipes becoming crumbly or inconsistently baked. Luckily, this recipe lends itself towards being vegan-friendly quite well.
This cake is gorgeously dense, solid and sticky, making a perfect dessert when paired with coconut yoghurt or sweet ricotta, if you eat dairy. Being single layer and without icing, my peach and almond cake is a great choice for summer picnics. It won’t melt in the sun or look any the worse for wear after being boxed up.
I decided to use Coconut Merchant’s coconut nectar “honey”, or syrup again, and love it’s rich taste and gooey consistency. If you like coconut nectar, you might also like my lemon and coconut oat bars. Use another syrup if you can’t get hold of coconut nectar. I also topped the cake with coconut jam. It is unlike anything I have every tried before but really delicious. Made by boiling coconut milk down with sugar, coconut jam adds a uniquely fruity, caramel flavour. It definitely adds to the summery feeling of the cake!
- 2½ cups / 180g ground almonds
- 2½ cups / 200g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- Pinch salt
- ¾ cup / 100g brown sugar
- ⅓ cup coconut nectar honey or other syrup
- ⅓ cup / 75ml olive oil
- 1½ cup / 350ml orange juice
- 1 peach
- 3 tbsp coconut jam, softened
- Preheat an oven to 130 degrees C fan / 150 deg / gas mark 2. Grease and line a 24cm cake tin.
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well and add in the syrup, oil and juice. Mix until fully combined in a thick batter.
- Thinly slice the peach.
- Drop around half the cake mix into the tin. It won't spread easily like a sponge mix, so spoon out small amounts across the tin.
- Arrange half the peach slices over the batter, lightly pressing them in.
- Repeat with the second half of the cake mix and peach slices.
- Spread coconut jam between peach slices on the top of the cake mix.
- Bake for around one hour. The edges should be dry and coming away from the tin. Return for a further 10 minutes if needed. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes after removing from the oven, before allowing to cool on a wire rack fully.
If you don't have coconut jam, leave it out or swap in with something like blueberry jam or compote.