Every summer as a kid my family and I would spend time down south in the Okanagan. Days were spent lakeside splashing until all ten fingers and all ten toes were far past pruney. We’d surface out of the water only long enough to run to the fruit stand and grab a basket of fresh Okanagan fruit.
Plums, cherries, apricots, and peaches. All fresh, juicy, and ready to be devoured. My favorite, the one I would dive for first, was and still is, a plump peach. I couldn’t let summer pass without using my beloved stone fruit in a cake and this gluten-free and dairy-free peach cake is a slice of peachy summer delight.
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Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Peach Cake
Fluffy tender layers of vanilla cake stacked high upon a blanket of delicious whipped cream cheese buttercream frosting. The subtle and delectable tang contrasts gorgeously with the juicy sweet peach filling. Topped with oodles and oodles of fresh peaches, this summer peach cake is light, refreshing, and the perfect celebration dessert to share.
What Makes Up A Peach Cake
With a fresh, sweet, and tangy flavor profile, this peach cake is made up of 3 different components:
- Vanilla Cake Layers – super soft and fluffy vanilla cake layers made with pure vanilla extract.
- Peach Filling – this fresh peach filling is quite possibly my favorite filling ever! Leaving some bite-size chunks of peaches, the filling adds a great taste and texture component.
- Cream Cheese Frosting – tangy, fluffy, and so darn yummy. Whipped cream cheese frosting is a crowd-pleaser and pairs beautifully with the sweet peach filling.
Peach Cake Ingredients
As always this recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. That said, I do test each recipe with “regular” ingredients and make notes of alternatives or swaps so that everyone can enjoy it.
Here are a few key ingredients for this cake but make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom recipe card for the complete ingredient list.
- Gluten-Free Flour: Check to see if your blend contains xanthan gum. This can also be swapped for regular cake flour if you are not gluten-free. Note that gluten-free flour blends can vary in weight so I recommend measuring by the cup. I made this cake with XO Baking Co. all-purpose baking mix. If you are not gluten-free, swap the flour with regular cake flour and omit the xanthan gum.
- Dairy-Free Butter: I enjoy baking with Becel plant-based bricks but any dairy-free butter substitute will work. You can also use regular butter if you are not dairy-free.
- Dairy-Free Milk: I love to bake with unsweetened almond milk but this recipe will work with any type of dairy-free or dairy milk.
- Oil: Use canola or vegetable oil for best results.
- Peaches: Fresh is best, that’s at least my motto when it comes to fruit, but frozen or canned will totally work in a pinch or on a budget.
- Vanilla Extract: I will always encourage pure vanilla extract. It’s truly the best but with that said, artificial extract works as well in a pinch or on a budget.
- Dairy-Free Cream Cheese: I use either President’s Choice plant-based cream cheese or Violife Foods vegan cream cheese. Both have the most similar taste and texture to real dairy cream cheese and add that tasty tang to the frosting. Use regular full-fat cream cheese bricks if you are not dairy-free.
The Easiest Peach Filling
What would a peach cake be without peach filling? And it’s the real star in this cake show; tender bites of real peach with a smooth sweet finish that screams summer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fresh peaches will definitely taste best but with that said, frozen or canned will totally work as well.
The great part about this easy peach filling is that you can tailor it to your personal liking. Prefer a chunky peach filling? Great, slice the peaches chunky. Like a smooth filling? Go ahead and dice those peaches up real fine.
The trick to making the best peach filling is to go low and slow. Cooking over lower heat for a longer time allows the peaches to break down so you’re not left with any crunchy bits.
How To Make Peach Filling
Start by slicing up the peaches. I cut mine into approx ½ inch chunks but as I said above, slice yours the way you prefer filling. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a medium heavy-bottomed pot and begin to cook over medium heat. Remember, low and slow is the goal here.
While stirring occasionally, allow this mixture to cook until it begins to thicken. Depending on whether you used fresh or frozen peaches, this should take approximately 5-10 minutes. Once the peach filling starts to thicken, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to cook for 2-3 more minutes. Continue to stir as it cooks.
Remove the filling from the heat and place it into a shallow dish. Cover the surface of the peach filling with plastic wrap and allow it to fully cool. It will thicken a bit more as it cools. You can also place it in the fridge to cool faster if need be.
Peach Cake: Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum (if using) together and set aside.
Step 2: Cream together the butter, sugar, and oil until light and fluffy, and then add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and begin to mix.
Step 4: Slowly pour in the almond milk and mix until just combined.
Step 6: Divide the cake batter into three 8-inch cake pans that have been prepared with baking spray and parchment paper and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Cool cakes on a cooling rack.
Step 7: Prepare the peach filling and allow it to fully cool before using it in the cake.
Step 8: Cream the butter and cream cheese in a mixer on high speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar and salt and mix until combined.
Cake Assembly Tips
Stacking a cake with a soft filling like this peach cake can feel daunting. But, as they say, slow and steady wins the race. Let’s set you up for cake success with a few tips and tricks.
Here are a few assembly tips:
- Fully Cooled Cake Layers & Filling: even if a tiny bit warm, layers and/or filling will slip when warm. Ensure that each cake layer and the filling are fully cooled if not even a bit chilled. I will even work with semi-frozen cake layers if I had to bake them a few days before stacking.
- Leveled Cake Layers: flat and level cake layers will sit far easier than crooked ones. I use this super easy cake tool to ensure each cake layer is perfectly level.
- Chilled Frosting: Cream cheese frosting is notoriously soft. I keep mine in the fridge until I’m ready to use it. Give it a quick beat in the stand mixer and use it while cold. If it starts to feel soft at any point, stop what you are doing and place the frosting and cake into the fridge to chill.
- Create a Frosting Border: this piped frosting border between each cake layer acts as a dam to keep that delicious peach filling in.
- Keep the Cake Chilled: if at any point you begin to feel the cake slip or the frosting is too soft to work with, pop the cake and the frosting back into the fridge to chill. Remember, don’t rush it. Take your time.
How To Decorate A Peach Cake
“As you desire” is often how I refer to cake decoration. It’s not that I don’t want you to make the exact same cake as I did, it’s simply that I don’t want you to feel like you *have* to make the exact same cake. We all have an inner cake artist and I always want to encourage you to let it shine. That said, I break down this gluten-free and dairy-free peach cake decor for you real quick.
Step 1: Crumb coat the cake and allow it to chill for 20 minutes. See the above section for stacking tips and tricks.
Step 2: Put a final “beauty” coat of frosting on the cake and roughly smooth the sides with a cake smoother. Use a cake comb or the tip of a large offset spatula to create rustic horizontal lines around the cake. Leave the top edge raw and unfinished.
Step 3: Slice up extra peaches and arrange them in a semi-circle on the top border edge of the cake. The largest slices go on the bottom and smaller slices fill in the gaps.
Step 5: Chill the cake until ready to serve.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
This cake can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
If you want to bake these layers a few days in advance, you most certainly can. I recommend allowing the cake layers to cool, wrap them in plastic wrap, and freeze until you a ready to stack and decorate the cake. Simply remove the layers from the freezer approximately 1 hour before to thaw slightly.
The Yummiest Gluten-Free Peach Cake
A slice of summer delight, this amazing gluten-free and dairy-free peach cake is a delicious combo of sweet, tangy, and fresh in every single bite. Fluffy vanilla cake layers with dreamy peach filling and covered in a magnificent whipped cream cheese buttercream frosting. This summer peach cake is fresh, fruity, and a definite bake!
Make sure you tag me on social media @cakedbykatie and leave me a rating and review below if you make it. Can’t wait to see it!
Summer Baking Ideas
Here are a few other fresh summery recipes that I think you’ll love:
- Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
- Gluten-Free Orange Creamsicle Cake
- Strawberry Almond Cake
- S’Mores Cake
- Peach Rose Cupcakes
- Black Forest Cake
- Raspberry Blondies
- Key Lime Pie Cookies