Baltimore Peach Cake a recipe from the 1800's: a yeasted sweet cake, topped with fresh peaches and a peach glaze.
Update: This recipe was originally posted in May 2017. The recipe and photos have been updated and republished in July 2022.
Nothing makes me happier than when I can find fresh peaches in the grocery store. They have such a short season that I buy them in bulk and make as many recipes as I can before they're gone again.
What is Baltimore Peach Cake?
Baltimore Peach Cake is more of a sweet bread - a yeasted dough is made and proofed, then cinnamon sugar peach slices are added to the top before baking.
History of the Baltimore Peach Cake
In the 1800's there was an abundance of peaches grown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and transported all over via train. The cake makes its first appears in the newspaper back in 1886 and one of our local poets even wrote a poem about it.
Yeasted cake recipes became less popular in the 1900's but you can still find this Baltimore recipe in many of our local bakeries.
- all purpose flour
- dry active yeast
- unsalted butter, melted
- peaches, fresh or frozen
- cinnamon sugar
- peach glaze
First, proof the yeast. Heat the water to between 100-100 degrees F and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for 5 minutes until bubbly.
Then, scald the milk. Add the milk to a small saucepan over medium high heat and whisk frequently until bubbles appear around the edges of the milk. Remove from the heat. Let cool a few minutes, then whisk in the melted butter, sugar, salt and lightly beaten egg. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer.
Next, prepare the dough. Add flour to the wet ingredients in the mixer, ½ cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Mix on medium speed until the dough comes together, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let dough rise 1 hour, then punch down and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the peaches. Peel and slice peaches. If using frozen, let thaw completely and drain excess juice. Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Then, assemble for baking. Grease a 9x13 baking dish or sheet with butter or baking spray. Stretch out the dough to reach the edges of the sheet and prick the center with a fork, leaving ¼-1/2 inch border. This will ensure the dough does not rise too much. Layer the peaches on top of the dough, in single lines, overlapping each slice. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
Finally, bake the Baltimore peach cake. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree preheated oven until dough is golden brown. Remove from the oven. Add peach preserves to a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until warm, stirring to thin out. Brush the preserves on top of the cake. Let sit 15 minutes before slicing into squares.
- If peaches are very ripe, skip the cinnamon sugar mixture and instead stir the cinnamon into the preserves.
- Replace peach preserves with strawberry or raspberry preserves.
- Instead of cinnamon sugar, sprinkle cake with powdered sugar after glazing.
Other Peach Recipes You'll Love
More Baltimore Recipes
Cut an "X" into the bottom of the peaches and place in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until the skin starts to lift up. Transfer to an ice bath, and once cool enough to handle, peel the skin.
Squeeze lemon juice on top of sliced peaches and cover them to stop them from turning brown.
If you aren't interested in making your own, you can purchase one from Fenwick Bakery, Overlea Bakery and Richardson Farms all located in Baltimore.
Yeasted cake fell out of popularity (King Cake aside) but it is a cake made similiarly to any basic dough - yeast is proofed and added to a flour/milk/egg/sugar/salt mixture and formed into a dough before rising and being baked.
Want to save this recipe for later? Follow me on Pinterest! Rather watch a video? See if I've made this recipe by following me on Tiktok!
Baltimore Peach Cake
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- ¼ cup water 100-110 degrees F
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 4 cups peaches sliced
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoon peach preserves
- Heat water to 100-110 degrees F and sprinkle the packet of yeast on top. Set aside 5 minutes to proof. Yeast will be bubbly on top.1 packet dry active yeast, ¼ cup water
- Add milk to a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat, whisking frequently. When bubbles appear around the edges of the saucepan remove from the heat. Set aside and let cool a few minutes.1 cup milk
- Then whisk in melted butter, beaten egg, sugar and salt. Pour mixture into a stand mixer and add in yeast mixture as well.4 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 large egg, ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix on low speed, adding in flour, ½ cup at a time. Once incorporated increase speed to medium and mix until a soft dough forms, about 5 minutes.3 cups all purpose flour
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Grease a bowl with butter or baking spray and place dough in the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Punch down dough and let rise another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish or sheet with butter or baking spray.
- Press the dough into the baking sheet, ensuring it reaches all edges of the sheet. Prick the dough with a fork, leaving ¼-1/2 inch border around the edges. This will ensure the dough doesn't rise too much.
- Peel and slice peaches into wedges. If using frozen, ensure peaches are fully thawed and drain all juice.4 cups peaches
Assembly, Baking, Glaze
- Arrange the peach slices in a single line, each piece slightly overlapping the last across the pricked portion of the dough. Repeat in rows until area is covered and peaches are used.
- Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the peaches.¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the preserves and microwave for 30 seconds until warmed through. Stir well and then brush on top of the peaches.4 tablespoon peach preserves
- Let cake sit for 15-20 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.
Recipes on Cookaholic Wife are for information purposes only. Nutritional Data provided has not been evaluated by a nutritionist.