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Lebanon County Peach Cake

One of the best peach desserts around.

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Lebanon County Peach Cake

Lebanon County in Pennsylvania is 70 miles west of Philadelphia and adjacent to Lancaster County, an area known for its Amish population. This Lebanon County peach cake comes from the Amish and has long had a reputation in those communities and far beyond, as it’s a wonderful fresh treat that’s perfect for any occasion.

The below recipe is adapted from a recipe first published in 1935 that uses a lot of fresh peaches for this signature farm-to-table flavor. If you don’t have 10 peaches (or 3-4 pounds) lying around, then you can use canned or frozen. Just make sure that they are thawed and drained if you use preserved peaches.

Lebanon County Peach Cake

For the peaches you mix them with some cinnamon and sugar and let the juices create a sauce. This recipe is old fashioned and dates from times when supplies were sometimes scarce. Because of that this isn’t a sweet cake at all. If you’re counting on something that resembles modern peach pies and cakes then I suggest adding a little bit more sugar to the peaches.

Lebanon County Peach Cake

The batter also doesn’t have all that much sugar in it and is quite thick. It’s almost bread-like in taste and texture, leaving the stage free for the cinnamon sugar peaches to be the star of this show. It does have light almond glaze on top, but if you’re short on time and have ice cream to top it with then you could skip this step.

Lebanon County Peach Cake

This juicy, mildly sweet cake is also great with some whipped cream to enhance those simple flavors, but it’s also wonderful without any extras. For a taste of Amish home cooking this Lebanon County peach cake is one of the best.

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For the cake:
  • 10 fresh peaches (3-4 lbs), peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine peaches with cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine peaches with cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine remaining sugar with butter until lightened. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again. Stir in milk. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until uniform in color.
  4. In a large bowl combine remaining sugar with butter until lightened. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again. Stir in milk. Add in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until uniform in color.
  5. Pour batter into greased 9”x13” baking pa and top with peaches. Pour batter on top and bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cover with foil part way through baking if edges brown too quickly.
  6. Pour batter into greased 9”x13” baking pa and top with peaches. Pour batter on top and bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cover with foil part way through baking if edges brown too quickly.
  7. Whisk together 2 tablespoons milk, powdered sugar, and almond extract. Add more milk only if too dry. Drizzle or spread glaze over cooled cake. Allow glaze to set for at least 30 minutes. Slice into squares to serve and garnish with whipped cream if desired.

Recipe adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book.