Remembrance Cake — The Good Luck Peach Cake

Remembrance Cake fork bite on a black Micassa plate  Bake This CakeRe-created from vintage recipes using fresh peaches for their harvest flavor as well as for their symbol of harmony, we bring you sweet goodness from the past transformed into something fresh and new.  So break out your best wooden spoon ’cause there’s no electric mixer required. We’re loading this cake up with little chunks of goodness, like white chocolate bits, coconut flakes, white almonds and fine-chopped dates PLUS the key ingredients — love and honor!

Remembrance Cake cutaway view with Sour Cream Vanilla Frosting Bake This Cake

This cake is also a Remembrance Cake honoring the celebration of life. We offer it here step-by-step so that you may bring a heritage cake to a special potluck affair or so that you may carry on the fine custom of baking a special Funeral Cake for family and friends bonded together to share a meal following a funeral, memorial event or celebration of life service.

Good Luck Peach Statue

Why did we choose fresh peaches for this cake? We developed this cake by scouring shelves of old cook books in search of cake recipes using fresh bits of fruit in the batter, like fresh apple cake and carrot cake. We starting off our testing with a way-old-fashioned country carrot cake along the lines that Grandma made — that kind of dark and sweet delight. But, instead of using grated carrots, we grated peaches into the batter. We chose fresh peaches as the fruit for this cake because the peach is considered an ancient charm and the divine fruit of the gods. The peach relates to happiness, luck and immortality in Chinese mythology and tradition AND plays an interesting role in Taoist philosophical discussions. Now ALL THAT seems right for a cake that is meant as a gesture of love and luck, as a reverent symbol of life and for remembering loved ones that have passed on.

What the heck does perfume have to do with this cake?  We were inspired by the
great PerfumerChristope Laudamiel, and his philosophy of adding ingredients (albeit, to perfume) that are never to be recognized individually but appreciated, nevertheless, in the context of the whole creation. Check out this fascinating video-taped discussion by Ted Talks of Mr. Laudamiel on How We Sense Scents. So…, in the context of cake, we decided to add a modern variation to these old-fashioned recipes by using small quantities each of very finely chopped: palm dates (Why? Because they’re ancient…and for their sweet caramel taste). We also added finely chopped sweet coconut, white chocolate and almonds to brighten and enhance the flavors in this rich cake. We switched-out the heavy oils used in the older recipes to sunflower oil and canola oil (and reduced the quantity of oil, believe it or not). Although there is a good deal of oil in this cake, the long, slow baking process will lighten it a bit (as well as the small slice you will serve to each of your guests). Because this is a rich cake, you will find that a smaller (special) slice is quite satisfying.

The cake can be served with a bit of Vintage Sour Cream Vanilla Frosting (see recipe below) or sprinkled with powdered sugar, although it may be best without any topping or with just a dollop of cold sweetened whipped cream. It travels easily in a cake carrier (or even in its baking tube pan, with the outer cover removed at serving time) and can be pre-sliced for serving with the frosting set out next to the cake in a bowl to be spooned onto cake slices as desired.

Slow Cooking Warning: This is a gift-of-time cake with some advance chopping and grating required.  The cake takes an hour and a half to bake and another good hour to cool — but the cake doesn’t even require a mixer so break out your wooden spoons and let’s have a go! The vintage frosting (which does require a mixer) is rich and sweet and creamy (so go light with it).  It  whips up fast and furious into a silky dream – but should be chilled for an hour before serving.

Tools Needed for The Good Luck Peach Cake:
Tube Pan (aka Angel Food pan, tall round metal pan with a tube up the center leaving a hole in the cake)
Cooking spray
Wooden spoon
Whisk
Fork (for beating eggs)
Small bowl (for 3 eggs)
3 Large bowls (for dry ingredients, grated peaches and batter)
Grater (for grating peaches)
Small plate for (for 1 diced peach)
Measuring spoons and cups
Basting brush (optional as needed for basting top of cake with butter)
Optional but recommended: Baking thermometer

Ingredients for The Good Luck Peach Cake:
1/2 cup white chocolate chips to produce 1/3 c finely chopped white chocolate chips, finely chopped*
1/3 cup dates, pitted, finely chopped (about 6 whole dates)*
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes to produce 1/3 c finely chopped coconut flakes*
1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds to produce 1/3 c finely chopped almonds*
3 cups cake flour (you may also use regular all-purpose flour)
2-1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups grated fresh peaches (about 5 peaches, including juice and including 1 peach diced into small bits)
3 extra-large eggs (substitute 4 large eggs)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, fine quality
1 cup sunflower oil (you may substitute a different oil)
1/3 cups canola oil (you may substitute a different oil)
2 Teaspoons unsalted butter to brush top of cake (optional, as needed)
*Note: You may require a little more or less of the whole ingredient to achieve the finely ground quantity

Fresh Peach Cake Baking Directions:
Prepare a tube pan by spraying it with cooking spray.
Set oven rack to center position and turn oven to 350 degrees.

Finely chop in a mini food processor or by hand:
1/2 cup white chocolate chips to produce 1/3 cup white chocolate chips.

Chopping results for white chocolate…little bits of white chocolate equal to 1/3 cup…

Finely chop in a small food processor or chop by hand:
6 pitted whole dates to produce 1/3 cup finely chopped dates
Note: Even if people don’t think they like dates, they’ll love them when they are finely chopped and mixed throughout the cake. 🙂  Just throw the dates into a food processor (or chop into fine bits by hand but be patient because they are sweet and sticky)…

It is important to get the dates chopped quite nicely to almost disappear within the cake (Photo note: This photo shows a close-up mini food processor so the date bits are much smaller in “real life”):

Finely chop in a small food processor or by hand:
1/2 cup blanched almonds to produce 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds

White almonds finely ground (in a mini food processor)…

Finely chop in a small food processor or by hand:
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes to produce 1/3 cup finely chopped coconut flakes

In a large bowl, whisk together to fully incorporate:
3 cups cake flour (substitute all-purpose flour)
2-1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk white chocolate bits, chopped dates, chopped almonds and chopped coconut into the dry ingredients to fully incorporate (making sure the dates are fully separated and coated with flour). Wash your hands and use your fingers, it’s okay. 🙂

Using a small paring knife, peel and dice on a small plate:
1 large fresh peach

Photo note: The peach slices shown here on the side of the plate will soon be diced…

Peel and grate into a bowl (no need to de-seed the pit first):
about 4 large peaches (including juice) to achieve
3 cups peaches and juice
Special juiciness note: This cake was made a number of times for testing purposes with peaches that were in various stages of ripeness. The following 2 photos show ripe peaches (which are just fine, although they produce a good lot of juice and the cake may need to be baked longer because of the additional liquid). We also tried this recipe using less-ripe peaches (firm peaches that are a little too un-ripe to enjoy eating as a snack), which we think works better for this cake)…but use what you prefer or what is available to you.

Mix together in a large bowl the diced and grated peaches.

Here are the ripe peaches in their juice (note: photo shows a very large 10-cup measuring bowl)…

You may also use (and we recommend)  firm (less-ripe) peaches that will grate similar to grated potatoes for hasbrowns)…

Crack into a small bowl:
3 extra-large eggs (or use 4 large eggs)

Beat the eggs gently with a fork…

Add to the bowl of grated and diced peaches with juice and stir with a wooden spoon:
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, fine quality
1 cup sunflower oil (you may substitute a different oil)
1/3 cup canola oil (you may substitute a different oil)
the prepared beaten eggs

Mix the dry ingredients in portions into the batter using a wooden spoon…

Blend the batter using a wooden spoon to stir until fully incorporated (about 30 to 50 strokes).

Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan…

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes, checking for doneness starting at 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Special note on cooking time: This cake will test clean at about 1 hour and 15 minutes using a bamboo skewer or metal skewer, however, to reduce the moisture level in the cake and to create a darker cake, we recommend baking it longer — for an additional 15 minutes for a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Although the top may need a smear of butter to soften the top sugared crust, the cake will remain very moist. Variations can occur due to the amount of variable peach juice and varying oven temperatures, however, with various tests using more or less peach juice and more or less ripeness in the peaches, this 1 hour and 30 minute bake time works well. To ensure a perfect cake for your peaches, please check your cake starting at 1 hour and 15 minutes.

If you have a baking thermometer, this cake usually tests done at about 200 to 205 degrees.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool it on the counter in the pan for about 10 minutes.

Remove the outer tube pan cover to cool the cake thoroughly to room temperature (about an hour for complete cooling).

Please check the top of the cake for softness. With the various potential for peach juice variations, if you find the top of the cake is hard to the touch from sweet peach juice crusting, brush the top of the cake with a bit of room temperature or melted unsalted butter (2 Tablespoons, using a pastry or other brush) to keep it nice and moist. You can do this while the cake is still warm so that the butter soaks in. It also adds a nice glow to the cake. 🙂

Vintage Sour Cream Vanilla Frosting: This is a heavenly silky smooth frosting that I think your guests will really love.

Tools Needed for Frosting:
Small bowl (for bringing butter to room temperature)
Electric Mixer
Medium deep bowl (for frosting)
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula or wooden spoon

Ingredients for Frosting:
3-3/4 cup (1 lb) powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (not low-fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, fine quality
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 cube), room temperature

Frosting Directions:

Bring to room temperature (do not melt) by placing in microwave for a few seconds:
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 cube)

Combine in mixing bowl and beat on low increasing to high-speed for about 3 minutes until fluffy:
3-3/4 cup (1 lb) powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, fine quality
1/4 teaspoon salt
the prepared room temperature butter

A beautiful silky smooth vintage frosting…

The frosting is ready for refrigeration. It is best chilled for 1 hour before using.

Contrary to its sour name, this frosting is very sweet and rich…so just a little for each slice is best. Because it is so rich, this frosting is not meant to cover the entire cake.

Serving the Cake:

The cake can be served with the frosting in the center (this photo shows frosting dolloped over the top of the tube pan whose center hole is covered with aluminum foil) but removing the tube pan and letting the frosting dribble down the center hole is recommended…

The cake is ready to serve your guests…

A slice of Good Luck Cake for your family and friends, served on one my favorite vintage cut-out plates…I think you’ll find it moist and delicious. 

A lovely and respectful slice of this fresh peach cake served as a Remembrance Cake when you gather to cherish the memory of those who have moved forward…

Funeral Cake Vintage Peach Cake BakeThisCake

Thank you for joining us! Let us know what you think in the comments section.

I hope you’ll join us on Facebook where we show photos of cakes in the testing stages and ask for your tips on great vintage cake recipes. Also, be sure to check us out on Pinterest and Instagram. 😀

Best to you!

Leslie

Leslie at beachwood overview

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