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Vanilla Cake with Peach Filling and Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream

A fluffy vanilla cake filled with cardamom-spiced peach compote and frosted with toasty, caramelized white chocolate buttercream. My ultimate summery cake recipe!
*Please note that this is a high-altitude recipe (5,000 feet). Please check the recipe notes for sea-level instructions.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Caramelized White Chocolate

  • 8 oz good-quality white chocolate

High-Altitude Vanilla Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder*
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. whole milk**
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room-temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Peach Filling

  • 2 cup white peaches, diced (about 2 large peaches)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (mixed with 2 tsp. water)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caramelized white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • Pinch of salt

Assemble

  • White peach slices, berries, flowers, etc. for decorating

Instructions
 

Caramelized White Chocolate

  • Preheat oven to 250° F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Break the chocolate into 1-2'' pieces. Place the chocolate on the sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes. Smooth it with a heat-proof spatula (it may look grainy, and clumpy - that's ok!).
  • Place the white chocolate back in the oven and bake it for 10 more minutes. At this point, it will start to turn darker and probably be much clumpier. Stir it, really making to scrape the bottom so it cooks evenly and doesn't burn.
  • Repeat this process 3-4 more times, until it's smooth and a deep blonde color. (This may be as short as 45 minutes total or as long as 55 minutes total). Spread it thin and let it cool on the parchment paper until you're ready to use it. If you want to make it in advance, let the white chocolate harden, and then break it into 1-2'' pieces. Store it in a jar or airtight container until you're ready to use.

Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F***. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease well. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the whole milk with the sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and set aside.
  • Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Then, mix in the vanilla extract and oil.
  • Reduce the mixer to low, and add half the flour mixture followed by half the milk mixture until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk mixtures. Do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans.
  • Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until the cakes are just baked and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes has a few crumbs on it. Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pan, and then completely cool on a wire rack.

Peach Filling

  • While the cakes bake, make the filling. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil.
  • Let the mixture gently boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened and jammy. Remove from heat and let the filling cool completely.

Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and caramelized white chocolate until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Add the vanilla extract, 2 Tbs. of milk, and a pinch of salt and mix on medium-high until whipped, about 5 minutes. Add more milk, 1 Tbs. at a time until you reach your desired consistency (if necessary).

Assemble

  • Place about 1 cup of buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Line the rim of one of your cake layers with buttercream to create a "dam". Spread about 1/3 cup of peach filling in the center of your buttercream circle. Place the second cake layer on top and repeat.
  • Frost your three-tiered cake with the remaining frosting. I went for the messy buttercream look, but you can smooth it out, cover it with fondant, make a cool pattern, etc!
  • Top your cake with peaches, berries, flowers, and more! Enjoy!!

Notes

For sea-level
*Use 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
** Add only 1/2 c. milk
***Bake the cakes at 350° for 18-22 minutes.
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