Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream


When a Southern baker needs to wow a crowd with a dessert, she usually chooses a frosted layer cake to show off her skills. This layer cake recipe highlights the sweet goodness of fresh summer peaches, a favorite fruit to use in fruit cobblers, ice cream, and pound cakes. You will love the lightly cinnamon-spiced cake layers and the deep flavor that comes from the brown sugar. You can make the cake layers ahead and, once completely cooled, wrap them securely in plastic wrap, then again in aluminum foil, and freeze until you are ready to assemble the cake. The real star of this dessert is the frosting, which is made with peach puree and rich browned butter. Be sure and use a good quality real butter for this frosting, not a butter substitute. Cook the butter in a light-colored pan so you can watch it change shades as the water evaporates and golden-brown flecks (toasted milk solids) appear.

Brown Sugar Layer Cake with Peach Buttercream
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
30 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs
12 serves


  • 1 cup butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 1/4 cups whole buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Peach Buttercream Frosting

  • Fresh peach slices


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beating until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl until well blended. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Pour batter into 3 greased (with butter) and floured 9-inch round pans.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 19 to 24 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks, about 1 hour.

  4. Use a small offset spatula to spread Peach Buttercream between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish top with peach slices.

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