Sunday, July 29, 2012

Amaretto Soaked Peach Layer Cake

Update: See the rest of the party recipes + enter to win a $100 gift card to Layla Grayce here!
Last week Holley, Ronda, and I threw a going away party for our good friend, Laurie and her husband."La La" and her family are moving to Holland this week, and while we are all very excited for this amazing adventure, we are also really sad not to see these people every week. We have been getting together at least once a week for playdates, pool and beach dates, babysitting co-ops, workouts, and family picnics since our oldest kids were infants. The girls and I wanted to give our friends a special send-off, so we planned  an al fresco dinner party. It was adults-only, except for Gwendolyn who has VIP status.

This is going to be a 2-part post, but first I'll share the cake because it turned out beautifully and dessert is just more fun. The cake wasn't perfect, but that was the point. I wanted a more "rustic" cake where the frosting could be hastily slapped on without any pastry bag nonsense.
Laurie has told me several times how much she loves Disaronno liquer and always orders an Italian margarita when we visit Arnoldi's for spaghetti and bocce ball with our families. Since peaches are at their best right now, they go so well with amaretto, and this was a rare kid-free dinner party, I decided to soak peach slices in an ounce of Disaronno overnight. I did make a mini alcohol-free cake. The amaretto adds another subtle layer of flavor, but this cake is also delicious without it, so feel free to omit it. 

A cool scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is the perfect compliment to this summery cake. 
Whew, it was a hit!  Ronda and Victoria approved. I even overheard a "holy c*#p this is good" from one of these lovely ladies. Can you believe that!?

I'm really going to miss my friend and if I think about it too much I'm going to cry again...
But am so excited for the incredible European adventure she and her family are embarking on. Don't be surprised if some post in the future has windmills in the background.

More party details and recipes coming soon! 

Amaretto Soaked Peach Layer Cake 

Serves 12 

2 large peaches, pitted and cut into thin slices 
1.5 ounces amaretto liqueur, such as Disaronno

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Place peach slices and amaretto liqueur in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 25 to 32 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. Use a serrated knife to cut off any domes from the tops of cakes.
cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart 

Mascarpone Frosting

1 lb. mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, room temperature 
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 
1 teaspoon amaretto liqueur or vanilla extract 

fresh mint and/or organic food-safe flowers for garnish (optional)

1 pint vanilla bean ice cream (optional)

In the bowl of a mixer, beat mascarpone and butter until creamy and combined. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla.

To Assemble

Place one cake, cut side down, on a cake plate. Use an offset spatula (or knife) to spread with a layer of frosting. Arrange a single layer of peaches on top. Top with a second layer of cake, cut side down. Continue until all layers have been used. Spread a third layer of frosting on top and arrange peaches on top.

Garnish with fresh mint and/or organic flowers, if desired. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.


  1. This is crazy gorgeous and tour getting better and better!!!! Your amazing!!! I cannot wait for that cookbook!!! So glad to know tou

  2. Wow, this looks truly amazing! You know I love peaches and amaretto is a favorite of mine too. Nice job on the photos and styling too,

  3. After seeing your pic on Instagram I've been praying this would appear on the blog! :D Yummmm! What a sweet way to show your friends with love before their move <3

  4. The name of this cake alone had me drooling, but then when I saw it---wow!

  5. You really are a yummy mummy!

  6. Oh how to delectable and decadent thanks for sharing!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you! It's from Anthropologie :)

  8. I don't think I have ever seen a dessert more beautiful than this...You're amazing.

  9. This looks insanely delicious. wow!

  10. Cake looks awesome and "Holy Cr$#p" always is a winning verification :)

  11. The cake looks so pretty and delicious. Your friends are very lucky!!

  12. Marina,
    What a beautiful cake and boy, does that sound delicious. It's hard when dear friends move away, but I'm sure there will be a tour to Holland in your future! :-)

  13. That cake was the most delicious cake I have EVER EVER tasted. Marina you are magic in the kitchen. Thank you for a wonderful send off! I love you like a sister. And can't wait to have you visit us in the Netherlands.

  14. Your cake looks positively delicious. How nice of you to throw such a nice party. Like you I'd be crying as well if one of my closest friends were moving. Been there, done that.

    I will definitely save this recipe.

  15. Mmm this looks wonderful! I'm sorry your friend is leaving. Though now you have someone to visit in Holland - so exciting! (:

  16. wow! so sorry your friend is leaving but that was one heck of a going away cake! Peaches+cake+ amaretto= Amazing

  17. What a beautiful event from the table to the cake to the lovely ladies. Aren't friends the frosting on life? Your cake is delicious looking and the setting for your table is so fun. What an adventure for them. You will have to go and visit!

  18. Stunning photos, as always. I had teary eyes reading this post as well as Laurie's blog. Just remember time flies! :)

  19. Love the rustic table setting, and especially that CAKE! Thanks for sharing the lovely photos and recipe.

  20. what a gorgeous party {including that cake of course}

  21. I am such a big fan of rustic cakes. Love the flavor and presentation. Yours is just beautiful as is the party you threw for your friend. Holland sounds like an amazing adventure ~ hopefully you can visit her there some day!

  22. This is stunning!!! And could you be more beautiful!

  23. How gorgeous are you ladies?! And how stunning is that cake? Oh my, I love it all.

  24. What a perfect afternoon, topped off with a beautiful cake! Looks so delicious!

  25. Absolutely gorgeous Marina! I hope your friends have a great adventure in Holland. You sent them off right!

  26. Beautiful Marina! The peaches in Florida were ridiculously good :: can't say the same for the ones we have here in T.O.
    I would love a piece of that cake right now!

  27. Anonymous5:36 PM

    If you are doing the alcohol free version, is there anything else we should coat the peaches with?

    1. Hi there,
      No, the peaches and frosting add plenty of flavor. Go ahead and layer them on as is! However, don't slice them too early, or they will turn brown.

    2. Anonymous7:46 AM

      Thanks for the response! I just discovered your blog and subscribed. I hope I am nearly as balanced as you are when I become a mother, you are really someone to look up to! Look forward to trying out some recipes from your blog! Thanks again!

  28. Hummm, can't wait to try this one out on the family! Exciting about cookbook!!! Love your blog!

  29. Yumm not hummm. Darn autocorrect......: )

  30. now you're just showing off! this is insanely gorgeous and i cannot wait to make it, marina!

    one more thing because i am a lover of amaretto (and make my own btw): how do you make an italian margarita. cuz i'm thinking YEAH, BABY.


    1. You make your own amaretto?! Now YOU are showing off :) I really don't know how they make an Italian margarita... I'm guessing lime, sweet & sour something, amaretto... Sorry I'll try to figure that one out.


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