Homemade Peach Cobbler Recipe (Fresh, Canned, or Frozen!)
There is just nothing better than fresh homemade Peach Cobbler in the summertime! Or make it any time of year with canned or frozen peaches. This easy recipe features juicy peaches with a sweet buttery topping! Perfect with vanilla ice cream.
I started walking into the bathroom the other day and then actually had the thought, “I don’t have time for this!” and turned around and walked out. You know there is something wrong with the balance of your life when bathroom breaks start getting rationed.
Does anyone else feel super busy lately?? I don’t know if it’s just the end of school or what, but lately I feel like sun up to sun down I am running around like a crazy person. Maybe it’s just life with 4 kids. Apparently I don’t even have time to go to the bathroom anymore, I’m gonna have to start wearing depends. (And I thought I was almost done with the diaper years!!)
Who else is ready for SUMMERTIME? Growing up, summer was a continually rotating schedule of fruit-picking. My parents have a huge yard with tons of fruit trees: apple, peach, cherry, citrus, blackberries, apricots, so much goodness. As much as I hated being out there in 100 degree heat picking fruit, who wouldn’t love the result?
Fresh peach season was always my number one favorite. There is nothing more amazing then a warm, juicy, perfectly ripe peach plucked right off the tree and devoured over the sink, with juice dripping down to your elbows. Heaven. Possibly the only thing better is taking those peaches, tossing them in a pan and covering them with a sweet buttery cobbler topping. Who’s with me?
What is peach cobbler?
This Peach Cobbler recipe is summer’s favorite dessert. It has glorious sweetened peaches on the bottom and cakey goodness on top, all baked up in a casserole dish. Peach cobbler usually has some sort of leavening agent in it, like baking powder, to make it rise a bit and form a cake or biscuit-like topping. (Peach crisp on the other hand is, well, crispier, has no leavening agent, and often includes oats in addition to the flour and sugar, like this Apple Crisp. Which you can totally substitute peaches for by the way. See recipe notes for details!)
There are a lot of different ways to make peach cobbler. Some recipes are basically like cake, with the peaches incorporated into the batter. But cobbler, to me, necessitates a super juicy bottom layer of sweetened fruit. This ain’t cake. (If you want cake, though, I happen to have an amazing Peach Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting that you should definitely try out!)
The topping for today’s cobbler is kind of like a mix between a cake mix and a deconstructed shortcake. I took my Strawberry Shortcake recipe and increased the sugar to make it sweeter. Instead of cutting in the butter, we are cutting in buttermilk and an egg, then scattering cut butter on top the cobbler to give it that crispy, melt in your mouth topping!
Millions of peaches, peaches for me
The best way to have success with any fruit dessert is to start out with a HECK TON A FRUIT. Don’t be a lightweight. Just like my Apple Pie calls for 5 pounds of apples, we are starting out this peach cobbler recipe with 5 pounds of peaches. That’s about 14 medium sized peaches. Once you slice them and cut them up, it’s about 9 cups. (See below for details about how to make this recipe with canned or frozen peaches.)
How to peel peaches
Before you can slice the peaches you must peel them. I saw some recipes out there that said there was no need to peel, “peach peels get nice and tender in the oven.” I don’t know who these sick people are, but they need some LESSONS. Peaches are one of summer’s greatest treasures but there is nothing that makes me feel weirder than those fuzzy little peels. Get outta here.
If your peaches aren’t quite ripe: use a vegetable peeler.
If your peaches are perfectly ripe: boil a pot of water, add the whole peaches for about 30-45 seconds, remove promptly. (No need to stop the cooking with an ice bath; we are about to bake them anyway.) Just a 30 second stint in the boiler and the peels will magically come right off using your fingers. This is called blanching. It’s quite satisfying actually!
Whatever you do, don’t boil underripe peaches thinking the skin will magically come off. They won’t, and then you will have to destroy your hot peaches trying to use a peeler on them. No this didn’t happen to me, why do you ask?
How to make fresh peach cobbler
Slice all your peaches. You should have about 9 cups of naked skin free peaches.
Dump them directly in the casserole dish, no need to grease the pan. Top with sugar and flour and spices.
Sugar: The recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, but this amount is totally flexible! If you have underripe peaches, they will not be as sweet; add more like 1 and 3/4 cup or even up to 2 cups. If they are very ripe, consider adding only 1 and 1/4 cups. (If using canned peaches, use 1 cup sugar; see below.)
Flour: The flour acts as a thickener. As the peaches release their juices when baking, they absorb into this flour and make a nice thickened sauce.
Spices: Go easy on the cinnamon. Hear me out here. I know people just love to dump on the cinnamon when it comes to dessert, and if I am making Cinnamon Rolls then HECK YES I’m a cinnamon dumper. But I find that cinnamon can sometimes overwhelm the delicate peach flavor if you use too much. I like to use about 1/4 teaspoon for a 9×13 pan. Obviously this is personal preference! The other spice I love to add in is cardamom. Usually people add nutmeg. But I’m telling you, cardamom is SO good with peaches. Either one will be great! (Or you can omit entirely.)
Once you have the peach filling ready to go, it’s time to make the cakey biscuity topping. Add some flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a bowl.
Then in another bowl mix together some buttermilk and an egg. (You can use cheater buttermilk, see notes). Then use a pastry cutter to cut the liquid into the dough. I like using a pastry cutter to get that shaggy, choppy dough that makes for the perfect cobbler topping. If all you have is a spatula, use a chopping motion to incorporate the liquid, rather than a stirring motion. It’s okay if there are still dry bits of flour.
Dump the shaggy dough mixture on top of the peaches. Then take a stick of butter, chop it up and sprinkle over the top. Adding the butter separately like this (rather than cutting it into the dough, as you would for biscuits or cake) gives the cobbler that perfectly crispy topping (rather than a soft, spongey texture.) It’s so good!
Sprinkle the whole thing with sugar. I like to use a mix of granulated sugar and raw (demerara) sugar, for extra crunch.
Then bake it up and that’s it! Then eat warm with vanilla ice cream if you know what’s good for you.
How to make peach cobbler with canned peaches
Okay, so when I started researching this post I knew I would have to at least try making it with canned peaches, because peaches have a short season and aren’t even available everywhere. Sometimes the can is all we’ve got!
But I was actually blown away by how much I enjoyed the canned version of this recipe. OF COURSE fresh ripe peaches are going to taste better, but really the canned version totally holds it’s own, and the good news is that you’re never going to have the fresh version sitting next to the canned version to see exactly what you’re missing out on. It will just taste like delicious sweet peach cobbler to your guests. And you just can’t beat it in terms of convenience. (What, you actually LIKE spending all your patience allotment for the day peeling fuzzy skin off of stone fruit??)
The most important step is to drain the heck out of your peaches. You are going to need four 29 ounce cans; I drained them one at a time in my colander, stirring occasionally. Add them into your casserole dish and toss with only 1 cup sugar. We are using a little less sugar because canned peaches have been sitting in heavy syrup, so they are starting off way sweeter. Add in the flour and spices as called for in the recipe, and the rest of the recipe is exactly the same, even down to the bake times.
How to make peach cobbler with frozen peaches
No need to thaw! Just toss frozen sliced peaches directly in the casserole dish and you are good to go, follow the recipe as stated. Frozen peaches will release more liquid than fresh, so your cobbler will be a little more juicy. This is not even close to an apology. Start slurping.
Does peach cobbler need to be refrigerated?
No it does not! It will keep on the counter for at least 2 days, just like a pie or cake. After 2 days I would stick it in the fridge, if it’s still around! I love to snag bites as I pass through the kitchen, or warm up a smidgen in the microwave. Eric thinks it’s a crime to consume ANY amount of peach cobbler without vanilla ice cream. I mean, I can see where he’s coming from.
Can you freeze peach cobbler?
I wouldn’t recommend it. The topping will just get soggy. You can definitely freeze the peach filling layer though; prepare as directed with the flour and sugar and as many spices as you like, then ziplock and freeze! Thaw before baking.
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Homemade Peach Cobbler Recipe
For the peach filling
- 5 pounds fresh sliced peaches, about 14 medium peaches
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, or nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the cobbler topping
- 2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, cheater version okay, see notes
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup cold butter, chopped into chunks
- 2 tablespoons sugar, granulated or raw sugar or both
For the peach filling
- Start by preparing your peaches. Peel with a vegetable peeler if they are firm. If they are ripe, a vegetable peeler will bruise them so it's best to blanch: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches a few at a time so that they are totally submerged. Let boil for 30-45 seconds. Remove from the boiling water. When they are cool enough to handle, use your hands to easily remove the peels. Slice the peaches. You should end up with about 9 cups of sliced peaches. Add your peaches to a 9x13 inch casserole dish (no need to grease the pan).
- Top your peaches with 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar. You can use a little more sugar (up to 2 cups) if your peaches are under ripe. Or use about 1 and 1/4 cups sugar if they are super sweet.
- Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or nutmeg), and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt on the peaches. Gently stir the mixture together, being careful not to bruise and break the peaches. Set aside.
For the cobbler topping
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients: 2 and 1/2 cups flour, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Whisk it together.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1/2 cup buttermilk*. Pour it into the bowl with the flour, then use a pastry cutter to cut it into the flour, making a shaggy dough. You can use a spoon if you don't have a pastry cutter, be sure to use a cutting motion rather than stirring. It's okay if there are still some dry spots of flour, see photos. Pour the flour mixture on top of the peaches and spread around evenly.
- Chop a stick of butter into 1/2 inch pieces. Scatter evenly over the top of the flour mixture.
- Sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons sugar over the top. I used half granulated sugar and half demerara (raw) sugar to give it extra crunch.
- Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes. The top should be turning light brown. Once it is light brown all over the top (not just in a few spots) and it's bubbling like crazy, it's done. I like to turn on my broiler and broil the cobbler for 1-3 minutes at this point. No need to move the oven rack up. It gives it an extra crisp browning that I just love. Who doesn't want a crispy crunchy top? But don't walk away! Keep an eye on it, I can't tell you how many things I've lit on fire in my broiler. Check it every 60 seconds.
- You are supposed to let it cool completely. Hogwash! Wait 15 minutes to let the juices set up and then dig in! Vanilla ice cream is pretty much essential for serving.
- Store leftovers covered on the counter.
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