Fresh Peach Cockaigne

September 16, 2009

I recently found some perfect peaches.  After enjoying a couple plain and simple, I thought I’d toss a few into some version of a peach cake.  This recipe is inspired by the Joy of Cooking’s Peach Cockaigne. What is “cockaigne”  you ask??? In medieval times, the word signified “a mythical land of peace and plenty.” The authors of the Joy of Cooking cookbook named their country home “Cockaigne” and included it on many of their “favorite” recipes.  This cake is very easy and tastes like home.  It also tastes like summer!

Gather up…

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 T sugar
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • ¼ t salt
  • 3 T cold butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ t vanilla
  • Milk to make ½ cup
  • 3-4 ripe peaches
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ c old-fashioned oats
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 2 ½ T butter, melted
Peach Cockaigne

Peach Cockaigne

Then you…

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and grease a 9- or 10-inch round cake pan.
  2. In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Cut in the butter until well mixed.
  4. In a measuring cup, blend together egg and vanilla.  Add milk to equal ½ cup.  (If using very ripe peaches, use about 1 T less liquid)
  5. Spread in the pan.  You’ll be able to spread it a bit as you put the peaches on top.
  6. Blanch the peaches in hot water for 30 seconds.  Drop in ice water and peel off the skin.  Slice and place on top of the dough.
  7. Combine the sugar, oats, cinnamon and melted butter.  Sprinkle over the peaches.
  8. Bake 25 minutes and serve warm.


  1. I was disappointed to find that my newer version of Joy of Cooking did not include the Apple, Peach or Plum Cockaigne recipe I remembered. (My original Joy of Cooking disintegrated from use.) An internet search brought me to your blog. I’m going to make this for my bed and breakfast guests – it sounds delightful.

  2. It came out great – it was a hit!

    • Wonderful! I am so glad!

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