The search for the best peach cobbler recipe is over. This is all you asked for: juicy fruit that makes its own syrupy brown sugar sauce as it bakes and a simple biscuit topping that is buttery and crunchy. And it's out of the oven in an hour, tops. It's perfect for when peaches are in season, but it also works with frozen peaches.
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This is a great recipe for a simple summer dessert.
It's one of our fav peach bakes that works with fresh peaches, frozen ones, and also nectarines. Though you can also make it work with canned peaches, a fresh peach cobbler is hard to beat.
What is a cobbler?
It's a baked fruit dessert that consists of a layer of fruit and a starchy topping. One of those easy desserts that can be made with most of your favorite fruit.
The fresh fruit mixture bakes and releases its juices while the top dries and turns golden brown.
This one today is an old-fashioned peach cobbler recipe, one of those great recipes you can find in vintage cookbooks that stand the test of time. It's probably my favorite dessert when the peach season starts because it tastes super fresh and is so easy to make!
- Peaches. Using fresh, juicy peaches is the first choice, but nectarines or frozen peach slices also work wonderfully.
- Yogurt. It gives a slight tang and tenderness to the biscuit dough. If you don't have any you can use buttermilk.
- Brown sugar. I usually use all brown sugar, but I also added a variation to use both white and brown because sometimes we want it sweeter (white) but with a hint of caramel (brown). Brown sugar has some molasses in it, and is less refined than granulated, so the flavor is more intense, a mix of almost burnt caramel and spices in my opinion.
- Cornstarch. It turns the peach juices into a syrupy sauce which is one of the best parts of this dessert. I could eat it with a spoon. And maybe I do. The tablespoon of cornstarch in this recipe acts as a thickening agent. Some recipes call for quick-cooking tapioca, but I never used it.
- Lemon juice. it brings out the rest of the flavors and balances out the sweetness and starchiness of the rest of the recipe.
- Cinnamon and ginger. These might be optional if you're not into them or don't have them at the time you make this dessert. But the combination of a little ground cinnamon and fresh ginger with the rest of the ingredients renders a unique flavor.
- Flour. using all-purpose flour (or cake flour) with baking powder is the best because you can control the amount of the leavening. But you can use a cup of self-rising flour if it's all you have and want to eat a homemade peach cobbler!
- Salt. all baking recipes tend to add salt because it brings out the flavor of everything! Things just taste better.
Peach cobbler filling
As with the topping, this step is as simple as mixing sliced peaches with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.
The magic happens once the dessert is baking and the fruit juice mix with the rest of the ingredients to create a wonderful syrup that you'll want to eat with a spoon directly from the baking dish.
- Cutting the peaches: you can slice them thinner, thicker, or cut them into rustic chunks. The thinner the more they will soften as they bake. I like to use them in thicker wedges, about 8 per peach so that they keep their shape while baking.
- Peach skin: I peel some and some I leave with the skin. When they are in season usually the skin is thinner and I'm fine with leaving on some of it. But this is up to your personal taste.
- Flavorings: the peach mixture flavor can be customized. We use ground cinnamon and ginger. But you can also add a few drops of vanilla extract to make it mellower and/or orange zest to add another flavor layer.
Top crust (cobbler topping)
This is extremely easy to put together, as you simply stir the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a wet dough (images below).
- Melted butter: I love it for its flavor and because it makes the top crust very easy to put together. As opposed to working cold butter into the flour mixture as we do for the old-fashioned blueberry cobbler, for example. Simply melt and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Yogurt: it adds tanginess and tenderness to the biscuit topping. An excellent idea because we don't want a heavy top crust, we want the biscuits to bake as light as possible.
- Other liquids: you can use buttermilk instead of yogurt, but reduce the amount to about ½ a cup. The topping batter needs to be thick, so start with a scant half a cup and see if you need more.
- Flavorings: you could add a little cinnamon or nutmeg to the biscuit mix before mounding it on top of the peaches.
Vintage Kitchen tip: don't overmix! You don't want to develop gluten as it will make the biscuits tough. Once the flour is incorporated, stop mixing.
Assembling a cobbler
Type of baking dish: I like to use a glass or ceramic baking dish for cobblers. They can be square like in this recipe, rectangular like the pear cobbler, or oval like the blueberry cobbler. They all work just fine.
Cast iron skillet: another popular way of baking a cobbler. You can use an 8-inch skillet for this recipe.
Ratio: we're talking about the amount of filling to topping, which is, in my opinion, the most critical part of the assembly. Do you like more fruit filling than top crust? This is important to consider because we should constantly adjust our favorite recipes to what works best for us. I like a lot of filling so that the peach flavor is very present and a lot of juice is released.
Crunchier topping: you can sprinkle an extra tablespoon of sugar on top of the batter before it goes into the oven to create an even crisper layer.
Vintage Kitchen tip: if you feel you want more fruit or more topping, I recommend you adjust the amount of filling. It's easier to add or remove a few extra peaches than to adjust the biscuit dough.
- Ice cream: I think there's no more perfect ending to a family gathering than a bowl of warm peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Your mouth will be having a party with the different temperatures and textures. If I had to choose among my favorite desserts, it would be in the top 3.
- Whipped cream: it will also work as a topping. Drizzling a touch of honey on top and some sliced, toasted almonds over the cream rounds it up.
- Room temperature: I also like it plain, at room temperature, which works very well for outdoor picnics, barbecues, and pot lucks. The peaches and brown sugar have lots of flavor, so I can skip the ice cream topping if I don't have any. I don't recommend eating it cold from the fridge because the flavor will not be significant. Cold numbs flavors in many cases.
- Room temperature - this easy peach cobbler recipe keeps well without refrigeration for a day, covered in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerator - after a day, cover or use an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Fruit tends to ferment pretty quickly, especially in warm weather, and we certainly don't want that to happen!
- Freezing - you can freeze the baked dessert in the baking pan and defrost it directly in a medium/low oven (about 300°F/150°C) until it's bubbling again. Or thaw at room temperature and warm before eating.
Frequently asked questions
Cobblers only have a biscuit-style top crust, and that's the traditional way of making it. The bottom consists of a fruit layer, making it a cobbler. But you will find some recipes that also have a bottom crust. It's an ongoing debate because, in theory, that would make it a pie, not a cobbler.
There are 3 popular types of topping, or top crust as it's sometimes called:
Drop biscuits: it's the classic topping and the type we're using for this recipe today. It's a wetter, spoonable dough mounded over the fruit filling but can also be slightly spread, as we do for our popular Pear Cobbler.
Pie crust: strips of pie dough top the fruit layer in a lattice and is usually called southern peach cobbler. It's a great way to use leftover homemade pie crust.
Traditional biscuits: this is how my grandmother made them. She simply put her favorite biscuit (buttermilk scones most of the time) on top.
A cobbler is topped by a biscuit-style, doughy batter, while crisps and crumbles have a crunchy topping with a higher butter content and no liquids. Both have a syrupy fruit layer at the bottom, but the top layer makes them different desserts.
They are closely related, but a dump cake uses purchased cake mix for the topping. This makes it quick and easy to put together. The fruit layer is the same, or it can be. Dump cakes tend to be sweeter since a store-bought cake mix usually has a much higher sugar content than the traditional biscuit-style cobbler topping.
Related recipes you might like:
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For the filling:
- 5 cups (5-6 pieces) ripe peaches or nectarines, cored and sliced fresh
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
For the topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
For the peaches:
- Wash, dry, and remove the stone (core) from the peaches. Cut in slices or small chunks.
- Have ready a 9-inch glass or ceramic dish. You can butter it if you want.
- Mix the fruit with the rest of the filling ingredients in a large bowl.
- Dump onto the prepared dish and spread evenly.
For the topping:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190*C.
- Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Pour melted butter, add yogurt and quickly mix with a spoon or spatula. It all needs to be incorporated, but don't beat or over mix.
- Drop 9 mounds onto the peach filling, making three rows of 3. Leave space between them especially around the edges so that the fruit juices bubble up when baked.
- Bake for about 35 minutes and check to see if the biscuits are fully baked. They will be golden and dry but lift one of them a bit with a fork and check that there's no unbaked dough. Sometimes they look perfect and the juices are bubbling, but there's still some raw dough.
- If this is the case bake it 5-10 more minutes, or until it's fully baked when you lift it a bit. You might want to cover the surface with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent the topping from darkening while it continues baking.
- Let cool on a wire rack until warm enough to serve.
- Serve with ice cream or whipped cream if you feel like it.
- Refrigerate leftovers, covered. Warm slightly in a medium oven before serving them again.
Fresh peaches. Using fresh fruit is the way to go and nectarines also work wonderfully. The result is far superior than when you use canned peaches, IMO. You can also use nectarines, which are very similar to peaches, but with a much thinner, unfuzzy skin.
Yogurt. It gives a slight tang and tenderness to the biscuit dough. If you don't have any you can use buttermilk.
Brown sugar. I usually use all brown sugar, but I also added a variation to use both white and brown because sometimes we want it sweeter (white) but with a hint of caramel (brown). Brown sugar has some molasses in it, is less refined than granulated, so the flavor is more intense, a mix of almost burnt caramel and spices in my opinion.
Cornstarch. It turns the peach juices into a syrupy sauce that is one of the best parts of this dessert. I could eat it with a spoon. And maybe I do.
Lemon. They add flavor and balance out the sweetness and starchiness of the rest of the recipe. You can omit them, of course, just take into account that it will lack that balance.
Cinnamon and ginger. These might be optional if you're not into them or don't have them at the time you make this dessert. But the combination with the rest of the ingredients add a unique touch.
Flour: using all-purpose with baking powder is the best because you can control the amount of the leavening. But you can use self-rising flour if it's all you have and you just want to eat a homemade peach cobbler!
Salt: all baking recipes tend to add salt because it brings out the flavor of everything! Things just taste better.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: peach cobbler