Italian Rum and Peaches Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 1 (9 inch cake)
3 Sponge Cake Layers:
  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4½ Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 8 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 15 Tablespoons sugar, divided
Italian Pastry Cream:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2¾ cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, for the chocolate pastry cream
  • ½ Tablespoon chocolate liquer, optional, for the chocolate pastry cream
Rum Syrup:
  • ¼ cup rum
  • ½-3/4 cup peach syrup, from canned peaches
  • 2 (8 oz each) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 (15 oz) cans peaches (1 for the cake and 1 for decoration)
  • 1 cup sliced and toasted almonds, to decorate the sides of the cake
Sponge Cake Layers
  1. Make your sponge cake layers first.
  2. For the step by step instructions on how to make and bake the sponge cakes, click HERE.
Pastry Cream
  1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and flour until they are an even consistency. It will be pretty stiff, so don't panic and think you did something wrong.
  2. Scald the milk, heating it just before it boils. You will see tiny little bubbles on the surface of the milk.
  3. Slowly pour in a little bit of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour, to loosen it up a little. Continue adding the hot milk to the yolk mixture, whisking the whole time. This will prevent the egg from curdling and also from having lumps in the pastry cream. Add the rest of the milk.
  4. Pour the whole mixture back in the pot and heat over medium low heat, stirring frequently until it thickens. Add the butter, mixing it in until it melts completely. If you do get lumps, it's not the end of the world, just pour the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve. No problem - no more lumps.
  5. Set aside 1½ cups of the pastry cream.
  6. Chop the chocolate or grate it on a box grater. Add the chocolate and chocolate liquer to the 1½ cups of pastry cream and mix until the chocolate has melted. Cool both pastry creams. You can cool slightly and place in the refrigerator, or set it in a bowl of ice water to make it faster. Make sure to cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap or parchment paper right on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on the surface.
Preparing the rest of the cake components:
  1. Drain the peaches, reserving ½ - ¾ cup of the peach syrup.
  2. Mix the rum and peach syrup together. Chop the peaches from one of the cans into small pieces. Slice the other can of peaches into thin slices.
Assembling the cake:
  1. Prepare the cake plate or cake stand by lining all the edges with aluminum foil. (This will make clean-up a breeze later). Cut each sponge cake in half horizontally. The cake layers will be pretty thin once you slice through them, but that's the cake that we're going for - really juicy with lots of layers.
  2. Brush the top of each layer with the syrup.
  3. Top with some of the vanilla pastry cream. Sprinkle with some of the chopped peaches. Top with another sponge cake layer, brushed with syrup. Spread about half of the chocolate pastry cream on top of the cake layer. The next layer of cake is spread with more vanilla pastry cream and peaches. Brush the next layer with the syrup, spread with the remaining half of the chocolate custard. Top with another cake layer, brushed with syrup, spread with vanilla custard and more peaches. Top with the last cake layer.
  4. Let the cake firm up a bit in the refrigerator, for at least an hour. It will be much easier to spread the frosting over it. I like to leave it in there overnight.
  1. Use a standing mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer to mix the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and vanilla until evenly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  2. Pour in the heavy cream (make sure it's really cold) and mix again, starting on low speed (it will spray all over the place if you don't) and gradually increase to high until the frosting is nice and thick.
  3. Spread some of the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake and on the sides of the cake.
  4. Press the toasted almonds to the sides of the cake. (You will also have some almonds left, but it's much easier to work with more almonds than to try to use exactly what you need.)
  5. I used a 1 M Wilton frosting tip to pipe more of the cream cheese frosting around the perimeter of the cake. (It's easier to pipe the frosting if it's really cold, so I put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes first.) Then I shingled the thinly sliced peaches in the center of the cake, so that they were overlapping each other.
  6. Store the cake in the refrigerator.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at