This recipe for a simple peach cobbler features warm spiced fresh peaches with a fluffy, crisp-lidded biscuit topping. The fresh peach filling can be cooked and then baked right in a cast iron skillet, or you can use a casserole pan. No need to peel the peaches if you don’t want to!
Note: this recipe was originally published in August 2017. As of August 2021, I’ve updated the photos and method to make it more streamlined. You can cook and bake the whole recipe in a cast iron skillet (my preferred method) or follow the original method and bake in a casserole dish. Instructions for both are in the recipe. I hope you enjoy!
Don’t you feel like every year, the back to school commercials and sales start earlier and earlier? Even though I’m not in school anymore (and I was in school for a long time), it still makes me anxious every year.
And I know I’m not alone: Brian has nightmares about it despite the fact that we graduated from college eleven(!) years ago. He wakes up in a cold sweat thinking he has a test he didn’t study for. He always says real life is easier than school was. I always loved school so I’m not sure that I agree, but I can say that the back to school recipe roundups and ubiquitous Target ads make me uneasy every year.
The issue really is not school, but the waning of summer. I feel like just when summer is finally in full swing and the weather is reliably nice here in Chicago, we’re told it’s time for summer to end and fall to arrive. I for one, am not ready. Summer is still in its prime, and I’m not giving up without a fight.
A simple peach cobbler is the essence of summer for me. My mom made it multiple times every summer growing up, and just the smell of it brings me back to long pool days and walks in the park and dinner out on the porch.
This may surprise you, but it’s my number one requested dessert at home and may just be my favorite dessert of all time. When I was in college, my mom even made and froze the peach base in the late summer so we could have fresh peach cobbler when I came home for fall break. She’s the best mom there is.
Since it’s mid-August, I know our summer days are numbered. Therefore, the only way I know to fight the impending end is by ignoring it and making the most summery things I can. In the past few days I’ve made blueberry muffins, heirloom tomato tarts, cherry crisp, peach galettes, tomato corn margherita pizza, and blueberry ice cream.
What’s that, you say? I’m overdoing it? I can’t hear you.
The recipe for this humble, unassuming peach cobbler using fresh peaches comes from a dog-eared, well worn Betty Crocker cookbook, one that both my mom and I have. Besides cutting it in half to make it more manageable (read: responsible) for our two person household, and adjusting the recipe so it can be cooked and baked in one oven-safe skillet, I didn’t mess with it. Some things you just don’t mess with.
Do I need to peel the peaches?
No! Peeling the peaches for peach cobbler is NOT necessary, unless you prefer the look of peeled peaches.
The step that IS necessary, however, is cooking the filling first. Trust me when I say it’s worth it. The sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and hint of warm cinnamon spice cooks down with the sweet peaches to form the most amazing thick, sticky sauce in almost no time, and it only gets better once you have it in the oven.
Plus, this is a great recipe to use up any borderline too-ripe peaches you may have sitting around. Maybe you were a little too ambitious at the farmer’s market and bought a huge quart of peaches, only to have them all ripen immediately and leave you scrambling to use them. I wouldn’t speak from experience or anything.
Bake in a skillet or casserole pan
The great thing about this simple peach cobbler is that it can be cooked and baked all in one oven-safe skillet! Less dishes is always better in my book. I use my 12-inch cast iron skillet, but any oven-safe skillet will do. If you don’t have one, just cook the filling in a medium saucepan, then transfer it to a 2 quart or larger baking dish for baking.
I could probably just eat the peach filling alone every day and be happy with life, but we really take to the next level with the easiest fluffy biscuit topping. Simple ingredients: flour, a tiny bit of sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, milk. Unbelievable results. Baked in the oven, these guys expand and become crunchy on top and super soft on the inside.
If you want the fluffiest possible biscuits, I highly recommend using buttermilk. Any dairy or plant milk will work, however!
The last requirement, of course, is to add vanilla ice cream on top. I don’t feel like I should have to say it, but in the interest of thoroughness, I will. The ice cream really is not optional here. Sweet cold cream combined with the soft, warm biscuit and cinnamon spiced peaches.
Honestly, what on earth is better than this?
Summer forever, that’s what.
More summer recipes!
Simple Peach Cobbler
For the fresh peach filling:
- 1.5 lbs (680g) fresh peaches (about 4-5 medium or 3 cups sliced peaches)
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
For the biscuit topping:
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons (42g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) milk of choice (buttermilk is especially great)
- 1 Tablespoon (14g) unsalted butter, melted (for brushing over biscuits)
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) turbinado or granulated sugar (for sprinkling over biscuits)
Make the fresh peach filling:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut each peach in half, twisting to remove the pit. No need to peel the peaches unless you want to. Cut into slices and place in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet if you have one, or a medium saucepan.
- Add sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice to the skillet or saucepan with the peaches and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a gentle boil, about 5 minutes. Once it comes to a boil, keep it there and stir for 1 minute until it is thickened and syrupy. If not using a skillet, pour mixture into an ungreased 2 quart casserole pan.
Make the biscuit topping:
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter using a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers (my preferred method), until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. There may be some bigger butter pieces (pea-sized) – that’s fine. Stir in the milk until you have a combined dough.
- Drop dough by even spoonfuls onto the hot peach mixture. Brush the tops of dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over the dough.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Serve cobbler warm with ice cream!
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I honestly can’t get enough.