When I think back to the days before we ate real food, there were a lot of “classics,” like Little Debbie Fudgey Brownies and Hot Pockets.
I want my kids to enjoy some of my favorite foods growing up, and that’s why I recreated the classic peach cobbler dump cake into a real food slow cooker peach cobbler!
Back in college, my friends’ mom would always make a peach cobbler that used just 3 ingredients: canned peaches in heavy syrup, a box of yellow cake mix and a stick of cold butter, cubed. The only explicit instructions were to place the ingredients in the pan in the order listed and DO NOT STIR.
In those days, it was my favorite dessert of all time. I loved how some of the cake mix didn’t cook through and some of it caramelized with the butter, giving bites of part raw and part overly sweet cobbler.
I asked for the recipe and made this a handful of times myself after college, and it always turned out as expected. It was my tried-and-true dessert recipe, concealing the fact I was clueless in the kitchen and couldn’t cook worth a lick.
Then somewhere along the way, I stopped making this as often. There was a husband and a house and kids that took my attention. We were climbing out of debt and transitioning to real food, so when I threw away a cabinet full of boxed cake mix because they had hydrogenated oils, this recipe fell to the wayside.
Yet a few weeks ago, we were invited to a friends’ house for dinner and when they asked us to bring dessert, this was the only dish I thought of. I hated to use a box of cake mix, but I felt stuck with so little time to prepare anything else.
I bought the box of cake mix anyway, made the recipe and took it over. When it came time to serve dessert, my whole family agreed: it was WAY too sweet.
We’ve been slowly cutting back on sugar since we transitioned to real food and it’s fair to say our taste buds and sweet tooth have finally caught up. The kids couldn’t even finish their small serving, which is practically unheard of!
What used to be my favorite dessert was now shunned by the whole family. In a way, my tiny home-chef heart was broken. How could they hate something I used to love so much?
I picked up some “seconds” peaches from a local farmers market and set out to re-make this dessert.
I tried several “slow cooker peach cobbler” recipes and none of them were right. They were too doughy or too dry or didn’t have any flavor. The kids tasted all of these attempts and right off the bat, they didn’t like any of them.
I always ask them when trying a new recipe if it’s something they would eat if I made it again. I got a unanimous answer, loud and clear, from both of them: NO.
Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler?
I stopped looking at other peoples recipes, went back to the drawing board and found a way to re-make each individual component:
- using fresh peaches in their own juices instead of canned peaches in heavy syrup
- homemade yellow cake mix instead of boxed cake mix
- making it in the slow cooker so the kitchen stays cool this summer
This new slow cooker peach cobbler tastes just like the original recipe, complete with the nooks and crannies of uncooked cake mix and caramelized peaches.
My kids tasted this and immediately asked for seconds. My daughter said to me, “Mom? Can I have this for breakfast?”
That’s the sign that we’ve made a winner!
How to Make Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler
There are two keys to making this recipe taste as good as the old processed kind.
First, you have to use peaches in their own juices. This sounds strange because whole peaches don’t come sitting in a jar of juice, but with a little bit of sugar and time, you can make enough natural peach juice to make the best slow cooker peach cobbler you’ve ever had.
Second, you make a variation of homemade yellow cake mix. You’re taking the individual components of a dry cake mix – flour, sugar, baking soda, salt – and controlling how much of each you use. This means making a slow cooker peach cobbler that isn’t overly sweet and offers the right ratio of cobbler to fresh fruit. There’s just 3/4 cup of sugar in slow cooker peach cobbler, but you can reduce it to make it just sweet enough for your family.
Finally, I made this recipe in my 6-quart oval slow cooker and the thickness of the peaches and the dough was just right. You could make this in a 4-quart slow cooker, but I don’t recommend using a smaller slow cooker unless you cut the recipe in half.
Taking Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler To Go
This was my favorite dish to “make and take,” and with a few minor tweaks, it still is.
Depending on where I’m going, there are 3 ways to make this slow cooker peach cobbler travel-friendly:
- Prepare it up at home, cook it at home and take it to the party.
- Prepare it at home, take the uncooked dish to the party and cook it there.
- Bring the ingredients to the party, prepare it and cook it there.
I prefer the second option best. It reduces the number of things I’m bringing back and forth to the party and allows me to spend more time having fun and less time “working” at the party. Plus since it cooks there, everyone enjoys freshly baked and warm cobbler for dessert.
Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler Recipe
- 4 ripe peaches (use 5 if they’re on the smaller side, or if you like the cobbler extra peachy)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
- Quarter the peaches. Slice each quarter into thirds and then cut the slices in half. Per whole peach, you should have 12 slices of peaches, halved.
- Place the peaches in a medium sized bowl. Add ¼ cup sugar and lemon juice and stir well. Place the bowl in the fridge and allow to sit overnight, stirring occasionally. This process releases the natural juices from the peaches.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- When you are ready to make the cobbler, drain the juices from the peaches into another bowl and set aside.
- Layer the peaches evenly on the bottom of a slow cooker. Layer the dry mix evenly on top of the peaches.
- Sprinkle the top with cinnamon Pour the peach juices on top of the dry mix. Place the cubed butter evenly on top of the juices and mix.
- Cook on low for 2 hours and serve warm.