• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Maple, Ginger, and Peach Cake

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Maple, Ginger, and Peach Cake

For those astute vegan observers who noticed that the cake is vegan and the frosting is not, I would recommend a sweet potato frosting.


  • Cake
  • 3 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup arrowroot or cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups maple syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • Frosting
  • 1 lb cream cheese
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Filling
  • 2 10-oz packages of frozen peaches
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon extract or zest of one lemon


Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Set out peaches to thaw.

In a large bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the arrowroot mixture, oil, maple syrup and water. 

While whisking, slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for approximately 1 hour at 350 °F or until the cake pulls away from the sides and the center springs back when lightly touched (for best results, place cake pans on a large cookie sheet on the center rack in the oven). 

Let cakes cool for 10 minutes or so before inverting onto cooling racks (tip: before inverting a cake, tilt the cake pan and knock the corner of the pan on the counter until the cake detaches from the center of the pan and slides to one side).

While cakes are baking, place the cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a food processor and purée until smooth. Place frosting in fridge until ready to use.

Chop the peaches into small pieces and cook, in a small saucepan, with the maple syrup and lemon zest, over medium-high heat, until the maple syrup cooks down and the peaches start to soften.

When cakes are cool, invert one cake onto a cake circle or plate, top with peach filling, and then top with second cake. Frost tops and sides with frosting.

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Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply.