The Great Australian Cookbook

Merle Parrish is a renowned Australian baker, and hers is undoubtedly the best peach blossom cake in the country!


  • 190 g butter at room temperature, chopped

  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar

  • ¾ cup milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • 1 ½ cups plain flour

  • ¾ cup corn flour

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

  • pinch of salt

  • 6 egg whites

  • 1–2 drops rose-pink food colouring

  • Icing

  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar

  • 10 g butter

  • 2 tbsp boiling water

  • few drops of rose-pink food colouring (if you want pink icing)


  • 1.

    Pre-heat the oven to low (150°C). Grease a 20 cm round, deep cake tin. Line the base of the tin with baking paper.

  • 2.

    Cream the butter and sugar in the small bowl of an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Gradually add half the milk to help dissolve the sugar, and beat well. Beat in the vanilla. Transfer to a larger bowl.

  • 3.

    Sift the flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt together three times. Fold into the butter mixture, then add the remaining milk (don’t worry if it appears curdled at this stage).

  • 4.

    In another bowl, use clean beaters to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold half the egg whites into the cake batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

  • 5.

    Transfer 1 cup of the mixture to a smaller bowl, and stir in the drops of food colouring. Take about ¾ cup of the white mixture, and spread over the base of the tin. Take half the pink batter, and spoon it in a ring about 1 cm in from the edge of the tin – it should be about 1–1 ½ cm wide.

  • 6.

    Very carefully spread half the remaining white batter over, taking care not to disturb the pink ring. Spoon the remaining pink batter into the centre of the tin, making a round of about 8 cm. Spoon the rest of the white batter over the whole top, again taking care not to disturb the pink round.

  • 7.

    Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, until the cake is springy to a gentle touch in the centre and comes away from the sides of the tin. It may appear slightly cracked in the centre, but should settle at on cooling. (If not, gently press the top at with your fingertips.) Turn out onto a clean tea towel lined with a sheet of baking paper. Leave to cool.

  • 8.

    To make the icing, combine the ingredients until smooth. Spread over the top of the cooled cake, and leave to set.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

  • Energy 473kj
  • Fat Total 22g
  • Saturated Fat 13g
  • Protein 6g
  • Carbohydrate 64g
  • Sugar 41g
  • Sodium 132mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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