During our years as season ticket holders when we regularly attended baseball games, I headed straight for our seats to watch batting practice upon entering the stadium, but my parents often bought lunch or dinner from one of the various stalls instead. With limited options, they usually gravitated towards the same basic menu items or the shortest lines — whichever one sounded more appealing! — until…
I heard about a BBQ stand on the other side of the ballpark. Knowing how much my parents enjoyed that kind of food, I mentioned it as we walked towards the third base entrance, and they both wove through the overcrowded concourse as soon as we passed through the gates.
As players retreated to their dugouts on the field a while later, my parents returned with white to-go boxes and smiles on their faces. “What’d you get?” I asked as they cracked them open and brandished disposable forks.
They tipped the segmented boxes towards me to show off the brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and buns inside, and they proclaimed each fully worth the trek through the jam-packed stadium.
“I almost ordered the peach cobbler too,” my mom added in between bites. “Until I saw a lady in front of us with one. It looked like a cup of whipped cream with some dry cake and a few peaches at the bottom. Not worth it.”
“Rather hold out for a churro instead?” I teased, and she grinned back.
Finally, after thinking a lot about that sad-sounding ballpark dessert (along with plenty of testing and tweaking in my own kitchen!), I developed this homemade recipe for the ultimate healthy peach cobbler. It’s sweet and summery with a beautiful balance of flavors and textures…
And I may be biased, but I think it’s much better than the stadium’s offering — and it’s simple to make too!
QUICK OVERVIEW – THE ULTIMATE HEALTHY PEACH COBBLER
Difficulty: Easy, including for many beginner bakers.
Taste: Bright summery flavor and natural sweetness from the peaches, notes of cozy spices, and finished with a buttery vanilla-laced topping.
Texture: Melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy fruit hiding beneath a layer of supremely soft cake.
WHAT’S A COBBLER?
Ahhh yes, welcome to the delicious world of fruit-based desserts! Pies, tarts, and galettes are all straightforward to recognize, thanks to their iconic bottom crusts, but… Then comes everything else. Crisps, crumbles, cobblers, bettys, buckles, sonkers — and the list doesn’t stop there.
For now, let’s keep things simple and just focus on the middle one: cobblers.
(The sweet and edible kind — not the shoe repairers!)
Cobblers traditionally consist of a layer of sweet, juicy fruit tucked underneath a soft topping. That topping is generally batter-based, but people can be divided about the exact form it takes. Some enjoy a biscuit-like topping, whether drop-style or rolled and cut out, whereas others prefer a cake-style topping that’s spread evenly over the filling. Both taste fantastic, so it’s mainly a matter of where you live, what you grew up with, or personal preference — or all of the above!
For this healthy peach cobbler recipe, I tested batches with a biscuit-style topping and others with a cake-style one. Although I liked both, I found I enjoyed the extra soft and moist texture of the cake-style version a bit more. I also found that it was also easier to make… So that’s what I ultimately decided to use!
KEY INGREDIENTS TO MAKE A HEALTHY PEACH COBBLER
With that quick lesson out of the way, let’s go over some of the ingredients you’ll need to make this ultimate healthy peach cobbler. I bet you have almost everything on hand already!
Peaches. They’re the star of this show! If possible, I highly recommend using fresh, slightly overripe peaches. Yes, overripe. Not barely ripe or mostly ripe… Overripe. They should be so soft and juicy that you’re almost afraid to dent them if you grip them too tightly — or that they’d be a complete mess to eat without three dozen napkins nearby.
I know it sounds a little strange (or demanding!), but there’s a good reason. Four good reasons, to be specific! Slightly overripe peaches are sweeter, juicier, and have a stronger peach flavor. They’re also incredibly soft to begin with, so they’ll have the perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture after baking. If you used barely ripe or mostly ripe peaches, the fruit would still be a little firm with some texture to it, and the filling wouldn’t be as sweet or flavorful.
So yes… It takes extra patience (or planning ahead!) to wait for your peaches to turn slightly overripe, but it makes a big difference in the flavor and texture of this healthy peach cobbler!
Tip: If peaches aren’t in season right now, you can use ones canned in water or 100% juice. I’ve included how to substitute those in the Notes section of the recipe. Just keep in mind that canned peaches generally aren’t as flavorful or sweet as fresh ones — but they do have the same extra soft and tender texture as slightly overripe ones!
Spices. Yes, plural! You’ll use cinnamon and nutmeg in the filling of your healthy peach cobbler. My grandma mixed both into her peach pies, and I quickly learned how that pairing yielded an incredible flavor. The cinnamon creates a familiar coziness, and a pinch of nutmeg adds a lovely richness and depth.
Tip: I highly recommend Saigon cinnamon! It has a slightly stronger and sweeter flavor than regular cinnamon, and it’s practically the only kind I use in my baking now. I buy it online here — it’s really affordable!
Cornstarch. You’ll use less cornstarch than you typically would for pies, where it’s important for the filling to hold together nicely so it’s possible to cut and serve individual slices, but enough to thicken the juices that the peaches in this cobbler release while baking.
Mixing in too much cornstarch can make the filling gelatinous and reminiscent of Jell-O salads. (Ask me how I know! 😉 ) However, if you skipped the cornstarch altogether, the filling would be on the soupy side, and the juice would also prevent the topping from baking properly… But adding a small amount of cornstarch fixes both of those!
Almond extract. This was my grandma’s other special peach pie ingredient! She always stirred a bit into the filling, and I loved the sweet and sophisticated flavor it added. Almond extract is also my favorite baking extract (fun fact!), so you’ll use it to make this healthy peach cobbler too.
Flour. With those filling ingredients taken care of, let’s switch gears to the batter-based topping… And I’m sure you’ve guessed that you’ll need flour to make it!
To make this healthy peach cobbler, I opted for white whole wheat flour. Contrary to what it sounds like, white whole wheat flour is not a combination of white (aka all-purpose) flour and whole wheat flour!
Here in the US, “regular” whole wheat flour is made from hard red wheat, whereas white whole wheat flour comes from white wheat. They have the same health benefits (like extra fiber!), but white wheat has a lighter taste and texture… Which gives white whole wheat flour a taste and texture closer to that of all-purpose flour. It’s basically the best of both worlds!
Hint: It’s similar to the difference between red and green grapes. Same health benefits, just a different appearance and taste!
Tip: If you’d like to make this healthy peach cobbler gluten-free, then check the Notes section of the recipe. I’ve included how to do so there!
Butter. Traditional cobbler recipes often call for a full stick or two — but you only need 1 tablespoon to make this one. That helps keep your healthy peach cobbler low calorie and low fat! Then the rest of its really soft and moist texture comes from…
Greek yogurt. It’s one of my favorite healthy baking ingredients! If you’ve browsed through my recipes before, then you’ve seen how I’ve used Greek yogurt to make muffins, scones, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, fudgy brownies… And even frosting.
In this cobbler topping, it adds the same moisture as extra butter but for a fraction of the calories. It also gives the topping a protein boost!
Sweetener. I turned to pure maple syrup to sweeten this peach cobbler’s topping. It’s the kind that comes directly from maple trees and only includes one ingredient: maple syrup! It’s generally sold in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs (like this).
Tip: I don’t recommend using pancake syrup or sugar-free maple syrup because they’ll change the topping’s texture. This is especially true of sugar-free maple syrup! It’s typically water-based, and that often makes the topping (and also regular cakes!) collapse while cooling and turn out really dense.
Vanilla extract. Yes, it’s a fairly predictable ingredient for cake batter… But what’s important here is the amount.
I played around with how much vanilla I added to the batter, and I found that using a bit more compared to traditional recipes yielded a big difference in the flavor. It really amplified the rich, indulgent, and buttery taste — and people were shocked to find out I used just 1 tablespoon of butter in the entire cobbler!
Hint: I use that trick in many of my cookie recipes too, like these chocolate chip cookies. It makes them taste as rich and buttery as “regular” ones made with a full stick or two of butter!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST PEACH COBBLER
Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, let’s talk about how to make the best peach cobbler. Like I mentioned earlier, this recipe is simple and straightforward! I also have some tips for you to make sure your peach cobbler turns out beautifully.
Measure correctly. I probably sound like a broken record with how often I mention this… Yet it’s incredibly important! Use this method or a kitchen scale (← that’s the one I own!), especially for the flour. Too much flour will make the batter too stiff, and it’ll also dry out the topping and make it taste bland.
For the peaches, measure by volume (cups) or weight (grams) — not by the number of peaches. Not all “medium” peaches are the exact same size! If your “medium” peaches are on the smaller side, you won’t have enough filling… But if they’re on the larger side, it’ll throw off the ratio of spices and cornstarch, which can affect both the taste and texture.
Prep the peaches. It’s up to you about whether you peel your fresh and slightly overripe peaches. I did for the ones in these photos to make sure they looked really pretty… But man, it can take a while — even if you use the “boil and blanch” trick! I know some people don’t like the texture of peach skin and strongly prefer removing it first, yet I plan on leaving it on for many future batches of this healthy peach cobbler, just to make my life easier. 😉
Regardless of whether you peel them, it’s important to thinly slice your peaches. Yes, I mean it — very thinly! Since this cobbler doesn’t take very long to bake, and since you aren’t precooking the peaches either, thick chunks don’t soften as much (or as quickly!). However, cutting the peaches into ⅛”-thick slices yields a much more tender texture in the filling that simply melts in your mouth.
Once they’re sliced, toss the peaches with the remaining filling ingredients. Keep going until cinnamon evenly coats the peaches and all of the cornstarch has dissolved — and then stir a bit more! The cornstarch tends to clump, so take the time to thoroughly mix so it’s evenly distributed and your filling is really soft and smooth all the way throughout.
Make the topping. It’s quick and easy to do. You only need one bowl! After whisking together the dry ingredients, you’ll cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter (← highly recommended!) or the back of a fork until it resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center, pour in the remaining ingredients, and stir until the batter just comes together. Easy peasy!
Assemble — and quickly! The topping includes baking soda, which begins to react as soon as it comes into contact with the wet ingredients. When it reacts, it creates air bubbles, and those help the batter rise and create a beautifully soft and tender texture. If you take too long, the bubbles will disappear, taking that lovely texture with them… So that’s why it’s important to act quickly!
But this healthy peach cobbler is super simple to assemble! After adding the filling to your pan, press it down with a spatula to create an even surface. This helps prevent the topping from sinking to the bottom.
Then dollop the batter on top, and gently spread it across the fruit. I like to use this mini spatula or this offset spatula. Remember to use a light and delicate hand to do so! If you press too firmly, the peach juice can pop up and pool on top of the batter, preventing it from baking correctly.
Bake. This is the easy part! Your healthy peach cobbler is done baking when the topping looks light golden and feels firm to the touch. You should see the peach juice bubbling away around the edges of the pan too.
Cool + chill. And this is the hardest part… Waiting. Your cobbler needs to cool to room temperature and chill for 3+ hours before serving. The cornstarch needs this time to finish working its thickening magic! If you try serving your cobbler fresh from the oven — or before it’s had time to fully set in the fridge — the filling will be quite liquidy and soup-like. I know it’s really hard to wait that long, especially with the smell of sweet peaches and buttery topping wafting through your kitchen, but I promise this healthy peach cobbler is worth it!
FAQS ABOUT THE ULTIMATE HEALTHY PEACH COBBLER
Is this healthy peach cobbler gluten-free, low calorie, low fat, or clean eating?
Yes — to all of the above! This peach cobbler recipe is naturally low fat, lower calorie, and clean eating. It’s also egg-free! I’ve included options for how to make it gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan in the Notes section of the recipe too.
What are the best peaches for a cobbler?
Fresh, slightly overripe ones! They yield the best taste and texture. (For more information, see the “Peaches” header in the “Key Ingredients to Make a Healthy Peach Cobbler” section above!)
Should I peel the peaches first?
It’s up to you! I peeled the peaches for the ones that you see in these photos, but I don’t plan on doing that very much in the future. It can take a lot of time!
Can I omit the cornstarch? Or substitute something else?
I don’t recommend it. The filling will be rather liquidy and soup-like without it. (See the “Cornstarch” header in the “Key Ingredients to Make a Healthy Peach Cobbler” section above for more information!) I haven’t tried substituting anything else for it, so I can’t vouch for the results of doing so.
What can I substitute for the almond extract?
If you aren’t a fan (or don’t have any!), then use vanilla extract instead.
Can I use a different flour to make this peach cobbler?
You sure can! I’ve included my top recommendations for substitutes in the Notes section of the recipe.
Can I bake it in a different pan?
As long as it has a similar surface area! I recommend an 8”-square pan, 9”-round cake pan, or 9”-round pie plate for the best results. (Their surface areas are 64 in2 and 63.6 in2, respectively!)
Can I serve this peach cobbler warm and fresh from the oven?
I don’t recommend it. The cornstarch needs the cooling and chilling time to work its thickening magic, so the filling will be rather soupy if you try serving it sooner. (See the “Cool + chill” header in the “How to Make the Best Peach Cobbler” section above for more information!)
My peaches are still crisp and crunchy, even after baking and cooling. Why’s that?
There are two main culprits. They were either barely ripe or mostly ripe (instead of slightly overripe!), or they weren’t cut thinly enough. See the “Peaches” header in the “Key Ingredients to Make a Healthy Peach Cobbler” section and the “Prep the peaches” header in the “How to Make the Best Peach Cobbler” section above for more information!
How should I store this healthy peach cobbler? And how long does it last?
Store it in the refrigerator, either (a) in the original baking dish with the top completely covered with foil or (b) inside of an airtight container. The leftovers should keep for at least three days, if not longer!
Time for dessert! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amys.healthy.baking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy peach cobbler!
The Ultimate Healthy Peach Cobbler
FOR THE FILLING
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat an 8”-square pan OR 9”-round pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- To prepare the filling, thoroughly toss the peaches with the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and almond extract in a large bowl until evenly coated with cinnamon and the cornstarch has completely dissolved (with zero visible white specks!).
- To prepare the topping, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (highly recommended!) or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center. Pour in the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir until just fully incorporated.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared pan, and gently press down with a spatula or the back of a spoon until the top is even and flat. Add dollops of the topping, and gently spread it across in an even layer using a spatula or offset spatula. Bake at 350°F for 23-27 minutes or until juice bubbles around the edges and the topping feels firm to the touch. Cool completely to room temperature; then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving to allow the juice to fully thicken.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Apple Pie
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Peach Crumble
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Blueberry Crumble
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Apple Crumble
♡ Healthy Peach Pie Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Peach Pound Cake
♡ Healthy Peach Crumble Bars
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy peach-flavored recipes and healthy dessert recipes!