Jesseka’s Peach Cobbler

Jesseka Rivera is the dessert queen of my heart. She worked in the kitchen at Ground Floor Farm, and now works in the craft kitchen at Colab Farms. She’s a trained pastry chef, and boy oh boy can this lady make a cake. Her desserts are incredibly special, without ever veering into fussiness or over-indulgence. It’s peach season for our neighbors in Georgia, and I recently treated myself to a couple crates of perfectly ripe fruit from Costco. My first move was to make Jesseka’s excellent peach cobbler. She agreed to share the recipe with us.

Makes: 1 9×13 pan


For peaches:

  • 7 peaches, cut in chunks (or 5 peaches plus a cup or two of berries)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For cobbler mixture:

  • 85 g butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk or mylk of choice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • In a large sauté pan, toss peaches with sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar has dissolved and peaches are soft, 10-15 minutes. A good amount of  syrup with form in the pan.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Add butter to 9 x 13 pan and melt in the preheating oven. Remove pan from oven once the butter has melted.
  • In a bowl, mix both flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add milk and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour mixture on top of melted butter in pan. Add peaches and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  •  For optimum results, serve with vanilla ice cream 🍨

Berry Oat Crumble Bars

Eating a strawberry that was picked ripe will ruin those cardboard imposters at the supermarket. Many of the fruits found in grocery stores are picked in an unripe state (often chemically-ripened off the vine, although not in the case of strawberries). This increases their shelf life and their ability to survive transport. But these shortcuts rob the fruit of vital maturation time on the plant, where it develops the sugars that make it delicious. That’s why strawberries from the supermarket often taste like clouds of nothing. But it’s strawberry season in Florida, and the farmers markets I frequent are dripping with sweet, just-harvested fruit. I could talk about why you should turn them into these crumble bars, which are sweet enough for dessert but not so decadent that you couldn’t eat one for breakfast…or we could all collectively listen to The Crumble Song.

This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from somewhere else


For the oat mixture:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into 1-inch pieces (or make it vegan by substituting 1 1/2 cups olive oil)

For the Berry Mixture:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 pound berries of choice (slice strawberries, leave others whole)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. 
  • To make the oat mixture, combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but still crumbly.
  • Firmly press 3/4 of oat mixture into the pan to form the crust, reserving the remainder for topping. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • While the crust bakes, make the berry mixture by combining all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • For a crunchier crumble, allow crust to cool once it comes out of the oven. But if you don’t mind a softer bottom, go ahead and top the crust with the berry mixture, then sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes until things start to bubble and the crumble on top looks golden brown.

Orange and Olive Oil Cake

The first time I made this cake, one of the resident artists proclaimed it to be the best cake-eating experience of her life. But so much more importantly than the fact that it is exquisitely delicious, YOU ONLY NEED ONE BOWL TO MAKE THIS CAKE! It’s now become my go-to dessert. I make some variation of it two or three times a month. It’s satisfying, unfussy, and fast. You decide you want cake, and you’re eating it within the hour.

I’ve included several variations on the theme below the basic recipe.

Makes: 1 cake


  • 1½ cups flour (I recommend whole wheat pastry flour, but choose your own adventure)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup orange juice (fresh is best)
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375 °F. Place a piece of parchment in a 9-inch round cake pan (a springform works well) so the bottom and most of the sides are covered. Lightly coat parchment with a splash of olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Crack eggs directly into the flour mixture, breaking the yolks with the spoon. Add orange juice, olive oil, and zest (if using) and mix until there are no more dry bits of flour.
  • Pour batter into the parchment-lined pan, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for about 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick to be sure the cake is cooked all the way through. There should be no wet batter sticking to the toothpick. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan. Gently peel away parchment, and let it finish cooling, ideally on a wire rack.
  • Grapefruit and Blueberry: sub grapefruit juice for the orange juice, sprinkle a generous handful of blueberries over batter in pan before baking
  • Lemon and Rosemary: sub lemon juice for orange juice, add 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary to batter
  • Lemon and Yogurt: sub 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup yogurt for orange juice
  • Vanilla Buttermilk: sub buttermilk for orange juice, add 1 tablespoon vanilla extra to batter
  • Chai Spice: replace half of orange juice with cooled chai tea, add 1.5 tablespoons chai spice mix to batter
  • Berries and Cream: sprinkle two handfuls of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, chopped strawberries, etc) over batter in pan before baking. Frost with homemade whipped cream.
  • Chocolate and Orange Cake: frost with chocolate ganache and decorate with roasted citrus slices for a special occasion