Chajá: The Peachy Uruguayan Cake You Should Know About

Postre chajá is an Uruguayan sponge cake with everything you could ever want stuffed into it. The sponge is laced with peach-rum syrup, then after baking, is layered with meringue, whipped cream, peaches, and an optional dulce de leche (via Serious Eats).

Once you have this cake there is no going back. It is the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, fluffy, and refreshing. You're basically eating a dessert cloud that won't weigh you down.

The postre chajá got its name from a bird native to Uruguay. The bird itself is large and fluffy and the creator of the cake, Orlando Castellano, owner of "Las Familias" pastry shop, thought it was an appropriate comparison, says 196 Flavors. So, if you ever find yourself talking to an Uruguayan, remember to add the "postre", before "chajá" or they might just assume you ate the bird, not the cake.

How is postre chajá made?

The Uruguayan chajá traditionally has three layers of sponge cake sandwiching whipped cream or even dulce de leche and then topped with everything else (via Amigo Foods). With the bright gold peaches crowning this soft, angelic bake, it looks fit for royalty. Since its creation, the cake has taken South America by storm and is enjoyed in Brazil, Argentina, and other neighboring countries.

You can buy all the ingredients but the rum at most grocery stores. The easiest season to make this cake is during the summer since you are more likely to find fresh peaches. If you are unable to buy fresh peaches — whether they are out of season or unavailable — you can use canned fruit, although fresh produce is ideal. And, for the fluffiest sponge cake, we suggest making it from scratch, however, if you are looking for ease, a great cake mix to use is Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake Mix.

What does postre chajá taste like?

The postre chajá is a swath of soft, sugary flavors, built one upon another, but let's break it down. The crumb of this confection is a sponge cake. The sponge is not an overly flavorful bake, according to Pondan. Instead, it is used as a light and fluffy base, which is perfect because of this cake's added rich ingredients.

In our opinion the "optional" rum peach syrup is not an option — it's a must. Pouring this syrup over the bare sponge cake will infuse it with a fresh sweetness and subtle spice with every bite. The whipped cream and the meringue are light in texture but heavy with a creamy sweetness. They are considered the glue of the postre chajá, binding the multiple layers together and coating the outside of the sponge, adding a "meatiness" to the cake. Finally, the sugared peach slices on top will crown the cake with a pop of color and raw, natural flavor. Everyone will want a peach-topped slice. Of course, you are not restricted to a peach topping — the fruit panoply is yours to play with.