Wednesday, December 30, 2009
What a happy cake. It's unintimidating and friendly and colorful. You can make it all year round because it uses canned peaches instead of fresh (though fresh will work, too). It's got a beautiful cross section with bright spots of yellow peaches peek-a-booing out. And cream cheese frosting is always a hit with guests. Author Melissa Gray is my new best friend!
I made this cake in my mom's kitchen, and one of many special things about that (aside from the obvious - being in the company of my mother, which is always a treat), was that I was able to use my grandmother's tube pan to bake the cake. My mom has a lot of her mom's baking equipment. I never had a chance to meet my grandmother, but getting to use the exact same items she once used makes me feel like she's in the room with me. I know that she and I would have been great friends.
My grandmother was an avid baker, just like my mom and me. Baking must be hereditary. And Bubbe, this cake's for you!
Peach Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe by Melissa Gray in All Cakes Considered
For the cake
3 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sliced peaches, preferably canned
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
For the frosting
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
To make the cake
1. Center a rack and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the cake pan by lining the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan with parchment paper and spraying the sides and bottom with baking spray.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and oil. Mix on medium speed until just blended.
3. In a separate bowl, dry whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Add to the egg mixture and beat until just combined. The batter will be sticky.
4. With a spatula and/or wooden spoon, fold in the peaches and nuts.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake tests done.
6. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then unmold onto a cake rack. Allow to cool completely.
To make the frosting
7. With the mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
8. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and ginger. Beat until smooth.
9. Apply the frosting to the cooled cake.
Step-by-Step in Pictures
Grease and flour a 10-cup tube pan (this exact one was my grandmother's!)...
Combine the dry ingredients and set aside...
Mix the eggs, sugar, and oil...
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture...
The batter will be sticky and light brown colored...
Drain the peaches (if canned, they come with syrup you'll need to discard) and slice each one in half if you want smaller pieces...
Add the peaches and nuts to the batter...
Fold them in to incorporate but don't overmix...
Pour batter into the prepared baking pan...
Bake at 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes...
Let cool completely...
To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla...
Add the confectioners' sugar and ginger...
Mix until of spreading consistency...
Spread the frosting on the cake, garnish with nuts if desired, slice and serve!