2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 (14-ounce) can sliced peaches, with juice
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 medium-large carrots) OR: 12 ounces carrot baby food* (see note below)
Cream Cheese Frosting (see ingredients and instructions below)
Chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Grease and lightly dust with flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Shake out any excess flour from cake pans. Set aside.
Drain peaches. Reserve juice from canned peaches and set aside. Chop peaches into 1/2-inch or so pieces. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture with a wooden spoon. Mix well.
Pour reserved juice from peaches (that you set aside) into batter. Stir chopped peaches into cake batter with a wooden spoon. Stir in raisins and chopped nuts (if using), and shredded carrots (or carrot baby food, if using) .
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake cakes on center rack of preheated 350 degree F (180 C) oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs. Remove the pans from oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the cake layers from the pans and put them on the racks to cool completely. Assemble and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (see Cream Cheese Frosting recipe below).
To Assemble the Cake
Place one of the layers on a cake plate. Top with about one-third of the frosting and spread evenly to cover the top of the cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting and spread the top of the cake with about one-half of the remaining frosting. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides of the cake. Sprinkle chopped nuts over top of cake (optional). Slice into portions and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. This cake keeps well for several days.
I have substituted jarred carrot baby food for the shredded carrots in this recipe with wonderful results, as some people don't care for the texture of shredded carrots.
I use a total of 12 ounces carrot baby food, and this seems to be the perfect amount for this recipe. I have been told that baby food carrots come in a 6-ounce jar size, but I haven't been able to find that size yet. I have found 4-ounce jars of carrot baby food and also 2.5 ounce jars of carrot baby food at my local supermarkets. Obviously, if you can find the 4-ounce jars, that would be preferable. This way you will only need 3 (4-ounce) jars instead of almost 5 (2.5-ounce) jars.
If desired, frost only the bottom and top layer of cake with the Cream Cheese Frosting (not frosting the sides), and decorate top of cake with chopped walnuts or pecans (see photo above).
Makes 1 (2-layer cake), approximately 12 servings.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks (1 cup/8 oz/226 gm) unsalted butter, softened
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
5 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth. Add the vanilla and continue to beat on high speed about 1 minute to make the frosting light and fluffy.
Makes about 5 cups frosting.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2004
Date: March 27, 2004