I made this for a late holiday family gathering with the in-laws, and I skipped ahead to make one that I didn't seem to need a kitchen aid mixer for (I wasn't about to haul that heavy thing!) Except for the frosting, hand-stirring the cake ingredients works fine. And at home, it would be a good idea to do that so you can just use the kitchen aid for the frosting without having to wash it between cake-mixing and frosting-mixing.
This cake calls for 1 cup of oil, so of course I used 1 cup of apple sauce instead. It calls for 2 cups of sliced peaches, preferably canned. Then, in the story about it, she says "The key is to rinse the syrup off before you add the canned peaches to the mixing bowl". I didn't read that part, so skipped the rinsing part, but I did drain them. The cans said there was about 1 1/2 cups in each can, but I didn't know if that included the liquid in the can or not, so I just used 2 cans of drained peaches, without measuring, which was probably 2 or 3 cups worth. It did seem a bit heavy on the peaches, but no one complained. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional. I opted to not use the nuts since not everyone in the family enjoys nuts in their desserts, but for those of us who do , the nuts would have made a nice addition.
The frosting was a hit- I'll have to copy this down for future cake recipes that call for cream cheese frosting: 3 oz cream cheese (I use Neufchâtel because why wouldn't you?) 4 T unsalted butter, 1 t vanilla extract (not really measured), 2 c powdered sugar and 1/2 t ground ginger.
For this, I was happy my in-law had a hand-held electric mixer. Although slightly broken, it worked for the frosting, where hand-stirring would have sucked. The frosting was great, and you could only slightly taste the ginger, if I happened to mention it was in there and you thought about it for awhile.
I baked the cake for 50 minutes and it was done, so I took it out of the oven to cool for 10 minutes just like the recipe said to do. But it didn't plop out like it should (again, this could be the applesauce substitution causing the un-ploppiness quality of the cake) so I used a knife around the edges and got it out, although a few portions were still stick, so I removed those from the pan and did a little re-construction to the top of the cake while it cooled on the plate. It was quite lop-sided and unattractive looking, which is why it's a good thing it called for frosting.
After it was cooled, I frosted it at the kitchen table and my 2 year old niece found out about the situation right away. She came over to me and tried like hell to get her hands on that cake. She kept saying "Want cake!" And I kept saying "Not ready!"and she didn't quite get the concept of why on Earth I was playing with that cake and not giving her any! I worked on perfecting the art of one-handed cake-frosting while the other had blocked the toddler. She started to have a mini-tantrum about it until she got her finger in the scraped-out bowl of cream cheese frosting and put that in her mouth.
Then the complaining turned into "YUM!" and I realized this worked out well: she was too young to understand "Not ready"but also too young to realize that the frosting on her finger wasn't actually the cake, so she was satisfied with a few licks of frosting and didn't actually get that slice of cake right before bedtime.
After it was frosted, I cut it into slices. With this cake you can cut the tiniest of slices or a super-thick slice, depending on how hungry you are. (Go ahead with that big thick slice, it doesn't have a cup of oil!)
Because we hadn't really talked about what desserts we were making, we paired this Peach Cake with homemade Chocolate Fleck Ice Cream, and it actually went really well together!