This is a recipe very similar to one made many times by my mother. It is one of the simplest and tastiest cakes and most everyone who tries it wants the recipe. The only difference between the cake shown here and the one my mother makes is that she uses blueberries.
We very rarely keep sweets like this on hand in our house, but two days ago I really got a craving for this cake. The only problem was that the only blueberries I had on hand were ones I had frozen, and I really wanted to wait until winter to start using those (I can't bare the thought of a winter without blueberries in cake, muffins, and pancake syrup). I did have a bowl of peaches that were slightly past their prime though. Could this cake be just as good with a different fruit? I decided to try it to find out.
The resulting cake is sweet, peachy, and nutty. In a word, yummy.
The inside of the cake is so moist it borders on creaminess while the top gets a crunchy crust that crumbles and cracks as you slice it. While blueberries obviously add color to the original cake, the peaches in this version add little pops of red (from the flesh of the peach next to the pit). It literally takes 10 minutes to whip up the batter, and it is in and out of the oven in 50 minutes tops.
This cake is great as is, but would also be nice garnished with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. You can also vary the ingredients of this cake by adding a different type of nut. Sometimes I add walnuts instead of pecans. Now that I have discovered that peaches work so nicely, I am tempted to try it with other fruits such as blackberries or apples. The sky's the limit!
Peach (or blueberry) Cake
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar (you can substitute up to half brown sugar if you like)
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
2 cups fruit (chopped, peeled peaches or blueberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add vanilla, nuts, and fruit. Pour batter into a lightly buttered 9x13 baking pan (the batter will be thick). Spread the batter in the pan as evenly as possible. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (it may have fruit on it) and the top of the cake is lightly browned. Allow the cake to cool a little before cutting. This cake can be served warm or at room temperature.