Filled with ripe, golden apricots, this simple Apricot Cake is the taste of summer. The batter is rich and moist, and it’s loaded with as many apricots as it can possibly hold. It’s delicious eaten just as it is, or add a spoonful of whipped cream or ice cream to turn it into a decadent dessert.
Raymond and I have been totally enjoying a foray to different farmer's markets in the area each weekend this summer. During the rest of the year I'm always teaching on Saturday mornings, so having that time free feels like a holiday. Heading to the markets, strolling around and perusing all the booths, cone of dripping gelato in hand, has felt like a real summertime activity. Now that our garden is in full glorious production, I don't need fresh market veggies any more, but orchard fruits are always an appealing draw. We've got our own berries producing wonderfully this year - strawberries, haskaps, saskatoons, raspberries - but luscious tree fruits are sadly not willing to grow in our cold northern climate (we have glorious summers - but it's those darn winters!)
So I'm always thrilled to fill my shopping bag with punnets of glowing apricots, peaches, and plums. The apricots have been spectacular this year - and they're a crown jewel in this glowing Apricot Cake. I think I've made the cake three times in the last two weeks. I keep going to get 'just one more' basket of them, thinking they might be gone the next time we head to the market, but the apricots are always still there, glowing like golden lights and beckoning me. So I make the cake one more time . . again.
It's such an easy cake to whip up, and the rewards are sooooo delicious. A moist, rich batter, made moister and richer with the addition of almond flour. Apricots, and any stone fruits, have a real affinity for almonds. The pits often lend a whiff of almond flavour to recipes. So adding some almond flavour really brings out the natural flavours in the apricots. And I particularly love how apricots get so tangy when the are baked - the generous amount of apricot chunks in this batter makes every mouthful a bite of apricot heaven. It's a simple cake, but one you'll find yourself making again and again.
A slice of this Apricot Cake is absolutely delicious to just eat straight as it is, or you can go all out and add a dollop of whipped cream or a lovely scoop of ice cream to turn it into an elegant dessert. A glass of golden sherry to sip along with it wouldn't be amiss, either. 😉
Apricot Cake - Simple and Delicious
The Apricot Cake batter is quick and easy. Just cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, a bit of sour cream (to make the batter especially tender), and some vanilla and a touch of almond extract. Add the flour and the almond flour (to add that richness and also a natural almond flavour) and fold in a big heaping pile of apricot slices.
Then double the deliciousness and arrange some more apricot slices on top - you can make a fancy pattern, or just place them randomly, like I do. Sprinkle on a bit of coarse sugar to make the cake sparkle (but that's optional).
Then bake it until golden.
It's hard to wait for it to cool before cutting a slice. A rich and simple batter, with the whiff of almonds, and those tangy, juicy pops of jammy apricots - what heaven!
Summer should be simple . . . and delicious. This Apricot Cake fills those two requirements so absolutely well.
* * * * *
- 1 lb. (450gms) apricots, ripe but still firm (about 3 cups wedges)
- ½ cup (115gms) salted butter
- ¾ cup (150gms) sugar preferably natural evaporated cane sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (65gms) sour cream
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 cup (100gms) almond flour
- 1 cup (140gms) gluten free flour blend or regular flour for non-gluten-free
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1-2 tablespoons coarse turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (23cm) round springform pan or cake pan (or an 8-inch square (20x20cm) baking pan. Line the base of it with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.
- Cut each apricot in half and remove the pits, then cut each half into 4 equal wedges. You should have about 3 cups of wedges. Measure out and set aside about one third (1 cup) of the wedges (which you'll use to put on top of the cake). The rest will be mixed into the cake batter.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, either by hand or with an electric mixer
- Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and flavourings.
- Add the almond flour, gluten-free or regular flour, and baking powder and beat them in until the batter is just combined.
- Gently fold in the reserved larger amount (2 cups) of the apricot wedges, trying not to break up the apricots too much.
- Spread the apricot better into the prepared pan and smoothe the top with a spatula.
- Arrange the remaining 1 cup of reserved apricot wedges, laying them randomly around on top of the batter in the pan.
- Sprinkle with the coarse sugar (if using it) or a spoonful of regular sugar.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Serves 8.
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