Summer berry and nectarine cake

I’ve been lucky to have had fairly successful baking attempts thus far, probably because the recipes I’ve attempted are all very simple. Confidence buoyed, I thought to try this summer berry cake recipe that came highly recommended by a friend for a party I was attending.

Appearance-wise, it was such a huge failure:

Strawberry_and_nectarine_summer_cake._Baking_fail_in_terms_of_presentation_but_was_told_it_s_nice_and_moist._Yay

It was my first time baking a cake topped with fruits, and I’d made the mistake of placing the strawberries right at the edge of the batter – the result being that the strawberries caramelised from the heat of the baking tin and also sank quite significantly.

Thankfully, it didn’t look as bad when sliced into squares and transferred to another container, and I brought the cake to the party anyway. I was told that my cake was nice and moist, which was great news, assuming that people weren’t just being polite. I personally liked the cake though – it was moist and the house smelled of summer fruits, and immediately after baking it I felt like baking something else with the peaches and additional nectarines I had.

So here’s the recipe, modified only very slightly from the original here. My friend and I used nectarines as well as strawberries, and I think it’d work great as a mixed berry cake too.

Ingredients (for a 9-inch cake pan or 10-inch pie pan)

  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (can substitute with olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) yoghurt (which will make the cake nice and moist; can use milk if preferred
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract, optional
  • 1 pound (450 grams) strawberries and nectarines

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted; 350°F). Butter the cake pan.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
  • In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, for about 3 minutes.
  • Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth. The batter will be quite thick.
  • Pour into prepared cake pan.
  • Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer, slightly away from the edge of the batter.
  • Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries, which will help turn the fruit into jam.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 160°C (140°C fan assisted; 325°F) and bake for another 50-60 min until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter
  • Let cool in pan on a rack. Brush top of cake with a layer of honey (my friend did a mixture of apricot jam and rum)
  • Cut into wedges and serve with custard or lightly whipped cream if desired.
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