Simple Summer Cake

Everyone needs a simple summer cake recipe in their baking repertoire. This lovely cake is mine. (And maybe it'll become yours, too?)

I LOVE cakes like this. Fragrant, not too sweet, totally covered in gorgeous fruit. It's as pretty as it is delicious, but not in a super crazy decadent kind of way. It's light and satisfying, but not overwhelming. Just the kind of thing to serve after a summer bbq or to bring along on a sunny picnic or beach trip.

And it is SO EASY, you guys! Seriously! You start with a basic cake batter flavored with just a bit of almond and fresh lemon zest, and then top it off with whatever fruit happens to look ripe and delicious.

It's summer so right now that's basically ALL of the fruit.

I went with blueberries, raspberries, and a couple ripe peaches that I got at the farmer's market. You could do any of these on their own or do a mix of stone fruit (I love peaches and plums together!), fresh cherries, strawberries, whatever you love.

If you want to mix it up a bit, you can change the extracts in the batter, scrape in a fresh vanilla bean, or use orange zest instead of lemon. Add chocolate chips for a sweet twist, or throw some toasted almonds or pecans on top for a bit of crunch. Serve it with some freshly whipped cream or a drizzle of honey and some chopped herbs.

(This one is also perfect with ice cream!) So many fun things you can do with this recipe. 

And you're going to want to save this one for Fall, too. A bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter + some sauteed apples or pears on top and your Simple Summer Cake will turn into a Simple Fall Cake just like that!


Loved this recipe? Here are three other cake ideas you might like:

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Simple Summer Cake Recipe
Makes 1 9" cake (about 8 servings)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 1 whole lemon
1/4 olive oil
1/3 cup whole milk
3 cups berries or chopped fresh ripe summer fruit (peaches, plums, cherries, blueberries, etc.)
1 tablespoon raw sugar (turbinado sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9” springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the base of a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs followed by extracts, lemon zest and olive oil.

Add the flour mixture along with the milk, and stir just until evenly combined.

Spread batter in prepared pan, then top with berries. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake in preheated oven 45 - 55 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan 10 minutes before removing sides. Let cool completely before serving.

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