Apricot Almond Cake

Apricot Almond Cake by Ayala Moriel
Apricot Almond Cake, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.

Summer is here and the fruit is ripe - and gets overripe before there's time to completely enjoy it... So some has to become this cake, which is one of my favourite cakes ever... It's the second week in a row that I'm making it and we have no trouble finishing it up - and thankful whenever there is a guest over to help us out!

It's super simple to make, and the best part - it smells so beautiful when it bakes - nothing quite like pastries baking when they have loads of almonds, butter and vanilla in them!

10 Tbs. salted butter, room temperature
2/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or 1 tsp. vanilla paste
¼ tsp. pure almond extract
3 eggs
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup almond meal (100gr)
2 tsp. double acting baking powder, or 1 package German Backpulver
1/4 cup sour milk (you may also use buttermilk, but sour milk is better in my opinion)
About a dozen fresh apricots – or enough of them to cover the cake’s surface


•Use an 11 inch springform pan, lined with parchment paper.
•Cream the butter with the sugar, vanilla and almond extracts.
•Beat in eggs, one at a time.
•Sift the flour with the baking powder Beat into the egg mixture. Add the buttermilk and mix well.
•Spread the batter into the baking pan.
•Place the apricots on top, cut side down.
•Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out pretty clean (as long as you don’t insert it through the fruit!)
•Wonderful served warm, but keeps well for a 2-3 days (if it lasts!). If you refrigerate, bring to room temperature before serving.


Basboosa is a Middle Eastern semolina cake, sweetened with a rosewater honey syrup and often including almonds in the batter or just for decoration. Inspired by the incredible basboosa I had in ancient Jerusalem a couple of springs ago, I have modified a recipe I found online, using goat's milk yoghurt instead of the usual cow's milk yoghurt/buttermilk that the recipes usually call for.

For the Syrup:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. rosewater
1 Tbs. orange flower water
- Boil in a small saucepan until all the sugar has melted and the thin syrup can stick to a table spoon.
- Set aside to cool until the batter is baked

For the Batter:
225gr semolina (cream of wheat)
250gr ground blanched almonds
225gr icing sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
350ml cup goat's milk (or goat's yoghurt)
6 Tbs. ghee or melted butter
Sliced almonds or whole blanched almonds for decoration
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
- Mix all the dry ingredients
- Add the milk or yoghurt and mix well
- Add the melted butter
- Pour into a pan (either a round spring pan, pie pan or a square/rectangular pyrex pan would do)
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Sprinkle the sliced almonds overtop, or place neatly in lines the whole blanched almonds
- Bake for another 30 minutes or until golden
- Take out of the oven, and immediately sprinkle over the syrup over the hot cake, until the cake is all soaked in syrup.

Serve warm or in room temperature. Makes a great accompaniment for dark Turkish coffee or to Ayala Moriel's Roses et Chocolat perfumed tea.

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