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Apricot and Almond Cake

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apricot almond cake

apricot almond cake

The sunshiny sweetness of fresh apricots is baked into every bite of this amazing cake! Just the thing with coffee or tea, its another wonderful recipe that incorporates the tradition of Greek baked fruits.   This light, delicious cake showcases fresh apricots that are baked to sticky sweet golden perfection. You’ll end up eating quite a few fresh or baked apricots just on their own so make sure you get enough!

You’ll need a bit over 2 lbs of fresh, medium apricots here.  This comes out to between 10-12 pieces of fruit. And its fine if your apricots are a bit ripe, even over ripe or a little bruised. Baking is, thankfully, a very forgiving process! In the US, a quart container of fresh apricots from the farmers market will do the trick.

fresh apricots

fresh apricots

Cut the fresh apricots in half, remove the pit and arrange skin side down on a large flat baking sheet. I like to brush the tops with a bit of brandy or you can just use water if you prefer. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes or until they are very easily pierced with a fork.

halved, pitted, brushed with brandy and ready for baking

halved, pitted, brushed with brandy and ready for baking

Let them cool until you can handle them and gently remove the skins.  This is not as tedious as you may think honestly.  I like to cup the apricot half in the palm of my left hand and use a teaspoon to scoop the fruit from the skins. However you choose to do it, collect the baked fruit in a medium bowl and mash well. Feel free to leave your fruit a bit chunkier, its totally up to you.

baked, mashed apricots

baked, mashed apricots

You can bake and mash your fresh apricots up to 2 days ahead. Just keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

And its important, when you come to the cake ingredients, that you follow the liquid steps especially.  Remember to first dissolve your sugar in the orange juice and THEN slowly add the vegetable oil. This simple sequence makes a huge difference in the way that these important ingredients incorporate or come together. When you next add the mashed apricots and finally the dry ingredients, you’ll end up with a creamy, thick, fight-for-the-spoon-to-lick batter!

Just a note, this is a great recipe to make for church or school bake sales too.  Just triple the recipe and you get 4 perfect loaf cakes.  You can make them up to 4-5 days ahead or even keep baked loaves frozen for up to 2 months. A dusting of powdered sugar over the deep, golden brown top and they’re as lovely to eat as they are delicious to eat.

Also a fantastic breakfast treat!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baked, mashed apricots (10-12 medium fresh apricots/ approx. 2 lbs)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose (AP) flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh ground cardamom (20 pods)
  • 1 tsp ground mahlep (optional but recommended!)
  • 1 cup chopped or sliced pistachios/almonds or chopped walnuts (optional)

Apricots

Cut fresh apricots in half and remove the pit. Arrange skin side down on a flat baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops of the apricots with brandy or water if you prefer. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove skins and mash fruit in medium bowl.  Set aside.

*This can be done up to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine AP and almond flour, baking soda/baking powder, salt and mahlep. Mix well and set aside.

In large bowl, add sugar and orange juice. stir until sugar is dissolved. Add ground cardamom, stir to combine and gradually add vegetable oil while stirring to incorporate well. Add mashed baked apricots. Mix well.

In 2 parts, add flour mixture to liquids. Stir well to combine. If adding nuts, stir in at this point.  Do not over mix the batter, just combine all ingredients completely.

Spread batter evenly in parchment lined  baking pan

  • 9×13″ cake pan for 40 minutes at 350 degrees
  • loaf pan  for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees

Check center with toothpick. Top should be a deep, golden brown color, cake should pull away from sides of pan and toothpick come out clean.  Add another 5 minutes if needed.

Allow cake to cool for at least 20 minutes in pan before removing and serving. This can be made up to 4 days ahead and kept, wrapped well and refrigerated.

This cake is also nice dusted lightly with a little powdered sugar.

Wonderful with coffee or tea and a treat for a weekend breakfast!

double this recipe for 5 medium loaves

double this recipe for 5 medium loaves

And a very pretty plate to take to parties too – sliced and ready to go!

party platter of apricot almond cake!

party platter of apricot almond cake!

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15 Responses to Apricot and Almond Cake

  1. Maggie December 13, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    I would love to make this but apricots are not in season. Any substitues?

    • Kiki December 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      Hi Maggie! Sorry not to get back to you sooner – crazy busy getting the calendar cookbook orders out these last couple of weeks!

      So I have used peaches before in this recipe with lovely results but they were fresh and not in season around here now (Boston, MA) – my best suggestion would be to substitue canned peaches, making sure the canning liquid is completely drained off, and I’m pretty sure it will be just as delightful as the fresh apricots.

      You’ve inspired me to try it myself maybe this weekend. Thanks so much for writing and for cooking with us! Kiki 🙂

  2. George June 19, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    Hi Kiki,

    What is the name for this in Greek?

    Berkikokopita? Amygdalopita? Haha

    Maybe there isn’t one, but I was curious!

    • Kiki June 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

      🙂 🙂 well, my grandmother called it ‘liakatha’ or sunshine cake but berkikopcta would probably be more correct! I just brought home a quart of gorgeous fresh apricots just this Friday to make this for Father’s Day tmrw and half of them are gone already – they’re so tasty!! hope they are still at the market…. Kiki 🙂

  3. Claire June 21, 2015 at 2:35 am #

    Really happy to find this recipe – we are in Cyprus and have a bumper crip of apricots, what a treat!

  4. Jessica August 15, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    I made this today! I couldn’t find fresh apricots, so I bought dried apricots instead and soaked them in water overnight. This morning, I boiled them in water for 20-30 minutes (I never really keep track of the time), then scooped them out of the water and pureed them in a blender. It turned out really well, so if any of you can’t get fresh apricots you can try this approach.

    I will try this cake with fresh apricots when I can get them. Thanks for posting, this is a wonderful recipe!

    • Kiki August 16, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

      Jessica, thanks for sharing your dried apricot substitution!I can’t wait to try it, only I might soak them overnight in a little brandy and orange juice 🙂 thanks again! Kiki xx

  5. Areti BratsIS February 24, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    This cake is soooo delicous I want to eat the whole thing. I soaked dried appricots in Metaxa then pureed it. My problem is that I can’t slice it as the peices crumble. My Mother tells me I used too much baking soda. I used whole wheat pastry flour- could that be it? Would like to try again but don’t want to make the same mistake. I have an aversion to using white flour. Any suggestions

  6. Angela July 3, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    Sounds yummy. I am the chef for our church vacation church camp. Want to bake this. What is and where to buy mahler? A greek spice?

    • Kiki July 7, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

      you can pick it up here or at any Greek/Mediterranean store – it’s a wonderful taste but very hard to describe! shttps://www.amazon.com/Anatoli-Spices-Ground-Mahlep-Mahlepi-Mahaleb-Mahlab-10g/dp/B00CFM6J3I

  7. Michelle July 12, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    Winner, winner! Absolutely delicious. The loaf was amazingly moist and light (for a vegan loaf… Just like a regular loaf).

  8. Mull November 13, 2016 at 12:21 am #

    I just discovered your blog and am delighted by all the gorgeous recipes you have!
    Do you think this recipe would work with a walnut meal or something similar? My husband recently found out that almonds trigger his migraines, so we have had to cut them out of our diet, much to our dismay.

    • Kiki November 14, 2016 at 10:21 am #

      I honestly don’t see why you couldn’t make the sub from almonds to walnuts. So sorry about the almond trigger!

  9. Thea December 11, 2016 at 5:01 am #

    Can i used ground almond in this recipe. And use the same measurement like almond flour? Thanks

    • Kiki December 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      absolutely! just make sure they are finely ground and I would use blanched almonds which are simply almonds with the skins off 🙂 just give whole almonds a 15 second bath in boiling water, scoop them out into a clean dish towel and rub the brown skins off. Makes for a lighter almond flour and lighter/higher finished cake!

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