Recipe by Sarah Ward
This gorgeous, colorful cake is sure to impress. (Don’t tell, but it looks a lot harder to make than it actually is.) You can easily adapt the fruit used in this recipe, depending on the season. We tested it once with oranges, and a second time with strawberries, but any fresh berry or citrus fruit would work just as well.
Yield: 6 – 8 slices
- 1 tbsp butter, softened
- ⅓ cup brown or turbinado sugar
- 2 small oranges, rind removed and thinly sliced, or 2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
- Zest of 1 orange (if using oranges)
- ½ tsp dried lavender flowers, slightly crushed with a mortar and pestle (or ¾ tsp fresh)
- 1¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Evenly spread 1 tbsp softened butter in a 9” round cake pan. Add brown sugar and shake to evenly distribute around the pan and slightly up the sides. Lay out orange slices or strawberries evenly and tightly so the pieces overlap a bit (strawberries should be cut-side down). This is the fun part — get creative with your patterning, as this will become the top of cake after it bakes. If using oranges, evenly sprinkle the zest over orange slices. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine lavender with flour, almond flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extracts, and vinegar; mix thoroughly.
Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk, and beginning and ending with flour. After each addition, mix slowly until just combined.
Fill fruit-layered cake pan with batter. The batter will be thick, so spread it evenly with a spatula or knife to ensure even baking. Set on a baking sheet or piece of foil to catch any potential drips from the fruit and sugar as it cooks. Bake on the middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool the pan on a cake rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake. Place a flat plate or serving platter facedown on top of the cake pan, then carefully flip the pan and plate over. (At this point, the cake will still be hot, so be sure to wear oven mitts.) Tap the bottom of the pan to ensure the cakes release and slowly lift the pan off the plate. Let the cake cool completely. Serve as is or with a dollop of whipped cream.
Sarah Ward is the creator of the blog of the dirt.
Featured Ingredient: Lavender
Lavender is a bold ingredient, but when used in small amounts, its flavor and fragrance add a special touch to dishes. A little of this pungent herb goes a long way (it tastes just like it smells), especially in delicate baked goods or beverages. It pairs excellently with citrus, is used in Herbs de Provence on lamb and chicken, and is often found in loose-leaf teas. Grow your own lavender and enjoy its many uses.