Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The easiest cake ever

Many thanks to Elena, who gave this recipe to my mom, who practically forced me to make it. This cake is deceiving: its ingredient list and instructions are so short and sweet, you could make it blindfolded. But don't let the ease deceive you; this cake is definitely better than the sum of its parts. Throw the ingredients in a bowl, mix (by hand!), chop the fruit, throw it all into a springform (or regular pan), bake, and voila, a perfect dessert is yours.

Make sure your fruit are ripe; this will really add to the overall flavor and moistness of the cake. Also, as this recipe is so darn basic, feel free to improvise! Here are my favorite variations:

-pears, lots and lots of pears
-plums and peaches
-blueberries and pears
-raspberries and peaches

You get the drift -- do whatever you like. One last note: I tend to arrange sliced fruit on the bottom of the springform, so that when I turn the cooled cake onto a serving platter, the bottom (now the top) looks pretty. This is entirely optional. In fact, I didn't do it this time because my pears were very ripe, and too delicate to mess around with. If you're using a regular, non-springform pan, you can do as my mother does, and arrange fruit on top of the batter. They will sink in a little as the cake bakes, but you'll still be able to see them.

The Easiest Cake Ever
serves 8-12.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tspoon baking powder
1 tspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
3 cups of fruit, any variety, but soft and juicy!

Combine all the above ingredients, reserving 1 cup of the sliced fruit.

Grease and flour a 9" round or rectangular baking pan or springform pan.

At this point, EITHER:
1) pour in batter and add the last cup of fruit on top OR
2) arrange the remaining sliced fruit in spiral design in the springform, and pour batter overtop.

I sometimes sprinkle a bit of sugar ontop for a crunchy crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I often serve this cake with a fruit sauce or reduction; it's pictured here with quince sauce, and I'll post that recipe soon.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Not only it is easy but also looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

You can also add raisins, nuts or anything you like. I've done it with little pieces of guava fruit paste _very common in Brazil_ and with brown sugar. They all work. Pineapples are gorgeous as well!

Aaron said...

Love the blog!

I have a similar version of this dessert...thanks to certain chef/baker parents of mine...

we call it kuchen, but it's a crisp, or this cake, essentially upside down. It's great with fresh or frozen fruit, and pretty much any combo therein.


3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 stick of butter 4 oz
1 cup flour

Frozen or fresh fruit with sugar…maybe lemon juice or cornstarch.

Cream batter, dump on top of fruit…

Cook at 350 for a while.