For the New Year, the boyfriend and I were invited to his parents’ house for a potluck party. As is often the case, I was expected to bring a cake :). I was looking for something simple, fruit-based, light, and not very sweet. I decided to do something traditional and went with a light, almond spongey cake topped with whipped cream and a ton of fruits. It’s a very simple cake, and a great way to showcase delicious fresh fruit that’s in season, so it’s also easily editable for different times of year. Best of all, it appeals to a large audience as it’s something that really plays on the simplicity of clean flavours.
Fruit & Almond Sponge Cake
- 3 eggs (brown, cage-free, organic)
- 1/2 cup organic skim milk (no rBST!)
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- scant 1 cup cake flour
- 2 tblspn soy butter, softened to room temp
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- LOTS of fresh, seasonal fruit
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup apricot jelly (organic, without too much added sugar)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time (be sure to really do them one at a time. trust me on this.)
- Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, and milk and beat on low until just combined. Then add the flour and barely mix enough- as soon as the flour is incorporated, stop beating.
- Pour the mixture into your cake pan (and place it on a baking sheet), baking for about 25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is spongey). Remove from cake pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Once cooled thoroughly, cut the cake in half to make two layers, and beat the cream into a whipped cream (adding 2-3 tsp of sugar halfway through to make it a bit sweet).
- Place a layer of whipped cream and some fruit on the first layer of the cake, then add on layer 2 and spread the remaining whipped cream over the entire two layers of the cake (and sides).
- Arrange fresh fruit on top as desired and brush the apricot jelly (warmed in the microwave) over everything to make a nice shiny glaze.
Yum, right? It’s simple, it’s not too guilt-inducing, and it’ll please the whole family. Make one for your next spring or summer potluck and take advantage of ripe stone fruit, fresh berries, melons, citrus…. so many options! I plan to make one again soon with different fruits and maybe a thin layer of marzipan halfway up the cake for added almond flavour :). Sprinkle on toasted almond slivers for a final touch or powder on some confectioner’s sugar in a pretty shape.