You’ll love this fresh Apricot Cake recipe. To maximize the flavor of the cake apricot puree is added to the cake batter. Along with apricots on top of the cake, you end up with a cake that is incredibly moist with delicious tart apricot flavor every single bite. In the recipe below I share the steps and my tips for a successful bake that will absolutely pleease your friends and family.
If you’re here, I’m assuming that you love apricots. Or maybe you're asking what to do with too many apricots? In either case, this apricot cake recipe is perfect for you.
I love baking with new flavors and absolutely loved experimenting with this cake recipe. I originally tried a gluten-free version with just almond flour, but couldn’t quite get it to work in terms of texture so I went back to all-purpose flour.
The first version of this cake had the apricots on top, but I wanted more apricot flavor and that’s when I added apricot puree to the cake batter and it absolutely worked. Adding puree makes an incredibly moist cake and the flavor is absolutely amazing.
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Apricot Cake
Here ae the ingredients you'll need for this wonderful cake.
- Fresh Apricots: The apricots are in the cake batter and on top of the cake to ensure the maximum apricot flavor. Taste the apricots before using them to ensure they have a tart-sweet flavor. I once bought apricots that had no flavor and tasted awful.
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour: Flour provides the structure for the cake
- Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness and moisture to the cake
- Unsalted Butter: Adds fat, flavor, and moisture to the cake. I recommend using unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the final bake. The butter should be at room temperature (65-68 degrees F) before mixing it into the batter.
- Large Eggs:: The egg yolks provide flavor and fat helping to create a soft cupcake. The egg whites give structure to the cake.
- Sour Cream:: The acid in the sour cream helps create a nice, tender, velvety cake crumb and adds a slight tang to the cake. The sour cream should be at room temperature.
- Ground Cardamom: The cardamom pairs really well with the apricots. However, cardamom can sometimes be hard to find, so if you can’t find it you can make the cake without it.
- Baking Powder: The baking helps the cake to rise once it hits the heat of the oven.
- Baking Soda: With the addition of the apricot puree, the baking soda helps ensure that the cake rises and doesn’t become stodgy.
- Almond Extract: The almond extract pairs really nicely with the apricots
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract helps elevate all the other flavors in the cake
- Kosher Salt: A little salt elevates all the other flavors.
- Lemon Juice: The lemon juice is used to brush the apricot halves on top of the cake, so they don’t turn brown while baking.
Full ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Apricot Cake
As you’re reading through the recipe pay attention to the weight of the apricots and apricot puree. I provided this information so you’ll know that you have the right amount of puree.
Make sure to taste your apricots before you start this recipe. The apricots should have a wonder sweet tart flavor. Unfortunately I've had apricots that tasted like cardboard and had no flavor. If that is the case, don't use them.
Step 2: Place the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk for 30 seconds to ensure the ingredients are well combined. Set aside the flour mixture until ready to use.
Step 3: Cut some of the apricots into quarters and process them in a mini food processor until the apricots are smooth. If the apricots are ripe this step will only take a few seconds.
Step 4: Pour the apricot puree into a 2-cup measuring cup. You should have 214 grams of puree.
Step 5: Place the butter, sugar, cardamom, almond extract, and vanilla extract in the bowl of stand mixer.With the paddle attachment beat the ingredients on medium speed until it’s creamy and lighter in color.
Step 6: Add the eggs one a time, beating after each addition until the egg if fully incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Step 7: Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated.
Step 8: Add all of the sour cream and mix on medium speed until it’s fully incorporated.
Step 9: Add the remaining flour and mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in by hand any flour on the sides of the bowl.
Step 10: Add the apricot puree and mix on medium speed until incorporated. The cake batter will be a beautiful light orange color
Step 11: Remove the bowl from the stand and scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure the batter is well combined.
The pureed apricots will turn darker after they have been pureed while you are mixing the other cake ingredients together. This happens as the puree is exposed to oxygen and is oxidized. At this point it doesn't impact the flavor of the apricots or the cake.
Step 12: Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth and even out the top of the batter.
Step 13: Arrange the apricot halves on the top of the batter, arranging them around the edge of the pan. Place one apricot half in the center.
Though it may be tempting, don't overcrowd the top with the apricot halves. There needs to be plenty of room for the the cake to rise and bake without.
Step 14: Bake the cake at 350°F for 55-65 minutes until it has risen, the top is golden brown, and it doesn’t giggle in the center when touched.
Another way to check for doneness is to use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the cake in the center. It should be about 205°F.
Let the cake cool for 15 minutes then remove the ring. Let the cake cool until it’s completely cool, about 2 hours.
How to Serve the Cake
This cake is so incredibly moist and flavorful that it really doesn’t need any topping, but if serving to guests or bringing it a party, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
How to Store the Cake
Because of the fresh apricots on top of the cake, the cake can be stored at room temperature for one day in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator tightly covered with plastic wrap for up to 5 days.
Pro Tips to Ensure A Successful Bake
- Use a food scale to weigh your ingredients, especially the flour and the apricots to ensure you don’t have too much or too little of either . Weighing the butter is the best way to ensure you have the right amount, and weighing the sour cream is easier than using a measuring cup.
- Taste the apricots before you start the recipe. The apricots should have a sweet-tart flavor and be a little soft. It’s okay to use apricots that are slightly underripe, but I’ve bought apricots before that had no flavor, that tasted like cardboard and would have been terrible in any recipe.
- Use room-temperature butter, eggs, and sour cream which is 65-68 degrees F. Cold butter won’t mix or aerate well, and cold eggs will result in a stodgy cake. Cold sour cream can cause the cake batter to curdle.
- 9-inch Springform Pan: This is the best type of pan to use for this recipe. It's high enough to hold all the batter and you'll be able to release the cake from the pan without mushing the top.
- Mini Food Processor: A mini-food processor is a great all around kitchen tool. You can use it for both swwet and savory recipes that require a puree or finally chopped vegetables. My preferred brand is Cuisinart.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can freeze the apricot cake. I recommend cutting into slices, wrapping each one in plastic wrap and placing the in a freezer bag. If freezing the whole cake, wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze the cake for up to 2 months.
Apricots have a distinct sweet tarty taste and are not overly juicy. They almosnt taste almost like a cross between a peach and a plum.
If you make this yummy apricot cake please leave a rating and a comment below.
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If You Like Apricot Cake, Try These Recipes
For the Cake
- 4-5 (240 grams) apricots the number will vary based on the size of the fruit
- 2 cups (250 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour sifted
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter room temperature (65-68 degrees F)
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 large (100 grams) eggs room temperature (65-68 degrees F)
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) full-fat sour cream
- 4-5 apricots
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds skin on
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Prep the Cake Pan
- Wash the apricots. Cut the apricots in half to remove the seed, then cut them into quarters. Place the apricots in a mini food processor and process them until they are broken down into a smooth puree. Pour the pureed apricots into a 1-cup measuring cup or a small bowl on kitchen scale and set it aside until ready to add to the cake batter. You should have about 212 grams of apricot puree or a little less than 1 cup. If you can have as little as 190 grams or as much as 218 grams. If you have more than that, reserve the leftover for a smoothie or yogurt topping.
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk for 30 seconds to ensure the ingredients are well combined and that the baking powder and baking soda are well distributed throughout the flour.
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl or measuring cup and beat them with a fork or small whisk
- Place the unsalted butter, sugar, cardamom, vanilla extract, and almond extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer on low and mix for about 20 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is creamy and slightly lighter in color, about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and the paddle attachment.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until the egg is fully incorporated into the creamed butter and sugar.
- Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix on low until the flour is incoporated. There may be some flour on the sides of the bowl, which is okay. Add all of the sour cream and mix on medium until the sour cream is in incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the apricot puree and mix on medium until it’s incorporated and the batter has turned a light orange color.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl once more to ensure the batter is well mixed. For stand mixers ingredients often settle on the bottom and don't get completely mixed in with the other ingredients which is why it's imporant to scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix in any unmixed ingredients by hand.
- Cut the apricots in half. Brush the insides lightly with a little bit of lemon juice. This step is to keep the insides from turning too brown as the cake bakes. Arrange the apricots, cut side up, around the edge of the pan and place one apricot half in the center. Depending on the size of the apricots you may need 3 or 4 whole apricots. Don't overcrowd the top of the cake. There needs to be enough room for the cake batter to rise and thoroughly bake.
- Sprinkle the sliced almonds across the top of the cake batter. Make sure none of them are directly on the apricots.
- Bake the cake for 55-65 minutes. The cake is done when the top is a golden brown, center no longer jiggles when you touch the top with your finger, and cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean with no more than 1 or 2 crumbs clinging to it. If there is any wet batter on the cake tester, the cake is not done. The internal temperature at the center of the cake should be 205 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to perform a temperature check.
Storing the Cake
- Because of the fresh apricots on top, the cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 day. To store it in the refrigerator, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.