Posts in Cakes
Almond Plum Cake
IMG_9952.jpg

Summer is stone fruit season, which means juicy peaches and plums and nectarines make an appearance on the farmer’s market stands while the day’s heat slowly settles over Saturday shoppers schlepping around totes full of the season’s best. With a few ripening plums in the kitchen and a small victory to celebrate, this cake emerged from my oven on a sunny afternoon. I would call this the sort of casual cake you have when a friend stops by along with a splash of iced coffee or a crisp white wine, depending on the time of day. Not fussy in any way with plum slices strewn across the top, it only needs a dusting of powdered sugar and good company to share it with.

IMG_9967.jpg
IMG_9973.jpg
IMG_9970.jpg
IMG_9964.jpg

Almond Plum Cake

makes one 8 inch cake

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup almond flour

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • Pinch of nutmeg and cardamom

  • 2 small ripe plums, sliced into wedges

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan (you may add parchment paper to the bottom as well to ensure easy removal) and set aside.

Whisk together the all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cardamom. In a different bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs, honey, almond butter, milk, sugar, and almond extract. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Place the plum wedges on top.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before removing the cake from the pan. Serve at room temperature and dust with powdered sugar just before serving..

This cake pairs well with generous scoops of vanilla flecked ice cream, a drizzle of melted dark chocolate and a handful of slivered almonds sprinkled over each slice, or by itself with an espresso or chilled glass of bubbly.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake
oliveoilcarrotcake-3.jpg

Sometimes a few forkfuls of something deemed celebratory are a good thing on an ordinary day. A salve to a week that seemed particularly long, a festive treat enjoyed “just because”, or a choice to conclude a difficult day with a jubilant kind of sustenance, food that carries thoughts of celebration along with it can be a means of expressing thanks for all that is good and worth celebrating in life when had for no particular reason. This olive oil carrot cake is just that; after a tiring week I found myself clutching a mixing bowl filled with frosting, slathering scoops of the cream cheese confection onto these little orange speckled cakes. I wanted to celebrate with no basis at all, no birthday or anniversary or party to make it for, batter whipped and baked and frosted simply because it was a rainy Friday and a special dessert seemed rightful. I hope this cake, a spin on traditional carrot cake with a few good glugs of fragrant olive oil replacing the butter, brings a spirit of groundless celebration into your kitchen too.


oliveoilcarrotcake-5.jpg

Olive Oil Carrot Cake

makes one 13” x 9” sheet cake

For the cake:

  • 1 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 cups shredded carrots, carrot tops reserved

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13” x 9” baking dish with a bit of olive oil.

With a stand mixer, beat the olive oil and sugar together on high until the mixture is light in color, about 3 minutes or so. Add the eggs and beat for an additional minute. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt then add to the mixing bowl along with the vanilla, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the shredded carrots gently with a spatula. Pour into the greased baking dish, and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out fairly clean when poked into the center of the cake.

Allow to cool completely, even overnight in the refrigerator, before topping with frosting. If you like, use a biscuit or cookie cutter to create little individual circular cakes from the sheet cake, as shown in the pictures above.

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until combined and fluffy. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar while mixing, then the vanilla.

Frost the cake after it’s cooled completely, either cutting into circles or leaving as a sheet cake, and topping with the reserved carrot tops as a garnish (optional).

CakesAdelle EsborgComment