Sunday 30 July 2023

Bring me sunshine ….

Sunshine Cake

The summer holidays have begun and, of course, it’s raining so what’s the best thing to do with the grandchildren? Easy answer - we’ll bake a cake! This is our Sunshine Cake and it’s a joy to make with my favourite summer apricots as its key ingredient. For this recipe, you can use dried ones too.

What you need

200g/7oz apricots (chopped)

200g/7oz butter (softened)

200g/7oz light brown sugar

3 large free-range eggs

200g/7oz self-raising flour

(or 200g/7oz plain flour + 2 tsps baking powder)

2 tsps cinnamon powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

A little milk to mix

To decorate

100g/3½oz butter, softened

100g/3½oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla extract

225g/8oz icing sugar

A few sliced apricots

A few blueberries

How to bake

1.      Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease two loose-bottomed 20cm/8in sandwich cake tins and line the bases with baking/greaseproof paper.

2.     Chop the apricots into small pieces. If you use dried ones, soak them for an hour in hot water unless they are already soft.

3.     Place the butter and sugar in a bowl or food mixer and mix until creamed.

4.    Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add gradually to the creamed mixture.

5.     Sieve the flour (and baking powder if using plain flour) with the cinnamon. Add this to the creamed mixture and combine well with the chopped apricots. Add the vanilla extract and a little milk to make a soft mixture.

6.    Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until well risen.

7.     Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. The cakes will shrink a little as they cool.

8.    Make the icing, place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and half of the icing sugar and whisk again until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and whisk until light and fluffy.

9.    Spread half of the icing over one cake. Sandwich the cakes together, then spread the remaining icing on the top tier. Arrange the apricot slices and blueberries on top of the cake in a sunshine face pattern.

Meryl says : use pineapple, orange or mango as an alternative if you prefer.

Apricots have an impressive list of health benefits – and if they bring some sunshine to our rainy days – all the better! Enjoy a slice!

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