nectarine and cream layer cake

I've had this nectarine (or apricot) and cream layer cake recipe bookmarked since last year, when I first saw Warren Mendes make a version of the cake on The Cook Up. I just had to wait for stone fruit season.

As soon as nectarines appeared in the fruit shop, I made the cake as written, using plain flour. As you'd expect, the cakes didn't rise at all, and I was concerned they might be a bit too dense. I found another version of the recipe on Warren's instagram page, but that version used self-raising flour. I decided to remake the recipe with self-raising flour and a little bit of extra baking powder and I was so much happier with the way the cakes turned out. 

It just wasn't my day when I made the cake because I also had trouble with the cream cheese icing, which just collapsed in the heat. In the end I topped and filled the cakes with vanilla scented whipped cream and I also took liberties by adding a layer of homemade apricot jam, because why not?

If you'd like to make my version of the cake, here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm layer cake. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. 

Nectarine and cream layer cake – adapted from a Warren Mendes recipe
250g ripe nectarines or apricots, halved, seeds removed
50g honey
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
125g unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour sifted with ½ tsp baking powder
50 g (½ cup) almond meal

Topping and filling
300 ml thickened cream
1 tbs caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
¼ cup apricot jam
2 nectarines or apricots stones removed, flesh chopped into 1cm pieces
Preheat oven to 170˚C, conventional. Grease and line 2 x 17cm round cake tins with baking paper.

Place the nectarines, honey, sugar and lemon rind in a large bowl and use a stick blender to blend until smooth. You can also do this step in a food processor. Add the butter, oil, eggs, vanilla and salt, then blitz again to combine. Stir through the flour and almond meal until well combined, then divide between the cake tins. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste in a bowl and whisk until thick, either using a hand whisk or using a hand mixer.

If needed, trim the top of the cakes using a serrated knife to create a flat top. Spread the apricot jam over the base of one cake. Dollop over half the cream mixture, then smooth out and top with half the chopped nectarines. Top with the other cake and repeat with the cream and nectarines.

So, was it worth remaking the cake? I think it was and the layer of apricot jam with the cream and nectarines, made for a winning combination.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


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