A cake for midsummer


I made this cake last summer, but somehow never got around to writing about it even though it was perfection. Who knows what happened—something distracted me or the moment passed. It is a Nigel Slater recipe (if the title didn’t give it away), and it needs to be made every summer from now until the end of time. I am resurrecting it here with the hope that you all have some raspberries and apricots at your market and can throw this together over the weekend. I sure will.


Sometimes it is nice to talk about something other than food. Which I do a lot of in my real life, but not as much of in my internet life. I was honored and pleased when Rebecca Hernandez from The Women Take Over asked me to answer some questions about feminism and equality, two things I care deeply about. Rebecca is one of the folks behind that fantastic You Don’t Own Me PSA during the last election. The Women Take Over is a great website that profiles feminists and feminist issues, with the goal of inspiring young people. I love it. I hope you will take the time to check out Rebecca’s site and follow along. Yes to feminism! Check out my interview HERE!



The cake is best the day it is made. Ideally you’ll make it in the afternoon to serve for dinner. I replace the golden baker’s sugar in British recipes with either granulated sugar or some of that less refined hippie sugar (usually labeled “organic”) you can get at Whole Foods. I always end up googling around for a way to make self-rising flour at home, because I never have it in my pantry.

A cake for midsummer (from Ripe by Nigel Slater which you absolutely must own—find a way)

  • 3/4 cup (175g) butter
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (175g) golden baker’s sugar
  • 7 ounces (200g) ripe apricots, 4 or 5
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup (175g) self-rising flour
  • 1 scant cup (100g) ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) raspberries

Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) springform cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Halve, pit, and coarsely chop the apricots. Beat the eggs lightly, then add to the creamed butter and sugar a little at a time, pushing the mixture down the sides of thge bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. If there is any sign of curdling, stir in a tablespoon of the flour.

Mix the flour and almonds together and fold in, with the mixer on a low speed, in two or three seperate batches. Add the milk, and once it is incorporated, add the chopped apricots and the raspberries.

Scrape the mixture into the cake pan and bake for an hour and ten minutes. test with a skewer; if it comes out relatively clean, then the cake is done. Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes or so in the pan, then run a thin spatula around the edge and slide it out onto a plate, decorating as the fancy takes you. (<—-I LOVE NIGEL SLATER!)


33 comments to “A cake for midsummer”

  1. This cake is so summery!! and pretty :) I’d go for a couple of slice with my afternoon tea!

  2. I just read (and loved) your interview- thank you! Thinking of you and Bryan – please tell Bryan that I have been thinking about writing about the dark side of Archie Comics since he sent me the Onion article. Hope you are having a berry-filled summer.

  3. Great interview! It’s always nice to have men on our side.

    Also, what is the pie that’s pictured? I love, love, love the round cut-outs of crust on top. Beautiful as always.

    Thanks for so much inspiration!

  4. Thank you for sharing this, it looks absolutely delicious, and so simple to pull together! I never have self-rising flour either. But since I live in Chicago too, I will definitely be making a trip up to Green City Market to get some raspberries and apricots for this. I finally went there for the first time a couple weekends ago (I go to school in Hyde Park, and I don’t have a car, so it’s usually a little tricky to get up there), and I was nerding out over all they have to offer! I bought some beautiful sour cherries and made the Bon Appetit sour cherry pie you’ve posted about a couple times, it was divine. Thanks for being so inspiring!

  5. What a pretty cake. And I really enjoyed your interview. I hope the apricots look good this weekend!

  6. Whether it was made today or last year, this cake is gorgeous! Lovely!

  7. Ah! Yes! I adore this cake. I made it earlier this summer, since apparently California has midsummer (produce) when most people have very early summer. I’m from the Midwest – this is still new to me. ;) And I, too, love Nigel Slater. Everything I have made from Ripe has been really lovely, and I can sit and flip through those pages over and over again…

    And yes to feminism indeed! Thank you for so eloquently sharing your thoughts on the subject in that interview.

  8. Yay feminism and un-fussy cakes!

  9. Looks like a real summer evening cake! Love the word “hippie sugar” :D

  10. Love this cake and I bet olive oil in place of butter would also be great. Will make this one for sure. Fabulous pictures!

  11. Holly: I live in Hyde Park and if you head to the 61st Street Farmers market on Saturdays, you will find Klug & Ellis Farms providing plenty of beautiful summer fruits at a better price than Green City. Lovely stuff*!

  12. Thanks for reminding me to buy Ripe! I love Tender but have meaning to get my greasy hands on Ripe for a while. What’s not to love about Nigel Slater’s whimsical recipe titles and casual but careful recipes? Now I’m off to read your interview…

  13. Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers says:

    August 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    As I’m in the process of baking this right now and also never have self-rising flour, I thought I’d pass this on. According to the King Arthur people, here’s a reasonable substitute:
    1 cup flour (they suggest a lower-protein pastry flour)
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Giving it a go, and like one of those annoying people who can’t keep from fiddling with a recipe the way it’s suggested, am subbing in blueberries and peaches, because that’s what is in my kitchen at the moment! I see endless possibilities for fruit swapping.

    And once again, my cookbook collection grows to include Nigel.

  14. Love it! Made it today with rhubarb and peaches – fruit swap. So moist and flavorful. It’s a keeper. Thanks.

  15. I just made this cake a couple of weeks ago with blueberries and peaches. It was delicious! (And I agree, Ripe is a cookbook everyone should have on their shelf.) Thanks Tim!

  16. Just taking it out of the oven now, and it looks amazing. My raspberries were a little too ripe, so they fell apart while mixing. My cake is pink!

  17. Ah this looks so good!!

  18. Thanks, Pam! That is so helpful.

  19. Great interview, beautiful cake, love your work!

  20. Tim. The interview was elegant and true. Rookie is cool, but your site is pretty rad too!

  21. It looks lovely! I love the summer fruits and the rich cake.

  22. What a gorgeous cake! I’ll have to make it before summer is over. I’m a proud owner of Ripe… I actually squealed in the store when I spotted a copy, and minutes later, it was mine. :D

  23. Great cake! Summer fruits are the best. Great with cup of tea, black tea like I prefer.

  24. This cake was sooooo delicious! Thank you so much for sharing :-)

  25. I must know where you got that cake plate. I can’t get my mind off it! (The cake looks lovely, too!)

  26. Hey Robin, I wish I could tell you where to get it. I found this one at an antique shop in Michigan.

  27. Your’re great! Wonderful interview. You truly come off as a kind, sincere and lovely person always.

  28. see, i was just flipping through my copy of Ripe for the umpteenth time over coffee yesterday, and tripped over THIS VERY SAME CAKE, and stared, and lingered, and wondered: is it REALLY as good as it sounds?

    i guess i have my answer. now, to find me some apricots….

  29. Hi! Do you think I could serve the sweet corn ice cream with this cake? I’m unsure if the tastes would be confilicting and it’s better to stay simple like the blueberry galette?

  30. schneiderluvsdoof says:

    August 29th, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Really love that bowl photo- the raspberry and orange colors are so rich!

  31. Hi- wondering if anyone tried this is a 9×13 pan? thanks!

  32. Love! I made this for a potluck this afternoon, and it disappeared in minutes. I didn’t even get to try it, but the crumbs were awesome. Thanks for sharing. Now I have to have a look at that Nigel Slater book…

  33. Shiv & I have made this once already and it received rave reviews from all who ate it. We didn’t have any raspberries, so we used all apricots. About to make it again today, with a combination of apricots and cherries. This is the kind of not-very-sweet cake that I adore with a cup of tea. Thanks for pointing us to it, Tim!

What do you think?