Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Apricot Walnut Lavender Cake

Best cake I've ever eaten

Desserts with a distinctly French accent have quickly filled up the page for sweets on this blog. Not clearly knowing why! It just happened. These are the delicious goodness of bouchons, eclairs, financiers, macarons, Madeleines and soufflĂ©. I have to admit I can’t be happier making these delectable pastries, much less eating them.

What do you bake when the apricots are in season and the lavender plants are almost in bloom?

The apricot, walnut and lavender cake is yet another French dessert. Of all the chefs out there, I least expect this recipe to be coming from Ottenlenghi. Given his middle-eastern roots and style of cooking, it is easy to forget that he got his basic training at Le Cordon Bleu. In Plenty More, Ottolenghi wrote: “I seriously urge you to try this cake and not just as a French classic. It has a moist and soft crumb and a delicate fruity topping, and it will keep well for a few days.”

He has definitively delivered on all that. Ditto to his entire claim except, perhaps, the last part. Half of the cake was gone in record time before it has barely cooled down. It was insanely good. Sweet and tart. Nutty. Intensely moist. The faint scent and taste of lavender reminds you of French countryside. I’d seriously urge you to make this cake!

The best bite is the caramelized edge

This cake is gone in record time

Note: This cake can be made gluten free by substituting the small amount (90g) of all-purpose flour in the recipe with rice and quinoa flour. If you don't have apricots, other stone fruits may be worth a try. I made a cupcake version with this recipe. The cupcakes were just as good. But I tend to like the bigger cake which takes longer to bake and the caramelization on the crust gives more depth of flavor.

A gluten-free cupcake version

Apricot in season and lavender in bloom


  1. It's funny. I have had this cake tagged in my copy of Plenty More for some time and have been waiting for fresh apricots to make a show in our
    markets . You beat me to it, dearie! It's such a pretty cake too!

    1. I have a foodie friend of mine, who eats like a bird, asking for a second piece. That's that good. I am sure you would enjoy the cake.

  2. I can almost smell the fragrance from the lavender! Such a delicious looking cake, and I am not surprised it was gone in no time!

  3. I certainly need to try the "best cake I have ever eaten". I am going to bookmark this for future reference.

  4. I really need to take a closer look at that book - I can't believe I missed this recipe. It looks fabulous!

  5. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS cake and photo!
    I am glad we are connected through this month's IHCC May Pot Luck!

  6. You have truly outdone yourself this week with two stunning dishes! This cake is so gorgeous it's inspiring!! I love the way the apricots look with the flecks of lavender - truly lovely! You have certainly done Ottolenghi proud! I wasn't aware he had any French training, but it makes sense when reading this recipe. I can understand why this is the best cake recipe:) I'm going to pin it to make.

  7. What wonderful foods you have made! I can smell the fruit and cake! Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Now, you are tantalizing me to try to bake this cake!!! I love how pretty it looks as well as yummy too.