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Simple cake to go w/ fruit?

A request from a pal for a simple cake to go w/ blueberries a pal fetched back from Michigan. Has anyone done Nigella's clementine cake w/ oranges instead? Any other ideas? I'm thinking a simple flat cake, no frosting, just to slice wedges of and put the berries (I suspect he'll make a sauce with part of them.) alongside. TIA!

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  1. I have been in love with this cake... Generally served with creme fraiche and strawberries, but blueberries would be excellent as well.

    Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake
    Serves 8

    1 cup flour
    ½ cup white whole wheat flour (or just use more regular flour)
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    3 large eggs
    1 cup of sugar
    ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
    Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
    ¾ cups extra virgin olive oil

    For serving (optional)
    Crème Fraiche
    Fresh berries (add a teaspoon of sugar and let sit for an hour or so to help release the juices)

    Heat oven to 325F (or 300F convection bake). Very lightly oil a 9” cake pan (or 9” deep dish pie pan). Cut a round of parchment paper that fits into the bottom, stick it down with the oil, and add a touch more oil to the top.

    Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

    Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on high speed for 5 minutes. The mixture will get pale and thick. Add yogurt and zest, mix until blended. Then add oil in a steady stream with the mixer on medium speed. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until just blended.

    Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, cake should be golden and center springs back to the touch. Let cool for a couple of minutes in the pan, then put on rack to cool completely.

    1. Pound cake comes to mind, Ina Garten has a good version. I would do a lemon flavor with the blueberries vs oranges- the orange may compete with blueberry flavor vs complimenting it.

      1. Joy of Cooking (1975 edition) has a Lightning Cake that's simple and great under berries. Here's my half-measure version that fits in an 8 x 8 pan
        Preheat oven to 375 degrees
        Grease an 8x8 pan, or 8-inch round pan
        Best if all ingredients are about 70 degrees F., so get out egg, milk and butter.

        In a medium mixing bowl, combine

        3/4 C plus 2 Tablespoons Cake Flour
        1/2 C sugar
        1/4 tsp. salt


        1 egg
        1/4 C plus 1 tsp. milk (I used skim milk)
        1/4 C. (i.e., 4 T) butter, softened "to consistency of mayonnaise" (mine got melted)

        Whip with electric mixer for 1 minute at low speed, scrape the bowl, then whip at slightly higher speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape the bowl again and fold in

        3/4 tsp. double acting baking powder
        1/2 tsp. vanilla

        Whip for 30 seconds on low speed. Pour into greased cake pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

          1. Jacques Pepin's simple Almond Cake, which is baked at 350F in a 9" springform pan but he notes that a loaf pan is another option. The original recipe includes whole plums but he says it can be made without including fruit. I have accordingly reduced the suggested baking time of 55-60 min.

            4Tb softened unsalted butter
            1 cup AP flour
            1 cup unlanched whole almonds
            2/3 cup sugar
            1 tsp baking powder
            1 tsp pure vanilla extract ( I recommend almond extract instead, or half-tsp each)
            2Tb canola oil
            2 lg eggs
            1/3 cup milk

            Butter the pan with 1/2 tsp of the recipe butter. Preheat oven at 350F. Pulse the dry ingredients together in a food processor until you have a coarse powder. Add the remaining ingredients except the milk and process till just mixed. Then add the milk and process till batter is smooth.
            Pour it into the pan, bake for 45-55 minutes until puffy and nicely browned.

            You won't find a simpler method, and almond cake is a great pairing for just about any fruit. Personally, I loathe the texture of that clementine cake and even my dogs wouldn't eat it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              This looks good... Think you could use almond meal and skip the FP?

              1. re: firecooked

                I would use the FP since it's fastest and but you could sub after calculating the equivalent volume. A cup of whole almonds, when ground, would have less volume so you'd have to weigh the nuts in both forms.

                There's a great, long-keeping, but quite rich almond pound cake on the back of the Solo almond filling label, and on their website.

              2. re: greygarious

                I've made this cake with plums and it is wonderful. I can see it being equally delicious with good fresh blueberries. Great suggestion, @greygarious.

              3. A simple angel food cake would be good especially with cream and fruits.

                1. I don't know where I got this recipe from - it's been years that I've had it. Actually, I haven't made it in several years, but now maybe I should while I'm thinking of it!

                  Italian Almond Cake


                  2/3 cup sugar
                  1/2 cup (5 oz.) almond paste
                  2/3 cup unsalted butter
                  3 large eggs, room temperature
                  1/2 t. vanilla
                  2/3 cup flour
                  1/2 t. baking powder


                  1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
                  2.Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Spray with oil.
                  3.Beat the sugar and almond paste together - it will appear dry. Add the butter gradually and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
                  4.Mix in flour and baking powder. Transfer to prepared pan and smooth the top.
                  5.Bake for 55-60 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
                  6.Immediately turn cake out onto a large sheet of foil. Peel off the circle of foil or parchment from the bottom of the cake and wrap the hot cake completely in the foil. Leave wrapped and allow to cool completely.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sandylc

                    That sounds delicious and seems easy to make.

                  2. I have made "Nigella's clementine cake" with oranges and it was great, in fact it was fantastic after resting 48 hours. Actually Nigella slightly modified Claudia Roden's Orange and Almond Cake from "A Book of Middle Eastern Food", wherein Roden specifies two oranges cooked for an hour and a half.

                    I've since only made the cake in question with oranges. It is so good I see no reason not to.

                    1. Summer Torte by Marion Burros

                      1 stick butter, softened (I always use unsalted)
                      3/4 cup sugar
                      1 cup flour; sifted
                      1 tsp baking powder
                      2 eggs
                      pinch of salt
                      fruit of choice; sliced into wedges (I used about 7 plums. Peaches, nectarines,strawberries all work great and in combination)
                      cinnamon sugar for top

                      Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and add sugar. Beat well. Add eggs and beat. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to batter. Mix. Spoon globs to greased 9 or 10 inch springform. Use a knife to spread batter to cover entire pan. Arrange fruit on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (amount depends on the sweetness of the fruit).
                      Bake for 45 min.

                      This cake is so forgiving, I can't mess it up! I have done it with all varieties of fresh fruit: blueberries, strawberries, mango, peaches. Everything is amazing and everyone always asks for the recipe.

                      My oven runs very warm so mine is done in about 30 mins. so just keep an eye on it. But so easy and delicious. And the leftovers for breakfast with a cup of coffee are amazing!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: thedryer

                        I love this cake. But host wants a cake to go under his blueberries, which he wants to work with himself. I was just thinking about it. Amazing cake. I can imagine it would be other-worldly delicious w/ mango.