Updated: Aug 1
My family always loves to end a meal with something sweet, and in the summer, our go-to is usually a fruit cake. Fruit cake is an excellent way to repurpose soft and squishy fruits left in the bottom of the fridge, or for saving the over-ripe ones found under the tree. In many Israeli households, fruit cake is often quickly made for Shabbat, with fruit that was purchased for a nickel-and-dime at the open-air market just before it closes its doors for the weekend.
Here, I share the traditional version with a few changes. I swapped the margarine (that had been used to comply with the kosher diet) with butter, and since whole wheat and other grain flours are more common today, I split the amount of flour into half all-purpose and half whole wheat (Spelt flour would be perfect here too). Lastly– I recommend blending all ingredients in a bowl with a spoon, rather than using an electrical mixer. Trust me, the mixer is usually my right hand but here it takes the same amount of time mixing by hand and will result in a perfect spongy texture.
Makes 1 cake (use a 9-inch round cake pan)
¾ cup (105 gr) unbleached all-purpose flour + ¾ cup (113 gr) whole wheat flour (OR - 1 ½ cup /210 gr unbleached all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (100 gr) cane sugar + about 1 Tablespoon to sprinkle on top of the fruit
3 large eggs
150 gr soft butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4-5 large peaches/plum/nectarine, unpeeled, washed, and cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 360℉ and grease the pan with soft butter.
In a large bowl, mix flour and baking powder, add the sugar, the butter, and stir the eggs and the vanilla extract. Blend until just incorporated (mixture should be sticky).
Spread the dough in the pan and smooth it down.
Arrange the fruit wedges on the dough, pushing each wedge a little bit into the batter. Arrange in circles, starting with the perimeter of the pan.
Bake for 35 minutes until the cake turns golden brown.
Serve with a vanilla ice cream scoop (optional), and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Traditionally, we use fresh fruits for this cake, anything that is in season. When we moved to the US, I was surprised to learn that canned and frozen fruit are cheaper here than fresh ones. It’s completely the opposite in Israel (frozen fruit, in fact, are rarely available). You can use whatever is available and economical - from fresh apricots, blueberries, cherries, apples, or pears to frozen berries, drained tangerines, or canned peaches.