Emergency cake

Some days you just need a little bit of cake.

Something sweet, just out of the oven to have with a cup of tea to coddle. Maybe you got a bit skinny and feel like it’s time to up the sugar content again. Or maybe you just need something to sit under some puddling ice cream and justify opening a bottle of sticky after dinner.

When those days hit, it’s good to have a ‘never fail’ recipe on stand by.

Something that only takes 10 minutes to throw together, uses ingredients you’ve pretty much always got in the cupboard, looks rustic and sweet and helps use up whatever dregs of fruit you’ve got languishing in the bowl.

This is a recipe that’s based on one from Donna Hay’s Off the shelf, which my late mother-in-law gave me for Christmas four years ago.

I’m never going to be the kind of daughter in law who gathers shells for a centre piece. I’m never going to ‘give traditional doilies a new lease on life by making them into a table runner’ (Hay, Donna, 2006. Instant Entertaining, p 145).

But I do love the clean and cheerful design of her books and magazine; and I’ll happily make this cake for her son. Often.

Rustic fruit tart/ emergency cake

(Via Donna Hay’s Peach and Raspberry Tart (p 155 of Off the shelf)

You’re going to want to take 125 g of unsalted butter out of the fridge and let it soften a bit while you preheat an oven to 160 degrees.

Take a round cake tin with a removable base and line it pretty rustically with greaseproof paper. I find if I lightly grease the tin, the paper then sticks to the grease and it’s no drama to get it to stay.

Put the cubed, softened (not melted) butter in a mixing bowl with 1 cup of caster sugar and a splash of vanilla extract and beat them with electric mixers until they’re duckling yellow and fluffy. Then add two eggs and beat well.

Lightly fold in 1 and a half cups of sifted self raising flour. Spoon the mixture into the tin.

Top it in a pretty pattern with some sliced fruit. Donna suggests thin segments of peach and frozen raspberries, which has a nice peach melba kind of touch. When I haven’t had peaches I’ve busted out apples and blueberries, pear and blackberries, and sometimes, just a very sad looking lonely apple.

Bake it for an hour. Remove it from the tin. It’s best served warm with ice cream.

And a glass of sticky. Some days are like that.

  1. This is my emergency cake, too!! Always tastes so good! xxx

  2. It is my emergency cake as well – thanks to you bringing it into Family Planning for various cake occasions. And I love how you can use different kinds of flour and fruit and it always works out. xxx

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