I was so excited to be sharing this recipe that I alerted several of my friends as to its HG debut just prior to hitting the “Publish” button. Their early morning gusto upon receiving the news was feeble at best, but blame not those who have yet to have their mouths descend upon such golden deliciousness. Blame not.
In fact, I made this vision of perfection a couple weeks ago and have been waiting (not so) patiently to move into a new kitchen so I can get another into the oven. Stat.
And while I sit in my hotel room feeling the glitz and glamour of a cross country move smudge like mascara after a night on a pillow, revealing the distressed plane jane surface beneath, I dream of my apricot cake.
And my kitchen.
And real food.
I’ve been eating ice cream for breakfast, leftover takeout for lunch and bar food for dinner. Great when a choice, not when required. (Ok, perhaps Kahlua ice cream for breakfast is never technically required but hey, a girl’s gotta get her groove in somewhere!)
So, I dream of making cakes and cookies and pies.
And I think of this particular one.
It’s reminiscent of my Babi’s Slovak plum cake but softer, sweeter and much more moist.
Substitute plums or peaches and this would be just as dynamite. Please note a wonderful tartness in the apricots balances this sweet treat that other stone fruit cannot mimic.
This summertime pizza is one of those yums that even if you’re not hungry, the fluff of the yeast cake, the moistness of the cinnamon apricots nestled into the soft dough and the clumpy clusters of sugary crumble scattered about will immediately create a new pang of hunger.
It targets the need for cozy comfort in your DNA.
You will be rendered helpless.
And delightfully sticky.
For those of you who have never had a version of this as part of your childhood or have not yet worked with a yeast dough, this is about as simple as can get as a welcoming recipe: no kneading, short rise times and a gorgeously soft and manageable dough for beginners.
So, I’m counting on you.
Fire up those ovens, sprinkle on that sugar and send some delicious thoughts to me from your kitchen.
I need ‘em!
Slovak Apricot Cake
A fluffy yeast dough is first topped with golden apricot halves, is then sprinkled generously with cinnamon and sugar and finally a sugary crumble is scattered liberally atop it all. A soft and moist summertime dessert that, if it doesn’t hold memories for you already, will certainly be a prime memory for all of your guests from now on.
Recipe and procedure adapted from Bibis Culinary Journey
- 3 1/2 C flour
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/3 C vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 T sugar plus 2/3 C sugar, divided
- 1 C milk
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 15-18 apricots, ripe but firm and cut in half
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 T dry active yeast
- 10 T butter, cold
- 1/2 C sugar plus 2 T
- 1/2 C flour plus 2 T
- Grease a 13×9 pan with butter. Prepare the crumble by cutting the butter into the flour and sugar mixture. Use your hands to combine if needed. When complete, set it aside until ready to use. Also, prepare the sprinkling cinnamon and sugar by whisking together the 2/3 C sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Set this aside as well.
- Heat milk to 115F. Pour it into a bowl and dissolve the 2 T sugar in it. Add yeast to activate it and allow to sit 10 minutes until frothy and has a wonderful yeast smell.
- In a large bowl, place the flour and salt and whisk together until evenly combined. Add the egg and vegetable oil. Then add the yeast mixture and mix until completely combined into a consistent dough.
- Place dough ball into a lightly greased (with oil) large bowl and cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Place this covered bowl into a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, brush each apricot half on its cut side with vanilla bean paste. Use all the vanilla paste on the apricots. Set aside.
- When dough has risen, gently pat down dough and place it onto a lightly greased (with oil) counter and roll into an even rectangle to fit your prepared pan. Place dough in the pan and use your hands to even it and spread it into the corners.
- Place the apricot halves cut side up and push them gently into the dough. Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise 20 minutes.
- Remove plastic wrap once risen and preheat oven to 350F. While oven is heating, sprinkle the apricots and dough with the sprinkling mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top of everything evenly using your hands to break up large clumps as you sprinkle.
- When oven is preheated, place cake in oven to bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Great the next day as well- enjoy!