Hot Summer Spoon Cake

Hot Summer Spoon Cake

Hot Summer Spoon Cake

Recipe by Anna Stockwell

King Arthur 2020 Recipe of the Year

With tender cake hugging juicy fruit, this fast yet elegant dessert barely adapted from Anna Stockwell’s cookbook For the Table is the definition of simple summer pleasure. Get the fruit macerating before dinner, then stir together the batter while someone else clears the table. You’ll have a warm, gooey dessert in about 30 minutes. All that’s left to do is whip the cream — or, even easier, pull the ice cream out of the freezer. 

The Hot Summer Spoon Cake was one of our Bake of the Week recipes for July 2022.

Prep
10 mins
Bake
30 to 35 mins
Total
1 hr 15 mins
Yield
one 8” square pan or shallow 1 1/2- or 2-quart baking dish
Hot Summer Spoon Cake - select to zoom
Hot Summer Spoon Cake - select to zoom
Hot Summer Spoon Cake - select to zoom
Hot Summer Spoon Cake - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.  

  2. To prepare the fruit: In a medium bowl, toss together the berries, sugar, zest, and lemon juice. Let sit until the fruit is glossy and has started to release its juice, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.  

  3. To make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flours, baking powder, and salt.  

  4. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla.  

  5. Place the butter in an 8” square pan or 1 1/2- or 2-qt. baking dish and put it in the oven to melt; it’ll take 4 to 6 minutes using butter that’s cold from the fridge.  

  6. Once the butter has melted, swirl it around in the baking dish so it coats the sides, then pour it into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula to thoroughly combine.  

  7. Add the milk mixture and whisk well to incorporate.  

  8. Immediately transfer the batter to the warm buttered baking dish, then gently spoon the macerated fruit and its juice over the top. The fruit mixture should cover the batter almost entirely with a few bare spots peeking through. 

  9. To bake the cake: Bake until golden brown and puffed, 30 to 35 minutes.  

  10. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Whipped cream or ice cream dolloped on top is especially delicious.

  11. Storage information: Refrigerate any leftovers, covered, for up to four days. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • A wide variety of summer fruit will work beautifully in this recipe — Stockwell recommends halved strawberries, pitted and halved cherries, halved figs, or sliced plums, peaches, or nectarines. Stick with 2 1/2 to 3 cups prepared fruit — in a single layer, the fruit should cover much of the batter but leave some peeking through. 

  • While frozen fruit has many applications, we don’t recommend it here because it doesn’t respond to maceration in the same way fresh fruit does. 

  • Choose a baking dish that’s shallow and wide (rather than deep and narrow) so that the batter can bake evenly around the berries. 

  • The almond flour gives the cake a buttery, tender quality that is key to its spoonable texture. You can substitute 1/2 cup (60g) of King Arthur All-Purpose Flour for the almond flour in a pinch, though the final result will have a more traditional cake-like texture.