Little Nectarine Cake

We are exceptionally fortunate to have a variety of fruit trees so close to the convent where we can actually see the fruit daily ripening on their branches. I never tire of watching them, year after year, as they develop from buds and blossoms to fully formed peaches, plums, pears and apples. Right now nectarines are the main attraction and center stage in all their beauty, with peaches just behind waiting in the wings to make their appearance.

There is a sweet little cake with a zesty fresh lemon flavor that lends itself perfectly as an accompaniment to any fresh fruit.  It is a simple to mix batter into which you add slices of your choice of fruit according to the season; apricots, peaches and apples. It is surprisingly versatile and appealing and can be served in many ways.  Lovely all by itself with a cup of tea, or alongside a dish of fresh fruit, it also packs nicely into a lunch box or picnic basket. This morning a beautiful basket of freshly picked nectarines appeared on the kitchen counter, some of them still on their leafy branches. This afternoon we made little nectarine cakes. They all disappeared in no time.
Little Nectarine Cake
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Little Nectarine Cake



  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat 12 muffin cups with non-stick spray.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another medium bowl, until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.
  5. Add egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  7. Divide batter among muffin cups (cups will be only 1/3 full) and smooth tops.
  8. Top with nectarine slices and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake until cakes are golden and toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
  10. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let pan cool 5 minutes, then transfer cakes to a rack and let cool completely.
  11. Cakes can be made one day ahead. x
  12. Cakes can be made one day ahead.
  13. Store airtight at room temperature. Makes 12.

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