Summer, the season of impromptu picnics, backyard get-togethers, and lazy dinners, demands hospitable and casual desserts that come together easily and feed everyone from large to small.
This is one of my favorites: a one-bowl butter cake, baked in a pretty dish, and topped with tangy whipped cream and piles of summer fruit. Easy as 1-2-3, and beautiful too.
The base of this summery dessert is my favorite one-bowl butter cake, which mixes up quickly and doesn't even require you to use a separate bowl for the flour and baking powder.
The cream on top is a quick blend of whipping cream and sour cream; the tanginess lightens the rich cake.
And then the fruit — just go wild. I like the contrast of colors here, with rosy strawberries, juicy blackberries, and ripe peaches. But you could use any stone fruit or berries. If you want to get really crazy, drizzle with chocolate, although I don't think fruit like this needs that at all. Just keep it easy!
More Fruit Ideas
- Peaches and nectarines with chopped crystallized ginger
- Red and black plums with pitted cherries
- Blueberries and blackberries with lemon zest
Easy Summer Cake with Fruit & Cream
For the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
For the fruit:
2 nectarines or peaches, sliced
1 apricot, sliced
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup blackberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch pan by greasing it thoroughly with baking spray.
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy and light, then add the eggs and beat until fully incorporated and creamy. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, and finally the milk and vanilla. Beat the cake batter on low for 30 seconds, then medium-high for 3 minutes.
Immediately pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops spring back slightly when pressed and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake completely for at least an hour.
Beat the cream, sour cream, powdered sugar, and salt together until soft peaks form. Spread over the cooled cake, then top with the sliced or chopped fruit.
Refrigerate until serving, and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days.
(Image credits: Faith Durand)