One of my favorite things to bake in the summer is this nectarine tea cake. It’s a great way to use stone fruit that I have on the counter. There are so many ways you can go with in this cake. You can use nectarines, peaches, plums or apricots. In the fall I make it with sliced apples and cinnamon.
It is important to use fruit that is not too ripe or the cake will turn out soggy. Firm ripe is the best here where the fruit has just a little give when you press it with your finger. Flavorings like vanilla, lemon zest, and nutmeg gives the cake a delicate flavor. You can use any 8-inch, round or square baking dish, or springform pan. When using a round springform pan, make sure you butter the pan, line it with parchment, and butter the parchment.
Make the Cake
First, let the butter, eggs, and half and half sit on the counter for at least thirty minutes to bring it to room temperature. Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then, butter the baking dish well and set it aside. Take 2 tablespoons of sugar (out of the 1 cup of sugar) and mix it with the ground nutmeg in a small bowl. Set this mixture aside for the topping.
You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer to mix the batter. Beat the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides with a silicone spatula and beat again to mix. On low speed, stir in the flour, baking powder, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, and half and half. Scrape the sides and mix again. Spread the batter evenly into the buttered baking dish or pan. Arrange fruit slices on top of the batter. I used a square baking dish, so I lined up the fruit as in picture below, making sure the slices touch each other. As the batter rises, the fruit slices will separate a bit. If you are using a round springform pan, arrange the fruit in a spiral pattern. Bake the cake in the oven for 45 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Because every oven is different, check with a toothpick at 40 minutes. When the cake is ready, transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Dust it lightly with powdered sugar on top.
Take advantage of the stone fruits we have in season now and make this summer cake. It’s perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.