This simple sour cream cake is brightened by lemon zest and dotted with ripe apricot halves that cook down to intense tangy sweetness in the oven. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue with Alexander Lobrano’s article Eternal Terrain.
- Unsalted butter, for pan
- 2¾ cups flour, plus more for pan
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1½ cups plus 1 tbsp. sugar for sprinkling
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cups canola oil
- ¾ cups sour cream
- ½ cups milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 apricots (about 1 ½ lb.), halved and pitted
- Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ baking pan; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, beat 1 ½ cups sugar, zest, and eggs on medium-high speed of a mixer until pale and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add oil, sour cream, milk, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients, and stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula; place apricot halves, cut sides up, evenly over batter. Sprinkle top of cake and apricots with remaining sugar, and bake until a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool and slice into squares to serve.