As the weather finally starts to get cooler in Sydney I find myself more willing to crank up the oven and do some baking. Those hot humid days of summer are more suited to fruit and ice creams but nothing beats a nice moist cake with a hot cup of tea or coffee on a brisk autumn day. I’m a big fan of cakes which include buttermilk, they always have such a nice crumb and are wonderfully moist. This coffee cake is no exception and has the added bonus of using two of my favourite ingredients – walnuts and apricots! This is an easy cake to pull together, in fact you won’t even need to pull out your stand mixer, but like all cakes you’ll get the best results if you measure carefully and make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda (bi-carbonate of soda)
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup diced dried apricots
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
¼ cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup apricot jam or preserves
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2½ tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan. For easier removal of cake from the pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and lightly grease parchment. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the apricot pieces and whisk to combine.
Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, ½ cup sugar, and butter in a separate bowl. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to until just combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Dollop jam by teaspoonfuls over batter and swirl with a knife. Sprinkle walnuts on top of batter. Sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon sugar on top of walnuts.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.