Birthday cakes are my favourite to make, especially if unexpected. Funnily enough I am inclined to go to more effort if they are a surprise. This one here was a surprise (or at least it was supposed to be).
This cake was for the Fella's sister's birthday. Now the problem that I have is that each time I am invited to his parent's for dinner I turn up with a wee cake of a different flavour. I am starting to run out of flavours of light summery cakes. I searched through the archives for something I hadn't made for them already when I was reminded of the nectarine cake I made last year. It was delicious although I only made a single layer of the cake. I am a massive fan of naked layer cakes so of course I had to double the recipe.
I felt that it was lacking a bright splash of colour which I feel is needed when cakes are for birthdays. I found some raspberries in the freezer, actually that is a lie, I purposely went out and bought raspberries for this. Anyway I added a cup or so of raspberries to the cake to liven things up a wee bit.
Cream cheese icing also came to the party. Mainly because cream cheese icing is delicious. Actually that is the only reason cream cheese icing came to the party.
This cake kind of has identity issues. It has cinnamon and ginger but also coconut but also fruit but also lemon in it. It obviously couldn't make up it's mind. regardless of this peculiar mix of flavourings this cake is still delicious. So you should probably definitely make it.
Nectarine Raspberry Summer Cake
Makes 2 20cm layers
For the cake
1 cup milk
zest and juice of two lemons
250g butter, softened
2 cup caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup desiccated coconut
5 ripe nectarines, diced into half centimetre cubes
1 cup frozen raspberries
Cream cheese icing
150g cream cheese, softened
40g butter, softened
3 or so cups icing sugar (a little more if you want a stiff and pipable icing)
Juice of half to a full lemon
Whole dried rosebuds
Freeze dried raspberries
Whole fresh raspberries
Small fresh flowers
Threaded lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line and grease two 20cm spring form cake tins.
Mix together the lemon juice to the milk and leave to sit and curdle slightly. Cream together the butter,sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy then add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Sieve together the flour, ginger, cinnamon and baking powder then stir through the coconut into the dry mix. Add the dry mixture to the batter in two lots, alternating with the milk mix. Stir until only just combined. Fold through the nectatine and the raspberries before splitting the batter between the two tins.
Bake the cakes for 60-70 minutes - check after 50 to see if everything is on track and add more time from there. Once a skewer comes out clean, remove the cakes from the oven and elave to cool fully before icing.
To make the icing, beat together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth then start mixing in the icing sugar with a few squeezes of lemon to loosen it. If you want to pipe a border on the top of the cake add enough icing sugar so that the icing is stiff and will hold a strong peak. If you want it drippy add more lemon.
To assemble the cakes, make sure they are level (they proabbly will be - it is not a very domey cake reciep). Place one layer of cake on a board, dollop with a nice big scoop of icing and spread to just before the edges. Place the second cake on top and ice the top surface too. Use a star shaped nozzle in a piping bag if you want to create a border. Decorate the top of the cake however you see fit. Keep this cake stored at room temperature - it is best consumed within two days of baking.