Two-Bowl Fruit Topped Snack Cake

baking dessert seasonal eating Nov 14, 2022

Fruit Topped Snack Cake

Two Bowl Fruit-Topped Snack Cake - 8 servings or 12 muffins

This simple stir-cake is my favorite go-to cake when I want something quick and delicious using seasonal fruit. I make it all year and constantly try different combinations of flours. See notes before starting.


1 cup heirloom, spelt, or whole wheat flour 

¾ cup almond or walnut flour

½ tsp. each cinnamon and cardamom

2 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

¾ to 1 cup of organic sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup plain yogurt or kefir

3 large eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. of each almond and vanilla extract)

1 tsp orange flower water (optional)

½ cup olive oil or melted, unsalted butter

¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts, optional

*Muscovado or brown sugar (optional)

Sweetened crème fraîche to serve with cake (optional)

About 2 cups of fruit, see below

A 9-inch cast-iron skillet, a cake pan with removable bottom, or cake pan

lined with parchment paper, or standard muffin tin with paper liners


  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F and line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper or put cupcake liners in the cupcake tin.

  2. Sift the baking powder, spices, and salt well in a bowl large enough to fit the dry ingredients. 

  3. Add the ground nut flour of choice and whisk to blend.

  4. In a medium bowl, put the sugar and lemon zest. Working with your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar to release the lemon oil. Massage until the sugar is moist and aromatic. 

  5. Add the yogurt or kefir, olive oil or melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and orange flower water to the bowl and whisk vigorously until the mixture is very well blended. 

  6. Whisk in half of the dry ingredients until smooth. 

  7. Now add the remaining flour and the optional chopped walnuts, and with a spatula, stir and fold in the remaining flour until blended. 

    • Depending on the flour you use and the size of your eggs, an additional two to four tablespoons of flour might be needed. If the batter looks “wet and shiny,” add several tablespoons of flour or until a smooth batter forms. 

  8. Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and gently place the fruit on top of the batter in a pattern. If using the muffin tins, place fruit on top of each filled cup.

  9. For the cake, bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for ten minutes, and then run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. 

  10. Place a plate for the cake and flip. Remove parchment paper and place your cake plate on the cake. Flip again to the right side up.  

  11. For the muffins, bake for 18-24 minutes, testing with a toothpick at 15 minutes.

Using heirloom wheat or spelt flour gives the cake a delicately earthy flavor which is delicious with olive oil.  You can also experiment with other whole-grain flours. All-purpose white flour just doesn’t have the texture or flavor for this rustic cake. 

I like hazelnut or walnut flour with autumn/winter fruits and almond flour with spring/summer fruits. Any seasonal fruit can be used other than melons. See good fruit options below. 

  • For the best outcome, everything should be at room temperature, including eggs and yogurt, before you begin.

The spices listed are perfect for winter fruits. You can leave them out or experiment with other spices. Depending on my fruit and mood, I often use just vanilla or almond extract or extra lemon or orange zest. 

  • Serve cake with a little sweetened crème fraîche or whipped cream.

  • To get the benefits of whole wheat without the heaviness, try white whole wheat, which is a different wheat variety with a lighter flavor and texture than standard whole wheat and is fairly easy to find. I use King Arthur Organic White Whole Wheat.

  • Get the kids involved! Have a variety of fruits available, and let them top the muffins with their fruit of choice for their creation.

Fruit Toppings:

Spring / Summer:

  • Stone fruits such as peaches, plums, pluots, and apricots - halved or quartered

  • Pitted or whole cherries

  • Berries

  • Thin pineapple slices. Sprinkle with crunchy Muscovado sugar, which is unrefined cane sugar containing natural molasses. It has a rich brown color, moist texture, and a toffee-like taste.

Autumn / Winter:

  • Fresh green or purple figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise. Their flavor intensifies when baked and tastes like fig leather :-)

  • Apples or pears cut in wedges sprinkled with Muscovado sugar (optional)

  • Grapes

  • Kumquats sliced thinly

  • Bananas sliced lengthwise and sprinkled with Muscovado sugar (optional)


  • A 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom

  • A small pastry brush for brushing glaze over the berries

  • Pie weights or dry beans, peas, or rice for baking the crust. After baking, I cool the beans or rice and store them in a glass jar marked “pie weights” for future use.


  • Before starting, gently rinse the fruit in water and drain and dry on paper towel while making the tart crust and filling. The fruit must be dry before glazing.

  • The tast dough must have at least 30 minutes to rest in the fridge. 

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