Apricot, Walnut and Lavender Cake?

This is from Yotam Ottolenghi's terrific book "Plenty More". Our family has three copies of it!

  • 185 gm room temperature butter, diced
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil
  • 220 gm castor sugar
  • 120gm almond meal
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 120 gm walnuts blitzed in a food processor to a coarse powder
  • 90g plain flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1½ tspn lavender flowers, fresh or dry
  • 600 gm halved and pitted apricots
  • Pinch of salt


  • 50 gm castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 190ºC (Preheat the oven to 190ºC(375ºF).

Place the butter, oil, superfine sugar and almonds in a stand mixer and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in small additions and continue to beat until well incorporated. Fold in the walnuts, flour, vanilla, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of the lavender and the pinch of salt.

Line the base and sides of a 23-cm (9-inch) cake pan with parchment paper. Pour in cake batter and level the top. Arrange the apricot halves, skin side down and slightly overlapping, over the top, right to the edge. Bake in the oven for 70 to 80 minutes, covering with aluminium foil if the top starts to brown too much.

While the cake is baking, make the icing. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice to get a light, pourable icing, adjusting the amount of sugar or juice if needed. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush the icing on top. Sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon lavender over the top and leave the cake to cool before serving.


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