This good all-purpose crumb cake can be made with any juicy fresh fruit. Try substituting prune plums or pitted cherries for the apricots.

Makes one 10-inch cake


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

3 egg yolks

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 1/2 to 2 pounds apricots, about 10 medium apricots

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

One 10-inch springform pan, buttered and lined with a disk of parchment or wax paper

  1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. To make the batter, in a large mixing bowl, using a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle or a hand mixer at medium speed, cream the butter until soft and light. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating about 5 minutes until very light. Add the whole egg and continue beating until lighter. Add the yolks one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping the bowl and the paddle occasionally. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Sift the flour and baking powder together several times then stir into the batter.
  3. To make the topping, mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Melt the butter and stir it in evenly. Rub the mixture to coarse crumbs by hand.
  4. Rinse, halve and pit the apricots. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Place the apricot halves cut-side up on top of the batter, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around the edge. Don’t press apricots into the batter. Scatter the crumbs evenly over the apricots and the batter. Bake the cake until crumbs are well colored and cake is firm and no longer liquid in the center, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Cool the cake in the pan, then run a knife around edges to loosen it from the pan and place a plate or cookie sheet over the pan. Invert and remove the pan. Remove the paper and place a platter upside down on the cake. Turn right side up and remove the platter or cookie sheet. Dust the cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar.

Variations Pineapple Crumb Cake: Substitute one pineapple, peeled, cored, quartered lengthwise and then sliced, for the apricots. Arrange the pineapple in slightly overlapping concentric circles on the cake batter.

Plum Crumb Cake: This is perfect in the late summer and early fall when the first Italian or prune plums come to market. Substitute 12 prune plums, rinsed, halved and pitted, for the apricots.