“This cake is one of the best cakes I have ever made,” says food writer Letitia Clark. “It’s a little chewy at the edges, tart and juicy on the top, moist, squidgy and buttery inside.

“The tartness of the apricots marries perfectly with the almonds and cuts through the richness of the sponge; the caramelised top adds an edge of fudgy-intrigue, and the exotic scent of orange blossom lifts the whole lot into the arena of the angels.”

Caramelised Apricot Cake
(Charlotte Bland/PA)
Caramelised Apricot Cake
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Caramelised apricot upside-down cake with almond and orange blossom
Amount Per Serving
Calories 391 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 91mg30%
Sodium 161mg7%
Potassium 204mg6%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 1095IU22%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 85mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Caramelised apricot upside-down cake with almond and orange blossom

A zingy and delicious dessert
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Letitia Clark


  • 23cm (9in) cake tin
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowl
  • electric mixer


For the apricots:

  • 15 g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 7 - 8 apricots
  • 140 g sugar
  • 60 ml water
  • 1 tbsp  lemon juice (use the same lemon for the zest)

For the cake:

  • 175 g butter, butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g 00 or plain flour
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 100 ml yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • Mascarpone, to serve (optional)


  • Grease a 23cm (9in) cake tin with butter and line with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350 F/Gas 4).
  • Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Set aside.
  • Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently, swirling the pan rather than stirring to dissolve the sugar. Watch carefully until the mixture turns a light coffee colour, swirling occasionally to make sure the caramelisation is even. When the mixture is caramel coloured, remove from the heat.
  • Add the butter and turn the heat down to low, stirring until it all comes together. Add the lemon juice and stir well. You should now have a smooth caramel.
  • Pour the liquid caramel into the lined cake tin and smooth it out to form an even layer. Add the apricots, placing them close to each other, cut-side down.
  • For the cake, in a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar with the salt and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one by one, until incorporated. Add the flour and the ground almonds and mix again. Finally add the yoghurt, baking powder and the orange blossom water. Stir to form a smooth batter, then ladle into the prepared tin.
  • Smooth the top, then bake in the oven for 45–50 minutes, until golden and risen. Allow to cool for a few minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve with yoghurt or a blob of mascarpone.


Note: If you can’t find apricots or they aren’t in season, you can use tinned ones, which work surprisingly well.


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 1095IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg

La Vita è Dolce by Letitia Clark is published by Hardie Grant.. Photography by Charlotte Bland. 

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