Now that the hot weather is passing and we are approaching fall the amount of stone fruit is abundant. And although we may be accustomed to baking and cooking with dried apricots, I find we don’t bake with fresh ones enough. Apricots have a natural sweetness, which is often accompanied by subtle tanginess and a hint of floral notes and can be somewhat tart when baked. This makes them a fun change to bake with, you’re going to love these apricot cardamom mini cakes!
These little delights are my idea of a perfect cake paired with fruit. This easy recipe is all about achieving that perfect harmony of flavours. The cardamom cake is dense yet tender and the aroma of fragrant cardamom is in every bite. It’s full of butter that bubbles and bakes almost to the point of brown butter giving a rich and sophisticated taste.
- Fresh apricots
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar, coarse sugar & icing sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Full-fat milk
- Ground cardamom
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
Tips for the Perfect Apricot Cardamom Mini Cakes
- Use apricots that are slightly firm.
- Remove any soft, bruised or squished parts of the apricots.
- Use room temperature ingredients; butter, milk and eggs should all be at room temperature before mixing into the batter. This makes a big difference in your cake texture.
- If your butter is too warm/soft (or was microwaved to soften) you may find it ‘bleeding’ out of the muffin cups. If this is the case pop your unbaked mini cakes into the fridge to firm up the butter for approx. 10-20 minutes.
- Be careful not to slice the apricots too thin for the topping and do your best to keep them the same size.
How to Store these Apricot Mini Cakes
These mini cakes are best enjoyed the same day. The tops slightly crystalize from the sugar topping creating a thin layer of sugar coating. This gives a nice texture but once stored the tops become soft and a little sticky. Although they still taste fine they are best consumed on the day they are baked. Store any leftovers in a tin (if you don’t have a tin an airtight container will work just fine but the tops will get sticky sooner) and re-dust with icing sugar before serving. The mini cakes will last approx. 2 days.
How To Make Apricot Cardamom Mini Cakes
Step One: Prep your apricots. Using a sharp knife chop apricots into bite sized cubes. Do your best to keep them the same size. Set aside.
Step Two: In a large bowl add your dry ingredients, mix together and set aside. In a bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric mixer) beat butter and sugar together, add eggs. With the mixer running at low speed alternate the dry mixture and milk in 2-3 additions until just combined. Add chopped apricots and using a spatula fold the batter together. Set aside.
Step Three: Evenly spoon (or use an ice cream scoop) the cake batter into the prepared muffin cups. Set aside. In a small bowl add coarse sugar and ground cardamom, mix to combine. Set aside. Slice apricots in half and place face down. Evenly slice into thin wedges. Place 4-5 apricot slices (skin side up) on the tops of each mini cake, gently pressing them into the batter. Then top each cake with sugared cardamom.
Step Four: Bake until set and the edges are starting to brown. Let the mini cupcakes cool on a cooling rack in the pan for 5 minutes. Once completely cooled dust with icing sugar and serve with whipping cream, crème fraîche, or vanilla ice cream.
Apricot Cardamom Mini Cakes
These simple sweet apricot cardamom mini cakes are as cute as can be. They are buttery, sweet, tart and are full of warmth from the ground cardamom. It creates the perfect balance between fruity sweetness and exotic spice.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 18 1x
- Category: Cake & Cupcakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup fresh apricots, chopped into cubes (approx. 4 apricots)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg white, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups full-fat milk, at room temperature
- 8 fresh apricots, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease the cups with butter and dust with flour.
- Chop apricots into bite-size cubes with the skins on, and discard the pits. Make sure to keep the cubes the same size so they bake evenly. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. And eggs and egg white, one at a time until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl add flour, ground cardamom, baking powder, and salt together. Mix to combine.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 2-3 additions alternating with the milk, beating on low speed just until combined.
- Add chopped apricots and using a rubber spatula fold into the batter. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Evenly spoon (or use an ice cream scoop) the batter into the prepared cups, filling approx. 2/3 full.
- Make your topping. In a small bowl add coarse sugar and ground cardamom, mix to combine. Set aside.
- Slice apricots in half and place face down. Evenly slice into thin wedges approx. 1/4 inch thick.
- Place 4-5 apricot slices (skin side up) on the tops of each mini cake, gently pressing them into the batter. Then top each cake with sugared cardamom (make sure to use all of the sugar).
- Bake in the oven for 28-32 minutes, or until the middle is set. Use a cake tester or toothpick to poke the center of the cake. If it comes out clean they are done. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Note: Don’t stress if some of the batter or sugar topping spills out while baking. This is normal and the tops will be covered in icing sugar.
- Once mini cakes are completely cool, dust with icing sugar.
- Serve with whipping cream, crème fraîche, or vanilla ice cream.
Mini cakes are best enjoyed the same day. Once covered the tops will lose their sugar coating and become soft/soggy. Mini cakes will last 2 days in a tin.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 340
- Sugar: 30.1g
- Sodium: 207mg
- Fat: 13.6g
- Saturated Fat: 8.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 51.5g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Protein: 6.1
- Cholesterol: 61mg
Keywords: Mini Cakes, Cupcakes, Apricots, Summer, Dessert
Yes, you can make these mini cakes into one large cake. Use a 9″ spring form pan (or a round cake pan) and creatively fan out apricots on the top (perhaps keeping them into bundles). You may need to double the sugar, cardamom topping for the top of the cake. Bake time will differ and take longer so watch your time carefully.
No, you don’t have to use cupcake liners to make mini cakes. Simply grease each cupcake mould with butter making sure to cover all the edges of the tin. Then dust/coat each mould with flour. You can use nonstick spray but I prefer using butter.
Although you can freeze apricot mini cakes it’s best to enjoy them freshly baked. Once frozen and defrosted the tops will become sticky and you will not be able to dust them with icing sugar.
Cardamom is a spice that is native to South India and is made from the cardamom plant, using its seed pods. It can be enjoyed both whole or ground. The plant is a close relative to ginger and turmeric. It has complex notes that can be described as peppery, piney, fruity, eucalyptus, and menthol-like notes, yet it can also have floral notes with hints of citrus. Cardamon is used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
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