This weekend my universe must have aligned correctly. After my great success with my previous cake, I was on a roll, and that triumph rolled into this next cake.
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie choice was the Swedish Visiting Cake, picked by Nancy from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs.
And I want to take the time to send her a virtual hug and high 5, because Internet, this cake is the answer to anyone prayer when you need something quick, simple, delicious and sophisticated in a time crunch.
When you read the recipe, Dorie mentions that this cake was given to her by her friend Ingela, whose mother “claimed that you could start making this cake when you saw visitors coming up the drive and have it ready for them as soon as they were settled into your home.”
I don’t know about you, but my friends run to my house when they know I’m baking something. So in my world this needs to happen in 10 minutes top!
And let me tell you I timed myself because, there was no way this would be ready that quick.
So it was ON!
Well, once again, it was proven that mothers never lie. Because this cake comes together in less than 10 minutes and the hardest part is waiting the 25-30 minutes baking time.
Not that the waiting time is not torture in itself. Because your house will start to smell all lemon-y and almond-ny and sugar-y and I better stop with the “-y” endings. Let’s just say that your guest will be thanking their lucky stars that they have you as their friend.
The other plus about this is that it all goes into one bowl. No pulling out the Kitchen Aid mixer, no cleaning of bowls and spoons and blades, no waiting for butter to soften. All you need is one bowl and a rubber spatula. And a cast-iron skillet – I used my 8”, even though the recipe called for a 9”. And it worked out just fine.
It was so easy; I forgot to take pictures of anything except the empty bowl and the finish product. (I may or may not have been busy eating the batter, but I’m not saying anything.. mmm ‘k)
And the finish product is just so blissful in its simplicity that you realized that those mothers knew what they were doing long ago, before baking became all about steps after steps of complicated measuring and techniques. Sometimes all it takes is just one bowl, a spatula, and someone’s mother to show you the light.
Swedish Visiting Cake (from Baking, From My Home to Yours)
Makes 8 to 10 servings
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan.
Pour the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour. Finally, fold in the melted butter.
Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar. If you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.
Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.
Tom: Oh man, I don’t know which one I like more, this one or that one. Maybe you need to make it again? Like a face-off or something. I need to have more to make an educated decision.
The little man: I like the sugary top and the soft crumbling texture, can I take a piece for school tomorrow (note, he has NEVER ask before for a piece for school).
Me: **taking the last piece***... What? Are talking to me?
Everyone else in TWD: you can see their creations and verdicts here