Dark-roasted coffee.

Green-hued olive oil.

Earthy spices and stone fruit.

The sound of cicadas.

And this cake, made with cardamom, nectarines and extra virgin olive oil. It’s perfect with a cup of joe, eaten on the back porch, serenaded by cicadas.

Nectarine & Olive Oil Cake

The original recipe for this cake comes from Melissa Clark’s “In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite.” She makes hers with blood oranges and bakes it in a loaf pan. I used a 9-inch-square baking pan, nixed the oranges in favor of thickly sliced nectarines and added warming spices like cardamom and cinnamon. You could substitute any stone fruit for the nectarines and any spices you happen to like.

After all, it’s a cake that should showcase your own favorite things.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup sour milk
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 nectarines, pitted and cut into thick slices
  • Demerara sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a 9-inch-square baking dish with nonstick spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the sour milk and olive oil until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, being sure one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the mixture, stirring just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, smoothing the top.

Place the nectarines on top of the batter. Sprinkle liberally with the demerara sugar.

Place the dish in your oven. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving — preferably to a chorus of cicadas.

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