Nothing says summer like the sweet and tangy taste of fresh apricots. In season from June-August, the bright orange stone fruit is one of those summer treats I cannot wait to find fresh from local growers. In Fresh Apricot Pistachio Cake recipe, the fruit is complimented by the crunch of pistachios, creamy ricotta cheese and a splash of almond liquer. The results is a moist and delicious cake you can enjoy for breakfast, dessert or any time in between.
A Tie to My Sicilian Family Roots
My Sicilian Nana and Nano had a big impression on me growing up. My grandparents lived in Sacramento, and we would visit them in the summer when the days were super hot and filled with playing in the sprinklers, treasure hunts in the scary basement and fresh apricots picked from their backyard tree. When I see summer stone fruit at the markets, I always pick up apricots and love to make this Apricot Pistachio Cake.
Besides fresh apricots this recipe also calls for ricotta cheese, which is another Italian ingredient that reminds me of my grandparents. In this Apricot Pistachio Cake recipe, the ricotta adds a creamy texture that keeps the cake light and moist.
In my own updated version, I add a wee dram of Amaretto for extra flavor and a little kick. What is Amaretto, you ask? It’s a liqueur made from apricot pits – go figure!
For breakfast with a cup of Joe or light dessert after dinner, try this Fresh Apricot Pistachio Cake as the perfect summer treat.
Fresh Apricot Pistachio Cake Recipe
Fresh apricots are essential to this cake. You can easily find them at local farmers markets, roasdside fruit stands or even the grocery store during the summer months.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto (optional) – can substitute 1 teaspoon of almond extract
- 1/2 cup regular flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pistachio nuts, shelled
- 8 fresh apricots, halved and pitted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan with 1 teaspoon butter or coat with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter and sugar with a mixer. Add the eggs and mix, then the Amaretto (or almond extract), ricotta and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, salt and baking powder.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter combination, mixing with hand mixer on low until combined. Using a spatula, gently add 1/2 cup of the pistachios. Pour batter into pan.
- Using your fingers, push the apricot halves into the batter with the cut side up until the fruit is even with the level of the cake batter. Repeat until all the apricots are placed.
6. Sprinkle top with brown sugar and remaining 1/2 cup pistachios.
7. Place in oven and bake for 60-65 minutes. Before removing from oven, check center with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
Let cool for 15 minutes before removing pan sides.
Serve room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.*
* If you are feeling a little boozy, add 1 teaspoon of Amaretto to cream when it is almost fully whipped for some extra flavor.
Mangia! This Fresh Apricot Pistachio Cake is sure to make you dream of summer memories.
More Summer Treats?
If you are in a summer cooking mood, try this recipe from my kitchen: