Apricot Coffee Cake Recipe

I am currently spending a few days with my family in the Vosges, a mountain range in the East of France where my parents have a vacation house. One of the great pleasures of being there, besides enjoying the garden, taking walks up and down the mountain, and sleeping soundly in the perfect quiet, is baking with my mother. This is something I used to do often when I still lived with my parents, but now that I’m a big girl with my own place and all, these occasions aren’t so frequent and are to be cherished.

The bottom of the cake is nicely dense, its sweetness lovely against the tart apricots, and the top of the cake is deliciously moist from the fruit and the creamy topping.

The cake you see here I didn’t actually bake, as my mother made it before my sister and I got off the train from Paris yesterday. But I did eat it for the goûter in the afternoon, and it was absolutely delightful, which hardly comes as a surprise when my mom bakes. The bottom of the cake is nicely dense, its sweetness lovely against the tart apricots, and the top of the cake is deliciously moist from the fruit and the creamy topping.

I asked my mother if she would be willing to share the recipe with C&Z readers, and she said, “Oui, bien sûr!” She explained that it came from Woman’s Journal, a now defunct British magazine she liked to read, and which my father always picked up for her when his work took him to London.

She brought me the page she had clipped out: the theme of the article was “American Bakes” and it included — oddly enough — a Mincemeat Crumble Cake. But when she took a closer look at the recipe, she said, “Wait. Actually, that’s not how I do it at all,” and proceeded to walk me through her version, which was indeed quite different from the one in print.

So it seems that the inability to follow a recipe runs in the family, and it is my mom’s Apricot Coffee Cake, of course, that I share with you below.

Apricot Coffee Cake

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Apricot Coffee Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Serves 8.

Apricot Coffee Cake Recipe


  • 225 grams (1/2 pound, about 1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 150 grams (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) butter
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or more as needed
  • 500 grams (1.1 pounds) ripe apricots, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche (substitute heavy cream and/or sour cream)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • confectioner's sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) and grease a 22 cm (9'') cake pan, preferably springform.
  2. In a food processor, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and butter. Add in the sugar, and mix again. Add in the egg and milk, then mix again until just combined; avoid overmixing. The batter should be thick, but not dry; depending on the flour you used and its absorbency power, add more milk as needed.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it around with a spatula. Arrange the apricots on top, skin side down, in a circular pattern.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, sugar and egg, and beat with a fork. Pour evenly over the top of the cake.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Leave it in the turned off oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve slightly warm, at room temperature or cold, dusting with confectioner's sugar at the last minute.


The recipe can be made with other kinds of stone fruit, especially plums, or with rhubarb.

  • That looks absolutely gorgeous, Clotilde!
    Like mother, like daughter. :-)

    Hope you are having a lovely time on vacation!

  • Josie

    Mmm, mmm, mmm. Mmmmm. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: write a cookbook, Clotilde! I promise I’ll buy it, and I don’t think I’ll be the only one! :-)

  • pipstar

    This cake is scrumptious looking Clotilde! I was a bit worried when I first saw the title of your post as I initially thought that the cake contained coffee in it :-)

    I am SO relieved that it doesn’t (I don’t like the taste of coffee) and look forward to trying yet another of the recipes from your site!

    Have a lovely time with your family!

  • Carol

    I have been dreaming of a cake just like this. Have just gone out and gotten the apricots – so here I go. I can’t wait.
    PS Cookbook? Do write one. Your recipes are the best.

  • my mum has that exact same recipe!! coincidence? i think not. this could only be positive proof that we are, in fact, related! excuse me, i am over come with emotion.

  • Looks and sounds deelish. Is that butter softened first? Could it be creamed in a mixer?

    Pipstar – coffee cakes are usually just served with coffee as a midmorning or afternoon snack.

    I’d like to add to the chorus of encouragement. My own dear mother recently typed up some of her and my favorite recipes and presented me with a binder. Do please consider doing something like that (as a tangible counterpart to C&Z, ). I will be doing an occasional series of my mom’s recipes on Love and Cooking in honor of her present.

  • Alisa

    yum, we will need to try this one too! Have a wonderful vacation :)

  • serena

    i’d also like to say that i would very enthusiastically rush out to buy a copy of your cookbook, should you come out with one (& you really should)! & i know you probably have had tons of offers, but if you need help re: the book – proofreading, testing, etc. – i would love to help out.

  • Tenaya

    I begin to wonder how many of my confections are not quite right because of the inaccurate american measurements! I didn’t sift the flour before measuring when I made the conversions and ended up with too much–instead of spatula-thick, it was pie-dough thick…but the end result was delicious nonetheless! I also substituted non-fat milk for creme fraiche–not nearly as good, I’m sure, but it was all I had in the fridge. Thank you for this morning treat!

    I, too, would buy your cookbook, especially if accompanied by your delicious words, tales, and descriptions. And I would enthusiastically recommend it to everyone else!

  • Cecile

    It’s in the oven right now ! I did substitute raspberries for the apricots..

  • Hello again Clotilde,
    I tried the recipe yesterday and it turned out very reliable and successful!
    I halved the quantities of ingredients and made several small cup cakes, and they look pretty :-)
    I wanted to replace a part of flour with almond meal, but didn’t have much almonds at hand so just used some slivered almonds for decoration. Instead, I added some crystallized ginger bits to the batter, and it worked pretty good and I was very satisfied with the cakes.
    Thanks again for posting such a lovely recipe, and please thank your mom for me for her sharing one of her fabulous recipes with us!

  • Charlotte – I asked my mother, and the butter does not need to be softened. Out of the fridge is fine, and if you’re mixing the batter by hand, use the tips of your fingers to rub it into the flour…

    All – Many thanks for kindly expressing your interest in a C&Z book! It is actually in the works, but it is of course a lengthy process because I really want to do it right and have it be the kind of book I myself would rush out to buy and read, and I’m hard to please! :) And I will certainly keep in mind all your offers to help, that’s priceless! Again, thanks for your incredible kindness and support, you’re the best readers I could hope for…

  • kelli ann

    Charlotte – what an excellent idea – Martha Stewart would be proud!! my maternal grandparents have both passed away, and i regret not having done some archiving of my grandmother’s trove of recipes – although she was not much of a cook, her husband had a marvelous way with the simplest & most comforting of foods. rice pudding, baked ham, roasts, etc. in my (hah!) spare time, i should try & start a collating initiative in the family…

    the c & z book would find a great readership in Montreal! i am certain of it!


  • I tried this recipe a few days ago and it is delicious. I want to try it with blueberries. I am thinking of smashing the berries and cooking them with a little sugar and water to make a syrup and using that in place of the apricots.

  • Ewa


    I made this cake for Christmas morning breakfast and it was the best coffee cake ever. We had 12 people over so I made two of them and instead of apricots I used pears. Everyone was just raving about it and wanted the recipe. I just wanted to tell you know that this is a winner recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Irene Carrick

    Re: Apricot Coffee Cake

    How much is 500 g. apricots
    225 g. flour
    100 g. sugar

    I want to make this cake, but the measurements confuse me.

  • Carrie

    Wow – I made this tonight with macoun apples and sour cream. It is delicious – a buttery, crunchy outer edge and a dense spongy middle. I sliced the apples thin and they were tender and moist. Outstanding recipe – thank you! :)

  • I love your blog, or website, not sure what to call it. Your writing is great and your recipes even better. At our home we are fans.
    Thanks for the lovely cakes and pies.

    Paula from Helsinki.

  • géraldine


    Et oui il en faut une, c’est moi! Beaucoup d’années d’anglais et la catastrophe!
    Pourquoi les recettes sont-elles en anglais ? pas de version française ? c’est l’occasion de m’y remettre… OK… all right!!!!!!!!


  • Géraldine – Depuis septembre 2007, je maintiens une version française de Chocolate & Zucchini.

    Ce n’est pas rétroactif (ce serait un travail monumental de traduire 4 ans d’archives, de 2003 à 2007), mais les nouvelles recettes sont disponibles dans les deux langues…

    Et en tout état de cause, si tu as des questions de traduction, n’hésite pas !

  • seema

    Can we make this with dry apricots? If yes, then do we need to soak them before and how long

    Thanks in advance

  • Seema – I don’t recommend using dried apricots here: I think the overall result would be too dry. You can, however, use other types of fresh fruit, depending on what you have available: apples, pears, mango, plums…

  • This is an amazing recipe. I made it with just a small substitute of whole wheat pasty flour and just loved it. Would be great with other summer fruit such as plums, peaches or nectarines.
    Thanks for another great recipe. Just sad its taken me 7 years to make this one! Check out my version.

    • Thanks for the link, I’m so glad you enjoyed that recipe!

  • Angela

    Dear Clotilde

    It was by accident that I found your blog over here in Sydney Australia. We are coming into summer here and I was googling a cake recipe to make as I just bought a box of locally grown fresh apricots.
    I have added some lemon zest to the batter, but otherwise followed your delicious recipe thanks!
    Wish I had known about your book earlier as I was in Paris only last month.
    I look forward to trying some more of your baking recipes soon

    • I’m so glad, thanks for reporting back!

  • kathleen beccue

    What a sweet story behind this cake! I can just see your mom looking a little surprised by the gulf between what inspired her recipe and the recipe itself! I do that all the time and sometimes, tragically, can’t duplicate my successes…ah well. This will be my breakfast tomorrow. Apricots have just started to ripen here in the Republic of Macedonia. I’m sure it will be delicious!! Cheers!

  • Gem

    I tried to make the apricot coffee cake without much success. The mixture of the cake was very very dry and I had to add another egg and more milk so I could even spread it!
    I used some soft butter and some very cold, used a beater, as I do not own a food processor. Would that have made such a difference?
    I have been cooking/baking for over 50 yrs., and have never had anything like this happen! Please advise.. Gh

    • Sorry you had trouble with this recipe. From what you describe, it sounds like perhaps you used too much flour — did you measure by weight or volume?

  • Stephanie

    I had the exact same experience as Gum. It was dry, like pastry dough. I too added a second egg, and more milk. It was “salvaged” but I would not make this again. Something is off in the proportions.

    • Thanks for writing, Stephanie. It’s likely that you measured too much flour. Did you use the weight or volume measurement?

  • hanan

    the same experience right here .there is something wrong with this recipe. i used weight for the measurement and it was dry like a pastry dough .i think u need to revise the recipe.

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work for you, Hanan, and I thank you for reporting back. The measurements are correct as written, but it is originally created to be made with French flour, which has a lower absorbency power than North American flour — maybe that’s the problem. I’ll add a note in the recipe to add more milk as needed.

      • Kayenne So

        Maybe swapping the APF with half cake flour will help with the absorbency issue? Should the batter be thick like muffin batter or more loose, almost like pound cake? I’ll bet this cake would be great with fresh ripe mangoes! Will try this tomorrow when I bake off my cookies.

        • It’s supposed to be a fairly thick batter, like muffin batter. And yes, it would be wonderful with mangoes! Let me know if you try that.

  • The cake is great and really scrumptious, as you said. All ingredient proportions are good – I made it several times and had no problem at all. Thank you and your mom for sharing the delicious cake recipe!

  • Apricot kim

    I just made the apricot coffee cake & it’s the best I ever had. With fresh apricot’sfrom the farmers market – I needed to use a little more milk about 4 tbls but It came out perfect. I was lucky enough to have my mother-in-law to teach me to back, from apricot pie’s to plum jelly….making this coffee cake for a family BBQ & also Cranberry white chocolate chips oatmeal cookies & a apricot lemon chiffon cake!
    I hope they love everything . Thanks for the recipe !

  • Great recipe. Just made the cake for my class and have already eaten quite a bit of it myself. I made it with gluten-free flour, added a bit more milk, and used yoghurt instead of cream for the topping. Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks for reporting back Shaun!

  • Rebecca Kazimir

    Bonjour!! I have been holding on to this recipe for awhile and finally made it tonight. I don’t have a food processor and my hand mixer is not so great, so I was not sure if my batter was quite right, pretty thick and large chunks of butter. Used sour cream at the end. It was DELICIOUS! My family and I loved it. It came out more like shortbread, but that was okay with me! Also, instead of confectioner’s sugar I just sprinkled cinnamon-sugar on top. Merci!


    Hello, just wondering if the measurement of 1/2 + 2 tbps refers to melted butter or room temperature? Also, can creme fraiche be substituted for evaporated milk? Thank you!

  • This is an amazing recipe. I fabricated it with just a baby acting of accomplished aureate adhesive abrade and just admired it. Would be abundant with added summer bake-apple such as plums, peaches or nectarines.Thanks for addition abundant recipe. Just sad its taken me 7 years to accomplish this one!

  • Valerie Treseder

    Hola! My apricots are starting to ripen and I have been waiting all year to try this recipe. I live at a higher altitude than Vosges. What adjustments if any, would you suggest? Albuquerque, NM is at 5352′ (1631 m) above sea level. Thank you!

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