This is the kind of thing you throw together when your fruit trees are producing more than you can manage, or if you’ve gone a little crazy at the farmers’ market. Back in Slovakia we have an orchard of nearly 30 little fruit trees, but here in California we have just one rather bedraggled nectarine tree. It miraculously produced about 8 or 10 nectarines,
but then something took a single bite out of most of them, leaving only a few untouched. Sigh. It’s funny that here in the suburbs we have more trouble with wildlife than we did in the wide open spaces of Central Europe.
ANYWAY. Pair a not-too-sweet cake with your favorite fruit and you’ve got bublanina, a Czechoslovak summer classic (although I’ve been known to make it with canned fruit for a taste of sunshine any time). This is a very simple recipe, and infinitely flexible – try adding a little lemon zest, or a swirl of jam, or anything that takes your fancy.
Bublanina – fruity snack cake
Almost any kind of soft fruit works here; we usually stick with stone fruit such as plums, peaches, or cherries; berries also work, although they will kind of melt into the cake. Apples and pears may not cook through in the short time it takes to bake the cake itself. I like to sprinkle a couple teaspoons of demerara or other coarse sugar over the top before baking for a little crunch.
Makes one 9×13″ rectangular cake, or two 8″ rounds
- 6 Tbs/85 g butter
- 1 rounded cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ C flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- About 1 cup fruit, cut into chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 C. Grease and flour a 9×13″ pan and set it aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat until fluffly, about 2 minutes.
- Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing gently until just combined. Don’t overmix or the cake will be tough – the batter will be quite stiff and doughy.
- Gently spread the batter into the prepared pan, and then press the fruit into the surface. Be generous, the batter expands quite a lot so you can use more fruit than you think.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and the top springs back when touched. Slice and serve.