Austrian Apricot Sheet Cake

August 6, 2021
Apricot sheet cake Austrian recipe

This fluffy sponge cake topped with fresh apricots is one of Austria’s most beloved cakes. “Marillenkuchen”, as we call this light apricot sheet cake in Austria, is easily my favorite summer cake!

Apricots in Austria

In the scenic Wachau valley along the Danube, about an hour from Vienna, apricots grow in abundance. July marks the beginning of harvesting season.

During this time, farmers will sell freshly picked apricots at stalls along the main roads. So it’s not surprising, that Austria is kind of famous for its apricot cuisine.

Some of the most iconic and traditional apricot based dishes are sweet apricot dumplings, apricot jam and compotes, apricot strudel and cakes, as well as high-quality distillates and liqueurs like apricot schnapps.

By the way: Did you know that you can make delicious homemade amaretto liqueur using apricot pits? Try it some time.

Light apricot sheet cake recipe
This cake has a light and airy crub and is topped with juicy apricots.

About this apricot cake

The cake is made of a light sponge cake. I additionally add sour cream to the batter, which is not traditional, but makes a soft, light and airy crumb.

The apricots on top go soft, sweet and juicy during baking and are clearly the highlight of this cake. You can make this cake with other stone fruit, like plums too. By the way: I adapted the recipe for this cake from my Easy plum cake.

This cake has the perfect sweet and tart balance. It is fruity and not too sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, you can give it a light dusting of powdered sugar before serving. Just like they do in Austria.

Pan and sheet sizes

The cake is light, fluffy, and tall – if you bake it in a 9×13 inch pan (23×33 cm) as I did here.

You can also use a jelly roll pan (10×15 inch / 26×38 cm) or large European-size baking sheet (12.5×16 inch / 32×40 cm), but the cake will turn out a bit flatter. In fact, traditionally the sponge is supposed to be not as thick as shown in the pictures. However, I prefer it that way.

Step-by-step recipe for apricot cake

Fresh apricots for sheet cake recipe
Fresh apricots for sheet cake. Smaller ones are preferred.

Wash, halve, and pit the apricots, and set aside. Tip: You can use the pits to make homemade amaretto.

Sponge for apricot sheet cake recipe
Transfer batter to a 9×13-inch baking pan (or a large baking sheet).

Mix all ingredients into a batter and pour it into a greased 9×13 inch pan or a large baking sheet.

Cake batter for apricot sheet cake recipe
Spread batter evenly.

Spread the batter evenly.

Easy apricot sheet cake recipe
Place apricot halves on top of the batter.

Top batter with apricot halves, skin side down. Distribute them evenly and leave only a little bit of space between them (straight rows will simplify cutting the cake).

Make sure the cut side on top is placed horizontally so that the juices stay within the fruit halves while baking. I know it’s tempting, but don’t press the apricots into the cake batter. The cake will rise up around the fruit.

Viennese apricot sheet cake recipe
Bake until golden.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes at 350 °F (175 °C) until golden. A wooden toothpick, inserted into the cake should come out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it.

Austrian apricot sheet cake recipe
Slice and serve.

For a nice shine and extra apricot flavour you can stir together 1 tablespoon apricot jam and a little hot water and brush the apricots with this glaze when the cake comes out of the oven.

Let the cake cool, cut into squares and enjoy! Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Moist apricot sheet cake recipe
Enjoy the cake plain or dusted with powdered sugar.

This cake tastes best on the same day. Store leftover cake well wrapped in the fridge to avoid spoilage and eat within 1-2 days. Simply bring it back up to room temperature to serve again, or wrap in tin foil and pop it into a hot oven for a few minutes. It also freezes well!

Austrian Apricot Sheet Cake - Light and Airy

Yield: 9x13 baking pan (see notes for other sheet/pan sizes)

Austrian Apricot Sheet Cake - Light and Airy

This fluffy sponge cake topped with fresh apricots is one of Austria’s most beloved cakes. The apricots on top go soft, sweet and juicy during baking and are clearly the highlight of this cake. You can make this cake with other stone fruit, like plums too (see recipe for my Easy plum cake).

Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (1 kg) fresh and ripe apricots, smaller fruits preferred
  • 1 stick + 6 tablespoons (200 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup (180 g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream (or Greek yogurt, if you don’t have sour cream on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 organic lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/3 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  • Apricot glaze (optional):
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons hot water (or rum, amaretto, …)

    >> All ingredients should be at room temperature. Forgot to remove eggs and butter from the fridge? Place eggs in a bowl filled with warm tap water for a few minutes. Cut butter into thin slices or small cubes, distribute them evenly in a large mixing bowl, and let the butter soften on the counter (or outside, if warmer). During summer, the butter usually softens quickly.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) top and bottom heat. Grease a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking pan with butter (see notes for larger sheets). I use about 2 teaspoons of the softened butter from the ingredients above for this. Alternatively, you can line the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Wash, halve, and pit the apricots, and set aside. Tip: You can use the pits to make homemade amaretto.
  3. In a large bowl, add the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Whip until stiff peaks form. No need to clean the beaters. Just use them in the next step.
  4. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar and egg yolks until thick and pale, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Beat in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and grated lemon zest.
  6. Mix flour and baking powder and briefly stir them into the butter-egg mixture, until just incorporated.
  7. Fold in one half of the beaten egg whites to loosen the stiff batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
  8. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  9. Top batter with apricot halves, skin side down. Distribute them evenly and leave only a little bit of space between them (straight rows will simplify cutting the cake). Make sure the cut side on top is placed horizontally so that the juices stay within the fruit halves while baking. Do not press the apricots into the batter as they will sink into the batter during baking.
  10. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes at 350 °F (175 °C) until golden. A wooden toothpick, inserted into the cake should come out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  11. Optionally, for a nice shine and extra apricot flavour: Stir together apricot jam and a little hot water and brush the apricots with this glaze when the cake comes out of the oven. Add more water if the glaze is not thin enough to brush on the fruit with a pastry brush.
  12. Let the cake cool, cut into squares and enjoy! Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
  13. This cake tastes best on the same day. Store leftover cake well wrapped in the fridge to avoid spoilage and eat within 1-2 days. Simply bring it back up to room temperature to serve again, or wrap in tin foil and pop it into a hot oven for a few minutes. It also freezes well!

Notes

Using a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking pan will result in a tall (2-inch / 5 cm) sponge. Alternatively, you can use a jelly roll pan (10x15 inch / 26x38 cm) or large European-size baking sheet (12.5x16 inch / 32x40 cm) as well, but the cake will turn out a bit flatter. Thinner cakes bake quicker, adjust baking times accordingly. For an 8-inch square pan use half of the ingredients. If you want to use a 10-inch (26 cm) round springform pan, please use ingredients from my easy plum cake as those are suitable for this size.

https://www.lilvienna.com/austrian-apricot-sheet-cake/

Austrian Apricot Sheet Cake was last modified: September 21st, 2021 by Ursula

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