You can feel good about eating cake when you include ground almonds and heaps of fresh fruit.
200g (about 7 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and softened 225g (about 8 ounces) caster sugar (superfine granulated sugar) 4 medium (size 6) free-range eggs, at room temperature 150g (5 ounces) self-raising flour, sifted 70g (about 2 ounces) ground almonds Finely grated zest 1 lemon 2 Tbsp milk, at room temperature (warm through in a microwave if necessary) 6 large plums (500g/about 1 pound), washed and dried, or a mixture of nectarines, peaches and plums Icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), for dusting Cream or unsweetened yoghurt for serving
To ensure success, read all the tips here Cake-making tips
1 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the bottom and sides of a 22-23cm (8½ -9 inch) cake tin with baking (parchment) paper.
2 Put butter in a bowl and briefly beat with an electric beater until creamy and loose. Beat in caster sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue beating until fluffy and lighter in colour (creamed). You’ll need to stop the machine and scrape the sides of the bowl several times.
Beat eggs together with a fork, then add them gradually to the creamed butter and sugar, adding 2 tablespoons of the measured flour halfway through to help stabilise the mixture.
3 Sift over remaining flour and fold in using a large metal spoon. Mix in the ground almonds, lemon zest and milk. Spoon cake batter into prepared tin, smoothing the top with a knife.
4 Halve the plums, remove stones and cut each half into 3-4 pieces. Place plums on top of cake batter – they don’t need to be arranged as they will sink into the batter during cooking. Cook cake for 50-60 minutes, or until well risen and golden. The cake should spring back when touched with the finger and be shrinking slightly from the sides of the tin.
5 Remove cake from oven and let it cool for 30 minutes in the tin. Loosen from sides of tin with a flat-bladed knife. Turn cake out of tin by covering it with a large plate, then turning cake and plate over so cake falls onto plate. Lift tin off. Peel baking paper off bottom of cake if still attached, then cover cake with a cooling rack lined with fresh baking (parchment) paper, flip over and lift off the plate. Leave to cool. Dust with icing sugar and transfer to a serving plate.