• Jeremy Scheck

The Infinitely-Adaptable Fruit Torte

Updated: May 12, 2020

In the absence of a real kitchen here at school, lately I've been looking into other ways to work on my blog. A few weeks ago, I updated the entire blog software and in the process I stumbled on some recipes I had written up and never got around to posting...

This amazing recipe has been in my family for decades. Both my grandma and my mom would make it all the time because it's super fast to throw together for a dinner party and it's always a crowd pleaser. The cake takes all of ten minutes (if that) to put together and always tastes incredible. You can make it as fancy or as casual as you want depending on how much care you take in arranging the fruit. Either way, the batter partially rises over the fruit in the oven, so it doesn't really matter how careful you are. This cake is infinitely adaptable — the original New York Times recipe calls for plums, but I use whatever fruit I have in season. In the fall, I like to sub in brown sugar for white and add warm spices. To make it even easier, you can even opt to make this in a 8x8" brownie pan and serve it straight from the dish — rustic!

Adapted from New York Times


  • Scant 1 cup (175g) sugar*

  • 1/2 cup, 1 stick (113g) butter (room temperature)

  • 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 2 eggs

  • Vanilla or other extract (if you want)

  • Seasonal fruit to taste

  • 1 lemon (or your favorite citrus fruit)

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Sugar for sprinkling

  • Powdered sugar, for serving


  1. Butter and flour an 8" or 9" springform pan, or for a rustic look opt for a 8x8" square baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  3. In a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar until they lighten in color, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating about a minute after each incorporation. If you're using an extract, add it here.

  5. Add in the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.

  6. Spread the batter into the pan.

  7. Arrange the fruit as you wish on top of the batter.

  8. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the fruit and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

  9. Bake about 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

  10. Run a knife around the edges between the cake and the pan to loosen it from the sides.

  11. Remove the sides of the pan and let the cake cool 20 minutes on a wire wrack before transferring to a serving plate, or keeping the bottom of the pan on to serve. If you're using a 8x8" pan, don't even worry about this step, just let it cool in the pan, on the counter.

  12. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

  13. The cake freezes very well after fulling cooling wrap well in plastic wrap. To defrost, bake at 300° F for about 10 mins.

*Scant means slightly less than the given measurement

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