Easiest Apricot Cake Without Eggs

apricotcakepThis moist apricot cake will please all the fans of tangy desserts. Especially those who like effortless recipes because, as the title suggests, this is the easiest fruit cake I know. First of all, it requires no kneading, no mixing, no butter melting… and if you make it once, you will remember the ingredients’ amounts for the rest of your life: it’s roughly one cup of everything (well, apart from the baking powder and salt). It is also original since it’s constructed with “scattered” layers of loose “dough” bound by the fresh fruit’s juice. Last but not least, it is one of the most irresistible, addictive cakes I know.

This might be the laziest cake recipe I know, and yet the result is impressive: a sweet, very moist, buttery cake with a crunchy top, divided with tangy soft, fruit layers… I admit the above messy portion might not look very attractive, but isn’t the taste crucial in home-made pastry? Actually, I enjoy its clumsy, obviously homey look and the occasional difficulty to cut it into neat portions adds a certain charm, which reminds me of fruit crumbles. When I serve it to someone for the first time I also make people guess the ingredients: no one has ever suspected this cake contains a big amount of semolina! (By the way, I don’t advise revealing this ingredient before the cake is tasted: many people are put off by semolina, especially in sweet dishes).

I don’t think you will remember, but I posted an apple version of this cake two years ago (see below) and haven’t replaced apples with any other fruit for years.  Now I have realised apricots are even easier to work with because you don’t need to peel them or grate them (chopping is enough) and they add this fabulous bright orange colour. Actually now I think I prefer the taste of this summer version too. In case you don’t have access to apricots, here is a link to the apple version (as you see this one was easier to cut):


Of course you can experiment this cake with different fruits, but they have to fulfill certain conditions. First of all, they must be soft and juicy (figs, for example, might not work here). You also need to use fresh or frozen fruit (not canned, dried, no jams, sauces etc.) because their juice binds the lower layers of the cake.  Mr. Three-Cookies has however braved these conditions and created a luscious-looking Banana Version with an additional cake “moisturiser”. Click here to admire his creativity.

Since apricots are (at least here) at their peak season, you find these recipes useful:

Apricot Clafoutis
Apricot Clafoutis
Gerbaud (Zserbo), or Walnut and Apricot Cake
Gerbaud (Zserbo), or Walnut and Apricot Cake
Upside-Down Apricot Tarlets
Upside-Down Apricot Tarlets

TIPS: If you serve it to anyone for the first time, do not mention it’s a semolina cake! People get scared and/or put off the mere mention of semolina (in any recipe, but especially a cake), so some of them will decide they don’t like it before they taste and… they won’t like it, of course.

Unless your health condition doesn’t allow you to eat butter, do not replace it with any margarine. One of the biggest advantages of this cake is its buttery taste and you will certainly feel the difference if you replace it. I have never prepared it with any oil, so I cannot give any advice here.

The smaller the baking dish is, the higher the cake will be, but the minimum diameter is 20 cm (about 8 in).

This is the only recipe where I am happier to use measuring cups and I discourage all my European friends from weighing the ingredients. Cups make this cake much easier and practically impossible to forget. My measuring cup = 250 ml.

Preparation: 1 h 30

Ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml):

1,2 – 1,5 kg (2,5 – 3 lbs) apricots 

1 cup semolina

1 cup flour

1 cup dark cane sugar (I have used muscovado, which is dark moist sugar; in general I prefer dark sugar with apricots)

1,5 heaped teaspoon baking powder

70 – 100 g/2,5-4 oz butter

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the apricot stones and chop the flesh.

Combine the flour, the semolina, the salt, the baking powder and the sugar, stirring well with a spoon.

Grease a baking dish (the smaller it is the higher the cake will be, the minimum diameter is 20 cm/about 8 in).

Sprinkle 1/3 of the dough mixture into the dish.

Cover with half of the chopped apricots.

Sprinkle another 1/3 of the “dough”.

Cover with the remaining apricots.

Sprinkle the rest of the dough mixture.

Cover the top of the cake with very thin butter slices, so that it covers the whole surface.

Bake until golden brown (it took me one hour but it depends on the oven).

Serve cold. (It keeps several days in the fridge. The top will no longer be so crunchy after you have chilled the cake, but it will still be delicious).

32 Replies to “Easiest Apricot Cake Without Eggs”

  1. I don’t use fresh fruits very often, actually, I don’t use canned ones often either … but the cake certainly looks moist and delicious. The Gerbaud cake is lovely as well.

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. Gerbaud was a complete failure from the aesthetic point of view but it was delicious.

  2. Apricot is one of the fruits (I’m not sure what other fruits, but for sure apricot is the one) that I prefer eating when it’s cooked/baked/dried. I don’t know why but I’m not a huge fan of fresh apricot. This cake sounds very appealing and great to keep when I buy or receive fresh ones from friends’ backyard!

    1. Hi Nami, I agree with you (though I like to have one apricot from time to time but in the same way I would have a banana). Apricots are quite dense and very filling, it’s true, but they are perfect in cakes, jams, desserts… Thank you for the compliments. I’m sure you would love this cake and it is so easy, your children could prepare it (maybe apart from apricot chopping stage).

  3. Sounds like my kind of fruit cake! I can imagine your apricot cake should be extremely tasty merely by looking at the photo!
    I’m ignorant about semolina, so could you tell me what the role of semolina is in your recipe? Sorry if my question sounds very stupid!

    1. Thank you so much, Hiroyuki. Semolina works a bit like tapioca pearls (which are by the way called “perles du Japon” in France!), i. e. it absorbs liquids and swells when moist. Here the cake “dough” is composed only of flour, sugar and semolina (no milk, egg etc) which is moistened during the baking process by the juice dripping from fresh fruits (I’m sure it would be perfect with any other juicy fruit, maybe persimmon?). The top “dough” layer is moistened by thin slices of butter which melts, so it becomes very crunchy on top. Compared to most cakes, the butter amount is not big though, but it produces an excellent crunchy result. (Of course your question isn’t stupid! As a teacher used to tell me: there are no stupid questions, but only stupid answers 😉 ) I think it might be experimented with tapioca pearls instead (I must try it one day!) though I’m not sure what texture they will produce (semolina becomes soft).
      I first prepared this cake because I was extremely intrigued by this original baking method (to be frank I didn’t believe it would work). It has proved particularly delicious and so quick to prepare, I make it now very often. This cake has been quite popular for many years on Polish blogs.

  4. Sissi, I have to say that Apricots are one of my favorite fruits and I love them fresh or cooked. Your eggless cake look absolutely mouthwatering…oh and one more thing, it does look irresistible! Enjoy your weekend dear!

  5. What a beautiful and moist cake. You tips are great. I agree, it’s better not to mention semolina especially when the person eating might not be familiar with it. 🙂 Good call!

    1. Thank you very much, Amy. Yes, some people just know they hate something before they taste it 😉 (If you knew how many times I do not mention there is tofu in a dish…).

  6. Hi Sissi, looks lovely even though I’m not a big fan of fresh apricots. I think it is because the fruit we get here is never properly ripe and tend to be flavourless and wooly. I’m going to give this a go with tinned apricots because at least they have some flavour. I’m going to try your original version too because I love apple cakes.

    1. Thank you so much, Hester. I agree: apricots are good only in sunny and rather warm countries (though for example Hungarian apricots are extraordinary, but I guess they must have very warm spring and summer in spite of cold winter…). I buy mine from France and they are always juicy, sweet and smell great. If you want to give it a try, do not use canned fruits. They will not give any juice. The apple version is excellent too.

  7. Sissi, I would love to have this super delicious apricot filled no-bake cake…simply, because of the semolina; sounds strange, but true! Lucky for us here in S. Florida that we get plenty of fresh apricots and they are sweet and delicious, and affordable.
    I love anything ‘apricots’…especially in jam, and love to munch on dried apricots. This is an unusual and delicate, light recipe without eggs…highly recommend for people with high cholesterol!

    1. Thank you very much, Elisabeth. (The cake is baked though!) I am also a huge fan of apricots in any form (the Hungarian apricot brandy… have you ever tasted it? it’s magnificent).

  8. You named all the attributes I love to hear! {effortless, no kneading, no mixing, no butter melting, … and easy to remember the ingredients’ amounts for the rest of your life, a sweet, very moist, buttery cake with a crunchy top, divided with tangy soft, fruit layers} I feel that this is going to be my favourite dessert! I shall try this recipe. Though I’ve never heard of semolina. I hope it’s easy to find at a grocery store.

    1. Thanks a lot, Sue. I hope you will try this easy cake! Semolina looks a bit like polenta but is made of wheat not corn and is almost white. I hope you will find it easily.

  9. Hi Sissi, thank you so much for your loyalty and your continued commenting on my blog, we’re going through some issues and its been rather difficult to manage both the blog and keeping up the comments. I really appreciate it.
    This cake does so wonderful, do you think it would work in individual portions? To avoid the messy presentation as you mentioned!

    1. Hi, Eva. Thank you so much for kind words! It’s always such a pleasure to read about your food adventures and see your appetising dishes, so I always seem to have something to say 😉
      If you want to have neat-looking portions, you might try the apple version. Somehow apricots made the cake messier… Both cakes are delicious though and since I made the apricot version only once, I don’t know if it was my fault or apricots’ 😉

  10. This is a very interesting recipe to me because it’s very similar in its ingredients to a traditional southern US cobbler which uses only 1 cup flour (no semolina), but uses 1 cup milk. All of the other ingredients and amounts are exactly the same and easy to remember as you say. So since the cobbler is my favorite of all desserts to both make (it’s SO easy) and to eat, I know that this apricot cake could run a very close second! 🙂 Love the layering and it looks like it has a bit of a crunchy topping. I would probably have to eat the first piece hot with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, then eat the rest cold as you suggest. 🙂 YUM!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. I found this recipe very intriguing because of the completely dry “dough” (no liquids, no eggs) and the role of semolina which, moistened by the fruit juice and melting sugar, binds the whole cake together. I also love the way semolina softens and becomes crunchy at the top layer, only moistened by melting butter and sugar… I have never had cobbler but it sounds easy too. I hope you can experiment with it one day.

  11. Thanks for the mention and kind words, much appreciated.
    I haven’t made this cake for a while – apples in the backyard are growing so this cake will make a reappearance.

    1. You are welcome, Mr. Three-Cookies. I have never forgotten your amazing banana version (though I still have to try it!).
      You should try it with other seasonal fruits too!

  12. I can’t believe this cake is eggless! That’s really cool, though I must say – I would be *proudly* serving it to people, all the while declaring that it was semolina-based. If they started whining about “semolina being weird” I’d tell them to shut up, grow up and get out. If there’s one thing that annoys me (no… there’s many, many things that annoy me, but this especially), it’s people who completely refuse to eat one certain food because of a specific ingredient which they deem doesn’t “go” in that type of dish… like courgette in a sweet cake for example, or this – semolina.

    Loving the look of the crunchy top… reminds me of a fruit cake my mother used to make (although that was *with* eggs).

    1. Hi, Charles. Thank you for the compliments. I’m glad you like this. The way semolina “operates” here is quite original, in my opinion (without it the “dough” wouldn’t bake). I have found that people have so many preconceptions about what seems to me totally neutral, harmless products… I understand that someone refuses to eat a calf brain or cow tripe or even a raw fish, but, frankly, tofu? semolina? carrot in a cake? (yes! this one is still considered as appetite-killing ingredient by some….).

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