My favorite part about summer is the simplicity of the season. Long, sunny days. Lazy evenings. Hot afternoons reading on the beach. There isn’t too much to do or work for.
These little apricot cakes evoke these slow, bright feelings for me. They are fruity and tart from the apricots, and warm and buttery from the dense browned butter cake underneath. I made them early one morning, when my house was empty and quiet and I felt like baking. So I buttoned up my overalls, picked some lavender from my backyard, and got to work!
I love baking in the morning– it feels luxurious and productive at the same time. This particular morning, the dew was still clinging to the grass and the sun was just starting to heat up and the motions of cracking eggs and whisking flour seemed to be almost meditative. The bright blue summer day still stretched out before me, my house smelled like gloriously nutty brown butter, and I have time to enjoy my morning (something I usually miss since I sleep in) while I waited for these little cakes to bake up.
I want more of these summer mornings. Too many cups of coffee. Berries for breakfast. A happy, warm sense of silence. They are slow and bright in ways that even the coziest winter mornings aren’t.
The fact that it is already August is so unsettling to me (where did the season go???) but I’m planning on making more of these mornings (and more of these cakes) for myself.
To make these little apricot cakes, I used this Bon Appetit recipe. I swapped half of the flour for whole wheat pastry flour, to add a denser, deeper flavor, as well as to make them a little more healthful. I browned the butter. And I added a few tablespoons of fresh lavender to the batter, and then sprinkled the tops of the cakes with more lavender buds before they went into the oven. Eat these for breakfast. Eat these at a picnic. Eat these late at night and eat these for a little afternoon pick-me-up. Eat these and enjoy summer.