I miss this cake so much. It was gone all too soon if you ask me. Devoured on a rainy morning last week by my family, as fascinated as I was at how deceptively plain it looked. One bite changed everything.
Imagine a basic butter cake, taken up several notches. Lemon zest, almonds and the softest, moistest slices. I have my sister-in-law and Dorie Greenspan to thank. One introduced me to the cake and the other created a recipe that many bloggers are worshipping! Google ‘Swedish Visiting Cake’ and you’ll know what I mean.
This unassuming looking cake is truly one of the best I’ve ever eaten. If you have 30 minutes to spare, there’s nothing else you should do with them!
I hunted around a bit for why this cake got its very unusual name. Apparently, it is a cake you can make when you see visitors walking towards your home, and have it ready by the time they knock 🙂 I love it!
The amazing thing about this cake is it needs no baking soda or powder. You can bake it in a shallow dish, without it rising a lot and still, miraculously, have the fluffiest cake you’ve ever eaten. Melted butter is added towards the end of mixing the batter, again something I did for the first time. I don’t have a zester, but grating a lemon through a small grater works well enough.
I’m not a fan of dry fruits, but the slivered almonds add a lot of crunch and flavour. My sister sat peeling and slicing them patiently, extra slice for her! Almond essence is called for, but I usually find it too strong and didn’t have any around, so I skipped it. I’m tempted to add cinnamon the next time I make this. Makes for a perfect tea cake! I’m taking this to Fiesta Friday, a bloggers’ party I’ve missed for the last few weeks because of a crazy schedule that didn’t allow me to post on time! Happy to be back 🙂
I don’t think I can say anything more about how delicious this cake is. One lemony bite, and you’ll be sold!
What you’ll need:
1 cup caster sugar (you could reduce this to 3/4th)
2 small lemons
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 tbsps butter, melted and cooled (I used salted, but add 1/4 tsp salt if you use unsalted butter)
A handful of almonds, peeled and sliced, or chopped as is if you prefer
What to do:
1. Grease a shallow cake dish or pie pan (9″) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 175 C.
2. Put the sugar in a medium bowl. Grate the lemons over it, ensuring you don’t grate down to the bitter white pith. Keep rotating the lemons to get only the zest.
3. Mix the zest into the sugar till the sugar is moist and you can smell the aroma of the lemon.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking with a fork. Add the vanilla, salt (if using) and whisk again.
5. Fold in the flour and finally add the melted butter, stirring till the batter is smooth and even. I used a hand mixer for just a few seconds to get it incorporated well.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothening it if necessary with the back of a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle the top with the almonds.
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden-brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool a bit and ideally, serve warm. But it tastes great even otherwise!