It’s a bit of an oddly named thing, the 3×3 cake, but I couldn’t think of anything better at the time.
The name comes from the recipe itself, and if we were being pedantic, then it should be called the 3×300 cake, but we aren’t, so it isn’t.
It’s equal parts sugar, flour and fat, with the addition of some eggs, all mixed together in one bowl and then thrown into the oven with some fruit on the top. So, not only does it taste great, but it is also quick, easy and doesn’t leave much washing up.
It’s a cake for all seasons. In the summer leave it to cool, and eat it at room temperature with a fruity white wine. In the winter, eat it straight from the oven with a nice cup of tea.
You could really use any fruit for this cake, as long as it isn’t too soft, so plums, apricots, apples, pears, etc. are in, and berries are out. Pick whatever firm fruit is in season at the time you are making it, and then adjust the amount of sugar that you sprinkle on at the end, to fit the tartness of the fruit.
We normally make it with plums, but we’ve also tried it with apricots and apples, and they both work well. If you are using plums or something of a similar size, then cut them in half and remove the stones from the middle, if you are using apples, then core them and cut them into wedges.
- 300g plain flour
- 300g sugar
- 300g margarine
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Fruit (see notes)
- Sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat the oven to 180°C, and prepare the baking tin by greasing it with butter and sprinkling with breadcrumbs.
Cut the margarine into cubes, sift the flour, and combine them with the other ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour the mixture into your prepared baking tin.
Cut and deseed the fruit, and lay the pieces on top of the cake mixture, with the cut sides facing upwards.
Sprinkle with sugar (the amount depends on the tartness of the fruit you are using).
Bake for about 40 minutes
Fiddle with it
Because it is so simple, both in execution and in flavours, this recipe is a perfect base to play around with.
Try adding cinnamon or other spices when you sprinkle the sugar over the fruit before baking, or maybe adding some vanilla to the base. Try different combinations of fruits as well, as long as they aren’t too soft, it really is hard to go wrong.