I like to have something sweet and easy on hand for after-school snacks, a grab-and-go cake or muffin that doesn’t take me all day to prepare. This recipe was adapted from one for a French pear cake, but I replaced the fresh fruit with jam for a slightly longer shelf life. This is basically a tarted up pound cake but baked in a round pan with a jam layer in the middle and a sprinkle of sugar on top to give it a deliciously sweet, crispy crust. You could do it in a square pan, too, for easy lunch-box pieces.
250 g butter, room temperature
250 g white sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
250 g flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g strawberry jam
2 tbsp pearl (nib) sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 170°C. Butter a 24 cm round springform pan and dust it with flour, tapping out the excess. Alternatively, line it with baking paper.
Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one egg at a time, mixing well between each one. Add vanilla and lemon zest.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold until just combined.
Heat jam in a small saucepan or microwave for a couple of minutes, until runny.
Spoon half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Pour the jam slowly over the batter so it covers it as evenly as possible. Carefully spoon the rest of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the pearl sugar evenly over the top.
Bake for about 50 min, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.