Roasted Grape Snack Cake
I went grape picking in Niagara on the lake a few weeks ago and it was a really nice experience. The place we went to pick wasn’t fancy at all. It wasn’t a glamorous big winery or vineyard, just a small farm with a few long rows of grape vines ready to be picked and enjoyed. It was great to be out in the fresh air enjoying picking you own fruit. It’s something I love to do and always did growing up with my mom. If we didn’t have it in the garden we would look for a local farm that would have it growing and we would go and pick. Nothing is better than farm fresh produce - nothing!
Other than eating a whole slew of them on the way home I knew I wanted to make a roasted grape cake I had scene in a Food and Wine post. A simple cake that really seemed to highlight the grapes. So I did make that grape cake and here it is.
This grape cake is so unassuming but so irresistible at the same time. We almost inhaled this cake right after the last click of the camera but we stopped ourselves before filling up on cake before dinner. We saved some for a snack the next day and shared it with friends who totally loved it too and took some home with them as well. Cakes like this make me so happy because they are simple and made with simple and delicious ingredients that you likely have in your pantry. Simplicity at its tastiest.
Full disclosure time! I used Concord grapes with seeds cause that is what I picked. Guess what? It wasn’t the end of the world. When they were cooking down the seeds started to naturally separate so I scooped them out as they separated. Simple to do but a little tedious. Why am I telling you this? Basically to let you know it’s ok if you go astray a little on a recipe - all can be fixed. A seed or two really won’t kill you or the flavours in the cake. So if you can’t get any seedless grapes just be prepared to remove them when they are cooking.
This cake is basically an upside down cake but without the sugar and butter involved in making the syrupy fruit flavoured top/bottom. The grapes are enough with that touch of honey to create a jammy layer over the cake when it gets turned over. Just make sure and remember to line the bottom of the pan with parchment. I can’t stress that point enough. If you don’t do this, even if you grease the pan some of the jammy grapes will stick to the bottom of the pan. Even this can be fixed though. Just scoop them out and place them on the cake - it wouldn’t be as attractive looking but it will still taste good. To avoid that just use the parchment (just carrying over the thought that everything can be fixed).
All in all it’s a fabulous little snack cake - FYI snack cake is a small cake that usually is made in one bowl with just a whisk - basic and quick and delicious. This is a great one to have up your sleeve if you have a last minute dinner invite and want to make something to bring or if you want something sweet and delicious around for your afternoon tea. Hope you get a chance to make it while grapes are in season and fabulous. Enjoy!
Servings: Serves 8-10
Makes: one 8x8 square cake or one 9 inch round cake
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted plus more for greasing
- 1 cup of self rising flour ( alternatively - 1 cup all purpose flour + 1½ tsp baking powder + ¼ Tsp salt combined)
- 4 cups seedless red grapes halved (I used Concord grapes - check post above for more details)
- ½ cup honey plus 2 tbsps
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F
Butter and flour an 8x8 inch square baking pan or a 9 inch round one and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook 3 cups of the grapes and 2 tbsp of honey over medium high heat, stirring until liquid has mostly evaporated, approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the grapes and spread into the prepared baking pan
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter with the rest of the honey, the eggs, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest.
Whisk in the flour until batter is smooth and then pour batter over grapes and smooth surface.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the centre of it comes out clean.
Let stand on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes then use a knife to loosen sides of cake and invert onto rack and let cool completely.
Enjoy as is or dust with powdered sugar or with a dollop of whipped cream before serving.