There is no shame in this game. Cake and coffee is an entirely appropriate breakfast. Especially if your fridge is flush with cherries and the garden rhubarb won’t quit. Plus, this is my favorite kind of cake. It’s the kind of cake that’s packed with flavor, not sugar. It’s dense without being dry and you can pretty much make it with whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. While breakfast cake is most widely accepted when introduced at a brunch, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used to make a regular morning feel a little more special.
With my summer being as unstructured as it is, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be making an effort to add a little more “special” to every day. I’d say I’ve done a decent job so far but it’s amazing how before you know it, a schedule that’s wide open fills up with new activities. I moved home in May and since then (while looking pretty hard for a job) I’ve sort of been absorbed back into my neighborhood life. When I was at school I talked to my parents at least once a week but now we’re basically in constant contact. You know who is on the favorites list on my phone? My parents and my grandparents (it’s a new phone, but still…). A lot of that has to do with “Who’s making dinner”, “Did you put the dogs out”, etc. but for real, we hang out. I’ve already determined that getting the chance to have so much face time with my immediate family (and the people I’ve known for so long that I call them family) after not living here for a few years, will be looked back on as a major summer highlight. It might not be remembered as stunning an experience as hiking in Sedona, AZ or pulling in my first fish of edible size in Saskatchewan but the memory of joking with my mom while we eat cake for breakfast instead of cereal will be treasured all the same.
Rhubarb and Cherry Summer Breakfast Cake
Recipe adapted from Not Without Salt. I added 3 cups of fruit total to this cake but if you wanted to add more I think it could stand at least another cup.
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup pitted cherries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, soft
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plain strained or Greek yogurt
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
Mix together the rhubarb, cherries, and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a small bowl. Let that sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 8″ or 9″ (2″ high), round cake pan.
In a larger bowl, cream the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla. Also mix in the rhubarb-cherry mixture and the yogurt. Stir until combined.
In another bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Pour the dry mixture into the wet and stir until just combined. The batter will be fairly thick.
Spread the batter into the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out of the pan to cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.
A thick cake like this stores best in the refrigerator and lasts for about 3 days…if it manages to stick around that long.