These. Are. Fabulous.
And fool proof! Very rarely do I bake something and have it turn out perfectly, in my opinion. But the directions here are very easy to follow, and as long as you measure correctly, I can pretty much guarantee you'll achieve the desired result; unless, of course, your oven sucks.
There is nothing complicated here, and what takes the longest is slicing the fruit. Now, the original recipe calls for apricots, but since I had a drawer full of pluots from our neighbor, I decided to use a couple of those. And I cut up 4, using most of the slices. The end result was heavenly. I think it's the lemon zest that really pushed these over a delicious edge, and the light and fluffy texture makes you believe these cakes can't possibly be bad for you.
Little Apricot Cakes
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
2 apricots, halved, pitted, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 tablespoons raw sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat muffin cups with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another medium bowl, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until combined.
With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin cups (cups will be only 1/3 full) and smooth tops. Top with apricot slices and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake until cakes are golden and a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20–25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let pan cool 5 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack and let cool completely.
DO AHEAD: Cakes can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.