This cake is definitely not your most stereotypical dessert, but after discovering it at a recent family BBQ it's one I had to share. The cake brings together the classic combination of gooseberries and elderflowers - which herald the start of summer and it's soft sponge and crumbly topping makes it the perfect dessert for this time of year - a real crowd pleaser.

For the cake: 

  • 125g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g small gooseberries (the smaller ones have better flavour) - topped, tailed and halved
  • 3 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 125g self raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
For the crumble:

  • 125g plain flour, sifted
  • 75g chilled unsalted butter, in pieces
  • 40g golden caster sugar
  • 75g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
Before you get started, preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C) and lightly butter and line a 20cm springform tin. Next, put the gooseberries and elderflower cordial in a pan and cook gently for a few minutes until the fruit softens a little. Strain and set the fruit and juice aside separately to cool. 

To make the crumble top - put the flour in a bowl and add the butter mixing the two together with your fingertips to form a rough crumble mix. Stir in the sugar and set aside. 

For the cake, take a large bowl and use a hand held whisk (or Kitchen Aid if you're so blessed) to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in stages, mixing between each addition; if it starts to curdle, add a spoonful of flour. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then the gooseberries and lime zest, mixing gently. If the mixture feels really stiff, add a little strained gooseberry juice. 

Once your mixture is ready, spoon it into the tin and smooth. Sprinkle the crumble over the top, right to the edges and bake for about 40 minutes. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

To serve, scatter the pecans on top and cut into slices. If you have any remaining juice, drizzle a little on top. I'd recommend serving this with vanilla ice cream or gooseberry fool, which we picked up in Marks & Spencer.

Do you like the sound of this cake?