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Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Butter a 23cm-deep cake tin (preferably not loose-based, see tip below) and line the base with silicone or baking parchment. Mix the topping ingredients and spread over the base of the tin.
Mix the milk and vanilla together. Put the sugar and eggs into a large bowl and whisk with a tabletop or hand electric mixer until the mixture is thick, pale and increased in volume, about 5 mins. Test it is ready by lifting the whisk blades – if the mixture briefly leaves a trail, you are ready to proceed.
Add one-third of the flour and whisk slowly to incorporate, then one-third of the milk and mix again. Repeat twice more until all the flour and milk is added. Slowly whisk in the melted butter.
Halve and stone the apricots. Place, cut-side down, in the base of the tin. Pour the cake batter over the top and slide into the oven. Bake for 1-1¼ hrs until the cake is firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool the cake in the tin for 20 mins, then carefully remove from the tin, peel off the lining paper and serve warm or cold.