It’s hard to believe that four years ago today, I was sitting at my computer in Columbus writing up this same recipe, and posting my first ever post. I don’t typically like to get corny or sentimental on the blog, but everything kind of fell perfectly into place, so why the hell not? Please just don’t call it a “blogiversary”, I might get a tad nauseous and there is cake to be eaten.
A lot has changed in four years, and some things are still stay the same. I’m still making lengthy road trips back home for seasonal produce; strawberry season just ended her in PA so I’m driving back to NY for strawberries again (and to spend the holiday weekend with family).
I’m not a huge fan of baked strawberry desserts in general, but I do make some exceptions like this cake (and these muffins). Something about the texture of baked strawberries in most desserts is just a turn off for me; they seem to lose a lot of their flavor, get mushy, and become relatively unattractive. In this recipe however, the strawberry flavor actually intensifies and creates a jam-like layer that is far from boring. It’s also a nice way to use berries that may be slightly past their prime for eating raw.
Strawberry CakeAdapted, slightly from Smitten Kitchen I’ve made this with both regular milk and buttermilk. If you’d like to swap out the milk for buttermilk, reduce baking powder to 1 1/4 teaspoons and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate 1 ½ cups (7 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar 1 large egg 1/2 cup milk* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling
Heat oven to 350o. Butter a 10” pie plate (I used a 9.5” standard deep dish Pyrex pie plate), and set aside.
In a medium size bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk, mixing to lighten. In a larger bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk and extracts and mix just to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
Pour into buttered pie plate and smooth to edges. Arrange strawberries on top in a single layer with the cut side down, nestling them closely together so all will fit. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. I like to get sugar on the buttered pan as well, so the cake bakes up with a sugar-crisped edge.
Bake for 10 minutes at 350o and then reduce oven to 325o a bake for an additional 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center (trying to avoid the jammy strawberry ooze) comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. I like to serve this slightly warm, cut into wedges, with lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Remaining cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered for up to two days.