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from my table: strawberry summer cake

June 13, 2011

It’s strawberry season — let one and all rejoice and be berry…err…merry!

Okay, bad joke. Sorry…thrilling things such as the first strawberries of the season turn me into the biggest kind of nerd. And in my nerding-out, I ate about a quart of strawberries in two days and then I made this cake.

It’s a strawberry summer cake.
What does that mean?
It means it’s basically strawberry shortcake, magic-wanded into a cake — a just-sweet-enough vanilla cake topped with a jammy coat of roasted strawberries. (Somehow, I believe a scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn’t go wrong here, either.)

This was a big hit with my co-workers and is a perfect summery treat for a picnic or evening on the deck. Once strawberries are in season, I don’t think you can go wrong with doing basically anything with them. Shortcakes, cakes, ice creams, jams, compotes, or just eating them out of their little boxes until your fingertips are stained red. This cake originally included a partial use of barley flour, which I hear is excellent with berries, but sadly, I didn’t have any. So I used all all-purpose flour and it was perfectly tasty.

I have big strawberry jam aspirations this coming weekend, but for now, this cake was a good start.


Strawberry Summer Cake
From Smitten Kitchen

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for cake pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan or a deep-dish pie plate.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.


Pour into prepared pan. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (I was short on berries, so mine was a little spacier). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.


Do ahead: Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered.

One Comment leave one →
  1. allidriscoll permalink
    June 13, 2011 5:53 pm

    This is a beautiful simple summer dessert. I love fresh whipped cream- looking forward to trying it.

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