Simple Summer Strawberry Cake
This wonderful recipe was sent to me by Karen Tannenbaum, a longtime reader, avid cook and all-around lovely lady. In her email to me, she described a dinner she made that ended with this dessert as “just like a night in heaven.” I was sold. Within a few days, I had the cake in the oven and, sure enough, it was the one of the simplest, prettiest, most delicious cakes I’d ever made.
My favorite thing about this strawberry cake is its simplicity: it’s made with very few ingredients, and you can have it in the oven in under 15 minutes. What’s more, it’s a great way to use up extra strawberries or salvage berries that are less than perfect — and it keeps well for days.
Begin by whisking the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
Gradually add the flour, alternating with the milk, and beat until smooth. The batter will be quite thick.
Transfer the batter to a buttered 9-inch deep dish pie pan (or 9-inch cake pan) and smooth with a spatula.
Arrange the strawberry halves on top of the batter and sprinkle with sugar. Don’t omit the sugar here; it balances the tartness of the berries and forms a deliciously crisp crust on top the cake.
Bake for about 70 minutes, then cool on rack. The cake is delicious warm or room temperature, served plain, alongside vanilla ice cream or topped with sweetened whipped cream.
This recipe, sent to me by Karen Tannenbaum, is modestly adapted from Martha Stewart Living (June 2005). My only changes were to reduce the quantity of strawberries by 1/4 pound and alter the method of making the batter. Too see the original recipe and read the rave reviews, click here.
Summer Strawberry Cake
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
- About 3/4 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or 9-inch square cake pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth. (Note: the batter will be very thick.)
- Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula (if you use a square cake pan, the batter will only come about 3/4-inch up the sides of the pan -- that's ok). Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter (the recipe calls for approximately 3/4 pound of strawberries; use more or less if necessary). Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries.
- Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake until the cake is lightly golden and a tester comes out clean, about an hour. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
- Note: Cake can be stored at room temperature for several days, loosely covered.
- Per serving (10 servings)
- Calories: 241
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 40g
- Sugar: 25g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 3g
- Sodium: 185mg
- Cholesterol: 38mg
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