To celebrate Memorial Day weekend, I’m sharing one of my favorite summer dessert recipes — Smitten Kitchen‘s Strawberry Summer Cake. My Facebook friends may remember pictures of this from my food album that was the precursor to this blog. I first made this last spring, and it’s now a favorite in our home. It combines two of my favorite foods (cake and strawberries!), requires only a few ingredients, and is very simple to make, so much so that I would encourage those of you who are usually nervous about baking to try your hand at this.
The cake is moist and has a great vanilla flavor without being too overwhelming or sweet, and the strawberries become a little jam-like during the baking process. They lend a little tartness to the cake, too. While strawberries are in season, run to your nearest farmer’s market or grocery store and grab some so you can make this cake!
Makes one 9- or 10-inch cake
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound (conveniently, that’s one 16-ounce clamshell) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved
- One 9″ deep dish or 10″ pie plate.
Please note that if you use a regular 9″ pie plate, the batter will overflow while baking. If your pie plate is 9″, make sure it’s a deep dish plate, which is usually two inches deep. I used my prized Emile Henry 9″ deep dish plate, given to us as a wedding gift by a dear friend almost eight years ago now.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the pie plate with a little butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.
In a larger bowl, beat butter and one cup of the sugar with an electric mixer (handheld is fine) until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake until golden brown, and a fork inserted into the center of the cake comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. It took me 60 minutes after lowering the temperature. Please note that the strawberries will always stick to the fork; that’s fine, you just don’t want wet batter on there.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a rack.
If desired, serve with lightly whipped cream or some powdered sugar on top.