Strawberry Summer Cake

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While I visited my family for Memorial Day, I made a few things that I’d originally planned to blog about but just wasn’t that impressed with. Pies that didn’t set, or were really just too simple to mention. Bacon-wrapped hamburgers with hot dogs, shaped like turtles – which was really just too much effort to make. There was nothing that I really feel like passing along.

Now that I’m back at home, it’s incredibly hot and all I can think about is buying some fresh produce and making refreshingly healthy and cool meals. Naturally, I bought a pint of strawberries when I went to the store on Saturday night. So of course, instead of making a cold smoothie or a fruit salad, I bake a cake. One that takes over an hour to bake.

I came across the Strawberry Summer Cake from Smitten Kitchen as I went through my Google Reader yesterday morning. Alex hasn’t started up his low-carb diet again yet after being gone for a week, so I decided to make it while I had someone to help me eat it. It wasn’t as if I had other specific plans for the strawberries, anyway.

This cake was incredibly easy to make. The cake batter is more or less a coffee cake batter. Deb uses half barley flour, which amazingly is something I do not have, but I did swap in a quarter cup white whole wheat flour for a quarter cup AP flour. I used my hand mixer to cream 6 tablespoons margarine and a scant cup of sugar (for 3 minutes), and then added an egg, a half cup of milk, and a little vanilla. I mixed together flours, baking powder, and salt, and gradually added that to the wet ingredients. I spread the batter in a greased, standard size, 9-inch glass pie pan. I pressed halved and hulled strawberries into the batter, and some of mine were large so I had to crowd them in. I may have pressed them in a little far. I forgot to add sugar until the pie had been in the oven for a minute, but I just pulled it out and sprinkled 2 tablespoons sugar over the the entire top of the pie (not just the strawberries – oops!).

This baked at 350F for 10 minutes, and for another 60 at 325F.

Strawberry Summer Cake

This cake smelled great as it baked. This cake was pretty tasty. The edges were golden and crispy. Some of the berries cooked down better than others, and the larger/less done berries had a little soggy cake underneath them. The smaller ones just became jammy and delicious. The cake itself is moist and sweet, but not too sweet. This is an excellent coffee cake, and one of the few baking recipes that I’ve ever seen call for strawberries. Strawberries aren’t used in baking that often because they leach so much of their juice. I’m pretty happy with this cake, and I’ll probably make it again sometime.

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