Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Strawberry Cake

One of our favorite spring time activities is picking strawberries at the local strawberry farm. Rows and rows of sun warmed fresh strawberries; one for my mouth, one for the bucket. My little strawberry picker was great at it! She knew to pick only the red ones and she loved to eat all she could. The local U-pick places don't like to use pesticides because they cost money, so they generally do not use chemicals unless they think they might lose the crop. That way we know we can eat strawberries off the plant and we don't really worry about chemicals that non-organic strawberries hold from the grocery store.

Because we ended up with two gallon buckets full, I had to figure out a way to use them fast. We froze one bucket, but the bucket we kept fresh went bad pretty fast. So I whipped up this great strawberry cake. When you google search "Strawberry Cake Recipe" you find that those deep red southern favorite cakes start with "white cake mix" and "strawberry flavored gelatin". While this cake isn't near as pretty as those cakes, and is lacking frosting, it certainly isn't lacking sweet deliciousness! It is so moist and so good. I could eat the whole thing myself.

Strawberry Cake

I used fragrant coconut oil instead of butter and let me tell you, it is fabulous! Seriously consider trading your butter in this recipe. Also, I cooked it less than the 1 hour it calls for - a lot less actually, because I cooked it in a toaster oven which cooks faster. But the middle of my cake is pretty gooey (not raw) and I like it that way, so play with the time you cook it. Cook it a little less if you want a softer cake. Also, you could use any berry in this recipe. I'm going to try it with blueberries in the summer.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, or coconut oil, softened, plus more for pie plate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.

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