December strawberries amaze and delight me mostly for their availability. They're very good, and they definitely taste like strawberries (unlike the supermarket strawberries most Americans have to deal with year-round, which taste, to me, like foam rubber). But southern California's spring strawberries, those are perfection. Big or small, sweet or sour-ish, bright red and juicy. We can go through a half-flat in an afternoon - that's six pints, for those of you who're counting.
When I overbuy, I sometimes make this simple strawberry cake. It's a quick bread with a wonderful crumble topping, perfect for breakfast or excellent with a cup of tea in the afternoon. I bake it as a loaf, but muffins would work well too.
Simple strawberry cake
An easy quick bread studded with fresh strawberries and topped with a buttery crumble. Perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea.
Ingredients2 eggs1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil1 cup sugar2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided1 tsp baking soda1/3 cup dark or light brown sugar, firmly packed1/2 tsp cinnamon5 Tbsp butter, salted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large loaf pan (or a 12-cup muffin tin) with nonstick cooking spray.In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs, oil and granulated sugar together until the mixture is thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add the strawberries and beat at low speed about 30 seconds, just enough to break up the berries a bit.Sift together 1 3/4 cups of the flour and the baking soda into a small bowl. Add to the bowl and mix briefly, just until everything is combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.Make the crumble: Mix together the remaining 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the flour mixture. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it has the texture and feel of wet sand. Sprinkle the crumble generously over the batter in the pan.Bake the strawberry cake about 1 hour, until a tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 loaf or 12 muffins