Beach House Strawberry Cake

By • July 16, 2011 22 Comments

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Author Notes: My family rents a house on the Florida panhandle every summer, and this year I found myself baking almost every day. (I made chocolate cake with ganache frosting, ChefJune's fig tart, my blueberry pie with lime zest.) This morning, our last morning, I found 2 pounds of strawberries untouched in the refrigerator, and decided to make a strawberry cake. I wanted to use the recent recipe from smitten kitchen, but didn't have some of the ingredients (like butter) and didn't have a mixer, and needed to make enough for 17 people, so while I was inspired by her recipe, I changed it enough that I don't know if she'd even want to be associated with it. It did smell like the best of summer when it came out of the oven, and was good both warm and at room temperature. I have no idea how well it keeps because it didn't last a day in this house.drbabs

Serves 17, more or less

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half and half or milk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (my preference)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  1. Butter or oil a 3 quart pyrex or other baking dish. Heat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
  3. In another large bowl, mix together yogurt, half and half, oil and vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time and whisk till thoroughly combined.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients till just combined. The batter will be lumpy like muffin batter. That's OK. Pour it into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place strawberries over the top, trying to put them close together so you can cram in lots of strawberries. Sprinkle the top with sugar.
  5. Bake for about an hour till the edges are golden brown and a tester comes out free of cake batter. (This could take a while because the strawberries get jammy and soft. It took an hour and 10 minutes in our oven, but this is a vacation house so who knows how the oven is calibrated? Check frequently.)
  6. Let cool a bit before serving.

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