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Author Notes: When my daughter in law asked me to make dessert for Mother's Day, I gave her the choice of berries or chocolate, and she chose berries. I was going to make my Beach House Strawberry Cake (http://food52.com/recipes/13351-beach-house-strawberry-cake), but because i had made it in a vacation house, it had some flaws I wanted to correct--it was dense and heavy, it used oil instead of butter (oil imparts moistness, but I prefer the taste of butter), and it was kind of ugly (my fault for my random placement of strawberries). So I decided to modify that recipe, but still make a snacky cake that could serve a bunch of people for dessert after a barbecue.
I used Shirley Corriher's wonderful book Bakewise to make the improvements I wanted--she suggests beating the butter well before adding the sugar and then beating them well together, adding the eggs on low speed, whisking the flour-baking powder-salt mixture well to evenly distribute the leavening, and adding a little oil to increase the cake's moistness. —drbabs
Serves 8 to 12
- 1 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- Butter an 8x12 ceramic dish. Heat oven to 350.
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together till thoroughly blended. Whisk milk and yogurt together. Set both aside.
- Place butter into bowl of stand mixer, and beat on medium speed till very light, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed another 3 minutes till almost white in color. Scrape down as needed. Add vanilla extract and oil, and continue to beat on medium speed till well blended.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add eggs one at a time and continue to mix just till well blended.
- Reduce mixer speed to lowest setting ("stir" on my mixer). Alternate milk mixture and flour mixture and stir till just well blended.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place the strawberries on the top in a pretty pattern, cut side down. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, and a tester comes out free of cake batter.