Strawberry Balsamic Spoon Cake with Poppy Seeds

By Alexandra V. Jones
July 21, 2014
13 Comments


Author Notes: I got a screaming deal on some beautiful strawberries at the Kenton farmers market last weekend. We ate most of them au naturel, but I decided to use the leftovers for this rustic dessert. This spoon cake is no-nonsense and so delicious. The balsamic vinegar-macerated strawberries create tart, syrupy pockets within the cake which balance out its sweetness, and the poppy seeds contribute a pleasing bit of crunch. Feel free to use whatever berries you have on hand!Alexandra V. Jones

Food52 Review: I always make an effort to save room for dessert, as long as it’s not overly sweet -- which is why this recipe is perfect. The sweetness of the strawberries pairs perfectly with the acidity and tang of the balsamic. The poppy seeds add a very nice texture -- but if you’re not a fan, try substituting black pepper. Jacqueline Filla

Serves: 4
Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients

For the balsamic macerated berries:

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch gray sea salt

For the cake:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon gray sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Place berries in a bowl with vinegar, honey, and salt. Let macerate for 30 minutes.
  2. While berries are macerating, preheat the oven to 350° F. Place butter in a 9-inch pie tin, then place the tin in the oven. Once the butter melts and is starting to get a bit brown, take it out.
  3. Combine all other cake ingredients and stir well, mixture should be mostly lump free but this should all be done by hand, no need for a mixer. About forty good stirs. Pour cake batter into the pie tin containing the melted butter. Do not stir! Spoon berries and juices over the batter.
  4. Bake cake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, topped with ice cream or whipped cream. Personally, I like it simply: with a light dusting of confectioners sugar.

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Reviews (13) Questions (1)

13 Comments

Loripops August 21, 2018
I made this last night substituting an 8 inch cake pan for the 9 inch "pie tin" and baked it for over 30 minutes. It looked identical to the picture above however when served, it was completely liquefied inside and sickeningly sweet. Never having spoon bread or cake before I was not sure what to expect but this was certainly not it. This could be delicious if I could just figure out what went wrong with the consistency
 
Andrea M. June 22, 2018
This is AMAZING! Will definitely be on repeat in my house, especially during strawberry season.
 
Teresa G. September 26, 2015
There is something wrong with the ingredients. It can't be 1/2 tsp of poppy seeds??? I added '3 times that and you can't even see it
 
sevenfaces November 4, 2014
I made a double batch of this in a pyrex pie dish. Either doubling was a mistake or I think I must have gotten the temperature (160ºC in a fan forced oven) and timing (around 50 minutes) of the bake wrong - it had quite a strange bouncy bite to it, like I imagine a dish sponge would be like :/ I mixed it together gently and as little as possible, much less than 40 turns, so I'm sure I didn't overwork the batter. Not sure what happened there. The strawberries were delicious though.
 
JJGood September 2, 2014
Does it have to be a "pie tin," i.e. metal dish, or could it be ceramic or glass?
 
Author Comment
Alexandra V. September 5, 2014
Any of the above should work beautifully.
 
Sandy T. August 17, 2014
The ingredients are there but not the mixing process!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra V. August 17, 2014
hmmm....it was originally there....I will edit it.
 
Author Comment
Alexandra V. August 17, 2014
just tried to edit, but it isn't showing up, its super simple Combine all other cake ingredients and stir well, mixture should be mostly lump free but this should all be done by hand, no need for a mixer. About forty good stirs.
 
Miya C. August 17, 2014
The process mixing of cake ingredients is missing !
 
Author Comment
Alexandra V. August 17, 2014
Combine all other cake ingredients and stir well, mixture should be mostly lump free but this should all be done by hand, no need for a mixer. About forty good stirs.<br />
 
Sandy T. August 17, 2014
The cake recipe is missing!
 
Author Comment
Alexandra V. August 17, 2014
It is right under the macerated berries ingredients.