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
Test Kitchen Notes
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
For the balsamic macerated berries:
strawberries, hulled and halved
gray sea salt
For the cake:
unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
Place berries in a bowl with vinegar, honey, and salt. Let macerate for 30 minutes.
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.
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.
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.