Main Visual: Photo Courtesy Bon Appetit.
Strawberry season has arrived and this year’s Hampton’s crop reminds us all why we wait for these heart-shaped, bright red, sweet and juicy berries all year. The question is what to do with them and the answer is right here. This wonderful cake is one of those sweets that can be eaten virtually anytime. It’s a great coffee cake in the morning, a dessert with lunch or dinner and, if you still indulge in snacking, it lives up to its name. It’s a Bon Appetit recipe from Sarah Jampel. Ms. Jampel, late of Food 52, is now freelancing as a writer, recipe developer, food stylist and self-proclaimed “chronic wee-hours baker in New York”. We have to wonder how she ended up in the kitchen having studied Middle English poetry at Yale. But you’ll be so glad she did.
The cake is loaded with strawberry flavor since the fresh berries are augmented with strawberry jam. The recommended jam is the French import, Bonne Maman. Of all the things the French are expert at, making “Confiture” is high on the list. The cake uses olive oil, cornmeal and all-purpose flour which gives it a wonderful texture. The berries shrink in the baking process. They also have a tendency to sink into the batter especially if they’re large berries to begin with. If you can find smaller sized berries as Andrew did, by all means, use them. Regardless of the berry size, make sure they are put into the top of the batter berry to berry for maximum flavor impact. After the recipe, I’ve included some other strawberry wonders you may want to add to your strawberry repertoire. Here it is. It makes one 13 x 9- inch cake.
Strawberry Snacking Cake
A terrific all=purpose Strawberry delight that's perfect for any time of the day from breakfast to dinner.
- 8 oz. strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided, plus more for pan
- Kosher salt
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
- 1½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (60 g) fine-grind cornmeal
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup strawberry jam (preferably Bonne Maman)
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°. Gently toss strawberries, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until ready to use.
- Step 2 Grease a 13×9″ pan with oil. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 long sides. Grease parchment with oil. Generously sprinkle pan and parchment with sugar, tilting to coat pan in an even layer. Tap out excess.
- Step 3 Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined. Add dry ingredients to sour cream mixture and whisk gently to combine. Using a spatula, gradually fold in ¾ cup oil until batter is smooth and homogenous with all of the oil incorporated.
- Step 4 Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Using a small spoon, dollop jam onto surface. Using a butter knife or small offset spatula, gently swirl jam into batter. Arrange reserved strawberries on top of batter in even rows, touching at widest points. Sprinkle all over with remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar.
- Step 5 Bake cake until risen and deeply bronzed with no damp spots in the middle and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40–45 minutes.
- Step 6 Do Ahead: Cake can be made 4 days ahead. Cover with foil and store at room temperature.