Strawberries for me are a sign that spring has arrived, and being a berry person I buy strawberries in bulk when they are in season. I use strawberries to make jams, assorted baked goods, and I even freeze pureed strawberries to use in frozen treats throughout the summer. Unfortunately, strawberry season is now almost over so I will have to turn my attention to other seasonal fruits such as cherries and apricots. This is another easy, quick to put together rustic cake that I make frequently with different seasonal fruits. I recently had some strawberries in the fridge that I needed to use up, so I put together this cake with a layer of sweet strawberries in the center.
Our guest season here in Umbria is just beginning, and I usually always have some type of baked goods on hand that we can offer guests or workers that are in and out of our farmhouse on a daily basis. This particular cake was a big hit last week with the painter and well workers who really appreciated being offered an espresso and piece of cake on their mid-day break. You can use any just about fresh fruit you choose in this recipe, just coarsely chop it first. I didn’t use nuts in my topping as I was unsure about nut allergies, but chopped walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or almonds are a delicious addition to the topping. Because this cake is so moist with fresh fruit inside, I recommend storing it covered in the refrigerator during the warmer months if it doesn’t get eaten up the same day it is made.
Deborah Mele 2011
For The Cake:
- 1 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Large Egg, Beaten
- 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Sliced Ripe Strawberries (Or Other Seasonal Fruit)
For The Topping:
- 1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Cold Butter, Diced
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts, or Almonds (Optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly grease an 8 inch square cake pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder.
- In a second bowl use a whisk to mix together the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a wooden spoon to stir just until mixed.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Cover the batter evenly with the sliced strawberries.
- In a bowl add the topping ingredients - flour, butter, sugar & nuts, and use your finger tips to rub the butter into the other ingredients until you obtain a peppily texture.
- Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the strawberries, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.