I am obsessed right now with strawberries, even though they are not even in peak season yet. I love anything "strawberry" and the urge to pick up a big basket is more than I can resist. Oftentimes I don't even have plans for them besides standing over the sink with strawberry juice all over my face. I highly recommend it.
But, if you are looking for something a bit more dignified, how about my Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Glaze? This cake features lots of fresh strawberries, lemon and tart Greek yogurt, but the glaze is what takes it over the top. Flavor and color are coaxed out of fresh strawberries via osmosis by letting them sit overnight in a mixture of milk and sugar. I learned all about osmosis during a 20+ year stint as a dialysis nurse. 🙂 It is nice to occasionally put the a tidbit from the past into use in the present. Using osmosis to make strawberry glaze is my gift to you.
I love using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in this type of cake. Not only does it cut the sweetness with a little tart tang but it makes the cake less oily. I used plain, 0% fat Fage Greek yogurt and it was perfect. Tossing the diced strawberries in a little cake flour helps keep them evenly distributed throughout the cake, versus sinking to the bottom. It is a trick that works well with other fruits as well.
I used a Bundt pan for this cake, but it would do well as a sheet cake or even muffins. The cake is dense but very moist. I imagine it will be even better in the morning with my coffee. If you find yourself like me, hoarding strawberries, this is a great way to enjoy them without staining your face all red.
Fresh Strawberry Cake
- For the cake:
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 ½ cups cake flour plus five tablespoons
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
- 12 ounces fresh strawberries diced small
- For the glaze:
- 4 - 6 large. very ripe strawberries stemmed and crushed
- ¼ cup half and half or whole milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
- Several hours before baking the cake or the night before, mix the 4-6 crushed strawberries, half and half or milk, and 2 TBS granulated sugar in a small bowl. Stir, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator. This will be used to make the glaze.
- For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray and set aside. Whisk together in a medium bowl the 2 ½ cups cake flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing lightly after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Alternate mixing in the dry ingredients and the yogurt. Avoid over mixing. Just before gently folding the strawberries into the batter, toss them with 5 tablespoons cake four. Do not over mix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 60 -70 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool 15-20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack or directly onto a cake stand to finish cooling completely.
- For the glaze:
- Remove the strawberries and milk mixture from the fridge. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, saving the pretty pink strawberry milk in a small bowl. The berries are delicious as a treat for the cook. Save them for later. You will only use the liquid for the glaze. Sift the powdered sugar through large strainer to get out any lumps. Slowly add the strawberry milk, whisking as you go, until the glaze is the consistency you desire. Drizzle the glass over the cooled cake, dust with powdered sugar and enjoy.