Spring gets me super excited for all of the amazing fresh produce that will soon be making an appearance at my local farmers market.
While I love most fruits and vegetables equally, I have to say, I get the most joy from fresh berries and my kids cannot get enough of them.
In our house, strawberries are hands down the family favourite. I literally cannot keep enough of them in the house. And when the itty bitty tristar strawberries make their way to our local market, I just die. Because my family are such fans of these luscious red berries, I always have a bag (or three) in my freezer so we always have some on-hand for snacking or smoothies.
This past weekend I decided to try my hand at baking with strawberries. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I don’t think I’ve ever actually baked with strawberries before, besides making a tart or two. We always eat them up too fast to even consider them for a recipe. Since I went overboard on my berry purchasing on my last trip to the supermarket, I definitely had a few to spare this week. I was in the mood for a breakfast-y type of cake, one that wasn’t too sweet—something that would be delicious served for brunch or dessert. I decided to develop a cornmeal cake because I figured the texture of the cornmeal would be a nice savoury balance to the sweetness of the berries and give the cake a delicious earthy, chew. I also opted to use olive oil in lieu of butter because, well, Italians use olive oil in everything and it just plain rocks in so many baked good recipes. The golden colour that it gives the cake is so gorgeous and it’s super moist and will remain that way for quite a few days thanks in part to the olive oil and the sour cream. That’s right, there’s sour cream in there too!
I would actually recommend you make this cake ahead of time because it really only gets better as it sits. I’m actually thinking of making this again for Mothers Day as a treat for my mama (how’s that for thinking ahead?!). I know she will adore this not-too-sweet treat with a steaming cup of coffee, and because it’s make-ahead i’ll be able to enjoy my morning as a mama, too. : )
Strawberry Cornmeal Cake
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with baking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, vanilla, granulated sugar and sour cream until well combined. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined-no need to over-mix.
3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter 3/4 of the strawberries over the batter, then dollop on the rest of the batter. Sprinkle the remaining strawberries over the top and bake until the top is a beautiful golden brown (thanks, olive oil!) and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Enjoy!