There is a lot of (self-imposed!) pressure to use our beautiful freshly picked strawberries in the best possible way. 🙂 I have several treats that we make annually, but I try to select a few new things to make. I had my eye on this spoon cake after seeing it in the New York Times. I loved the name too! Spoon cake.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Jerrelle Guy. I doubled the strawberries and used a larger baking dish. I also weighed the ingredients, including the berries. I may bake it in a 10-inch cast iron skillet next time.
We ate it for dessert with vanilla ice cream. It could be served as a very special breakfast as well. Delicious.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1/2cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing
This was the first thing we made with our freshly picked Long Island strawberries. In fact, I enjoyed it the day that we picked them. 🙂 It was jammy and absolutely fabulous.
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by José Zepeda. The sweetness can be easily adjusted by decreasing the amount of agave or simple syrup. It was a warm evening, so we served it over ice. Perfect.
Yield: 1 drink
3 strawberries, plus thin slices for garnish
3 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 ounce simple syrup or agave nectar
1 ounce gin
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries with the basil leaves and simple syrup or agave nectar.
Add ice and the remaining ingredients and shake well.
Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with strawberry slices and basil, as desired.
I have had my eye on a couple of easy sheet cake recipes. My indecisiveness led me to combine them. 😉 It was a successful combination! This cake was moist and delicious.
The simple vanilla cake is from Food 52, from their book Genius Desserts, contributed by Jami Curl. It was proposed to serve it topped with strawberry compote & butterscotch whipped cream. I included these original topping recipes below- just to keep my options open.
The frosting recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. It was originally from an easy sheet cake recipe with a “reverse creaming” technique. Of course, I’ll have to try this cake as well at some point. 🙂
For the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
3 1/3 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
1 T plus 2 tsp (20 g) baking powder
1 tsp(5 g) kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (227 g) sour cream
1/2 cup (105 g) canola oil
1 T (18 g) pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75 grams) boiling water
For the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 to 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
sprinkles, for garnish, optional
To Make the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
Heat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection. Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking oil spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and sour cream with a fork, mixing until smooth. Add the oil and vanilla and use the fork to mix until they’re incorporated. The mixture will be smooth and creamy.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and continue to stir until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated. The batter will turn very thick.
Add the boiling water and stir until the batter is smooth and uniform with no traces of unmixed ingredients remaining.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it evenly into the corners.
Bake the cake for 35 (to be safe- check even earlier) to 40 minutes, until it’s golden, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
To Make the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
Make icing while cake cools.
Using electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add powdered sugar, sifted cocoa powder, and salt and beat again, scraping down sides of bowl, until completely smooth.
Add vanilla and continue to beat until fluffy and lightened in color, another minute.
Smooth icing over top of cooled cake (it should not be at all warm to the touch, or else the icing will melt).
Top cake with sprinkles, if desired.
Cut into pieces and serve.
Do Ahead: Cake can be baked and frosted 2 days ahead. Chill until icing is solid, then cover with plastic wrap and keep chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.
For the Alternate Cake Toppings:
For the Strawberry Compote & Butterscotch Whipped Cream:
4 cups (600 grams) frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons (30 grams) apple cider vinegar
4 cups (800 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (480 grams) heavy cream
1/3 cup (72 grams) brown sugar
2 teaspoons (12 grams) pure vanilla extract
To Make the Strawberry Compote:
Combine the strawberries and vinegar in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the fruit is soft and has released some juice.
Add the granulated sugar 1 cup (200 grams) at a time, stirring between additions until the sugar disappears.
Increase the heat to medium and bring the fruit and sugar to a boil. Boil for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and let the compote cool before using.
To Make the Butterscotch Whipped Cream:
Chill a bowl and a whisk.
Pour the cream into the bowl and add the brown sugar and vanilla.
Whisk the cream until stiff-ish peaks form. Take care that you don’t turn it into butter by overwhipping.(You can use a mixer with the whisk attachment to whip the cream.)
To Serve the Vanilla Sour-Cream Cake with Compote & Whipped Cream: **Two Options:
Option 1: Spoon the Strawberry Compote over the cake. Top the compote with the Butterscotch Whipped Cream, using the back of a spoon to give it some pretty swirls.
Option 2: Use the parchment paper to lift the cooled cake out of the pan. Cut the cake into 12 equal pieces. Spoon some Strawberry Compote over each piece. Top with a generous dollop of Butterscotch Whipped Cream.
Note:The Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake will keep, tightly covered at room temperature, for several days. Once assembled with the Strawberry Compote and Butterscotch Whipped Cream, plan to enjoy this cake the day you assemble it. That said, if you cover and refrigerate it, it will not disappoint the next day or the day after that. Especially for breakfast.
My husband and I went strawberry picking without the kids this year. I’m so happy that he loves freshly picked strawberries enough to harvest them. 🙂 We brought home nine quarts!
My list of “must make” strawberry recipes seems to keep expanding, so I was lucky enough to have plenty of berries to fulfill the list (links below) and make one new dessert- this delicious galette. I loved the graham cracker crust.
This recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. We ate it with vanilla ice cream instead of the lime-flavored whipped cream. Wonderful!
Yield: 8 servings
7 graham crackers (about 3.7 ounces)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, & divided (I melted 6 T and 2 T separately)
1 pound strawberries, hulled & sliced
1 lime, zested & juiced, divided
½ cup very cold heavy cream, optional
vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional
Place a rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°, preferably on convection.
Place graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and zip it up, pressing out most of the air. Using a rolling pin, firmly roll over crackers several times, crushing them into fine crumbs (some larger crumbs are okay).
Measure out 1 cup crumbs (which should be almost all of them) and transfer to a medium bowl. Add salt, ⅔ cup flour, and 2 T sugar. Mix with a fork to combine.
Add 1 egg and 6 T melted butter.
Mix with fork until dough forms, then knead with your hands inside of bowl until no floury spots remain and dough is smooth. It’ll be a little soft and slightly oily.
Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and place dough on top. Lightly flour top of dough, then cover with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap.
Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a round (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) about 12″ in diameter and ⅛” thick. (I used this amazing rolling pin that creates an 1/8″ thick crust.)
Slide entire sheet of parchment paper onto a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the top layer or plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Sprinkle 1 T sugar over surface of dough, leaving about a 2″ border.
Pile strawberries into center of dough and arrange in an even layer, leaving the same 2″ border.
Sprinkle strawberries with 1 T sugar and drizzle with remaining 2 T butter.
Using a microplane or fine grater, grate zest of about one-half of lime over strawberries.
Cut off half of lime with no zest and squeeze juice over strawberries. Save the other half for later, if making the whipped cream topping.
Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with fork until no streaks remain. Brush egg wash around border of pastry (you won’t use it all). Using edges of parchment to help lift, fold empty border of dough up and over strawberries, working your way around in roughly 2″ sections, overlapping folds as needed. Press all the way around to secure folds and keep dough in place. It might crack or tear in places, just pinch it back together.
Brush top of border with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with remaining 1 T sugar.
Bake galette until crust is browned around the edges and juices from strawberries are syrupy and actively bubbling, 40–45 minutes. If some juices escape and end up on the parchment paper, the parchment will prevent the tart from sticking.
Let cool at least 20 minutes.
For the Optional Whipped Cream Topping: Beat cream with a large whisk in a medium bowl until voluminous, thick, and starts to hold tracks of whisk. Hold whisk upright and look for the “peak” of cream that forms on the end. It should droop and slump over- making “soft peaks.”
Grate zest from remaining half of lime over cream and serve with tart.
Do Ahead: Tart can be made several hours ahead. Let sit at room temperature. Once fully cooled, droop a piece of plastic over top. (I kept the leftover slices in the refrigerator.)
Essential Freshly Picked Strawberry Recipes (in my house):
I had my eye on this recipe way before I even went strawberry picking…and these pie bars met every expectation. 🙂 This recipe is from Joy the Baker. Wonderful!
For the Crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Strawberry Filling:
2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced into bite-size chunks (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons minute tapioca
Confectioners’ sugar, for topping
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line an 8×8-inch square pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over two edges of the pan about two inches. This will make the pie bars easier to remove after it’s baked. Lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
For the crust, place the butter, sugars, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, salt, and cinnamon and mix on low-speed until just combined.
Scatter two-thirds of the dough into clumps in the prepared pan, flour your fingers and press the dough across the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan about 1/2-inch. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and set aside to cool while you prepare the topping and filling.
In a small bowl combine the remaining crust and pecans. Stir until combined and set aside.
In a medium bowl toss together the sliced strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and spices. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes until some juices develop in the bottom of the bowl.
After the juices have developed, add the melted butter and the instant tapioca. Stir to combine. The tapioca will look coarse within the mixture but it will dissolve in the oven.
Spread the strawberries evenly over the crust.
Pinch medium pieces of remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly over the top of the strawberry mixture (they won’t cover the top completely but do your best to cover).
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the topping is brown and the strawberry mixture is bubbling. (If there are still tapioca bits, take the pan out of the oven and gently stir those berries in so the tapioca gets moistened.)
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Chill in the refrigerator to easily remove the bars from the pan. Once cooled, remove from the pan and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Note: The bars can be stored, wrapped individually or covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I have so many delicious recipes just waiting to be shared. Before strawberry season is over, I must share new recipes that I tried with my fresh-picked berries this season.
This cocktail was the very first thing we prepared with our fresh strawberries. My husband made it for me on my birthday! ❤ The recipe was adapted from cocktails that New Amsterdam Gin named to honor modern-day landmarks in New York City, via The Spruce Eats.com. I plan to also try it using vodka instead of gin. Happy birthday to me! 😉
Yield: 1 cocktail
2 ounces gin (or vodka)
sprig of fresh basil
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (I used juice from 1/2 of a lime)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce agave nectar
1/2 strawberry, for garnish, if desired
Muddle strawberries with the basil until fully mashed in a cocktail shaker.
Add all other ingredients.
Add ice and shake vigorously.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (We chilled the glass by filling it with ice while the cocktail was being prepared.)
I am always a little apprehensive to make strawberry ice cream. In the past, I’ve tried various strategies to keep the berries from becoming icy and hard in the finished product. Pureeing the berries in this gelato was the perfect solution. My beautiful freshly picked berries may have helped too. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Katrina and Carmelo Turillo, owners of La Divina Gelateria in New Orleans, via Bon Appetit. I didn’t strain the puree, chilled the base overnight in the refrigerator, and churned the gelato for 25 minutes in my ice cream maker. I may add some vanilla extract next time. It was excellent!
Yield: Makes about 4 cups
3/4 cup sugar (preferably organic)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 1/4 cups sliced hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
Stir sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in milk and cream.
Whisk over medium heat until gelato base thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Pour into bowl.
Immerse bowl in prepared ice water to cool, stirring occasionally.
Puree strawberries in processor. Stir into gelato base.
Mix in pomegranate juice and vanilla, if using.
Chill 3 hours or overnight.
Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer to container. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap and the container lid; freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.