As the weather warms up, I get more and more excited for my favourite season - strawberry season! Come summertime, those little, bright-red berries with the stems attached (whether from the farmer’s market or the grocery store) don’t stand a chance. Without question, they’re all coming home with me.
Another thing that is for certain around this time of year, I prefer dozens of other activities rather than spending too much time in my hot kitchen. Sure we live in Canada, but we don’t have air conditioning and the oven heats up the small space rather quickly. Playing around with finicky or time consuming recipes in the summer is just about the last thing I want to do, especially when the beach down the street is calling my name. Nevertheless, my love of freshly baked goods wins every time, so thankfully there are some great, seasonal desserts that don’t require much effort or time spent over the stove.
In particular, I’m talking about this Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake. It’s simple, straightforward, and downright delicious.
Fresh strawberries are naturally sweet and add a great pop of colour in every slice. I really love the addition of poppy seeds for some crunch in each bite. A portion of almond meal is mixed in with the all-purpose flour for a bit more texture and flavour. Sour cream adds the perfect amount of acidity and fat versus using something like whole milk or buttermilk. Plain Greek yogurt would make for an excellent substitution as well.
What I love about this recipe is how easily it comes together. I can even get all the mixing done with just one bowl and a liquid measuring cup! Plus, there’s no need for creaming (another bonus when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen). Instead, I rely on my trusted Fleishmann’s baking powder because it helps me make tender, baked goods every time. Instead of dragging out the mixer to cream butter and sugar like many of the other cakes I make, the addition of this leavening agent is all you need for this recipe. Just stir in your dry ingredients and you’re good to go!
Between the sour cream, fresh strawberries, and canola oil, this Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake is beyond moist and tender. I prefer neutral oils such as Mazola canola oil to keep my cakes tender without affecting the flavour. The outer edges of this loaf cake crusts beautifully, but the oil keeps the inside moist enough to be one of those snacking cakes that can sit under a glass cloche all week – if you can make it last that long without eating it all.
This little loaf is fantastic on its own. Enjoy a slice with some tea in the afternoon or even for breakfast! However, I am not one to shy away from toppings. A dollop of whipped cream or even some sweetened crème fraiche makes this little summer treat even more satisfying.
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 teaspoon Fleischmann's® Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons Poppy Seed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup Mazola® Canola, Corn OR Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced about 1/8" thick
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 4-1/2 x 8-1/2-inch loaf pan; set aside.
Stir together in large bowl of electric mixer the 1-1/4 cups flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seed, sugar and lemon peel until blended.
In a large measuring cup, whisk eggs. Add oil, sour cream and vanilla extract; whisk until combined. With mixer on low speed, add egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat on medium speed about 1 minute, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Toss strawberry slices with the 1 tablespoon flour. Fold 1-1/2 cups strawberries into batter. Pour batter into pan; sprinkle remaining strawberries on top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.
Let cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; let cool 50 minutes longer. Slice cake; serve with Sweetened Whipped Cream and additional sliced fresh strawberries, if desired. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Sweetened Whipped Cream:
Beat cream and vanilla extract in mixer bowl with whisk attachment. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until stiff peaks form.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by ACH Foods. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Style Sweet CA running!