Summer Strawberry Cake

May was an unusually cold month. I’m so happy the weather has warmed up. The temperatures have been in the 90’s F/ 30’s C for the past week. Call me crazy, but I’ll take a sweltering heat over blustery frost any day. This week, in an attempt to cool off, the hubs and I headed down to the swimming pool and did a couple of laps and splashed around. Something about being in water always makes me insanely hungry, even if I just splash around in the pool. So when we arrived home, my husband whipped up a delish and quick meal of whole-wheat and quinoa pasta with sautéed mushrooms, lemon, onions and cream. It was so good and we were so starved that no pictures were taken.

After dinner, we went outside to sit on the terrace. While outside, we started to smell the most delicious aroma of baked apple pie. This made me crave baked goods and I couldn’t shake the urge to bake. What else is any sane person supposed to do on one of the hottest days of summer, but crank up the oven? I quickly found a seasonal dessert recipe on Smitten Kitchen and off I went, stirring, mixing and pouring, to make this beauty (pictured below). So worth it!

If you love strawberries as well as the crunchy and buttery taste of shortbread cookies, then this recipe’s for you. It’s essentially a large shortbread cook with strawberry jam. The original recipe calls for way more strawberries than I had on hand. I was still rather pleased with the results.

What you need.

  • 12 – 15 Strawberries (or double it for strawberry packed goodness), stem removed, halved
  • 6 tbsp (85 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How you make it.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and butter a 9 inch (spring-form) round baking dish.
  2. Cream butter and sugar, add in egg, vanilla and milk.
  3. Mix dry ingredients and add them into batter.
  4. Pour mixture in prepared dish.
  5. Place strawberries cut-side down on top of the batter (they’ll sink in as they bake)
  6. Bake 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 325 (160 C), bake another 45 – 55 min. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or au naturale. I think I’ll try this with blueberries and strawberries the second time around. Enjoy!

Swiss Miss Apple Cake

The other night, my husband and I were invited to a delicious fondue dinner at our friends’ place. We were in charge of the dessert. I wanted to make something, seasonal, slightly sweet, melt-in-your-mouth moist and somewhat traditional. My husband suggested his family’s Apple Cake recipe. This recipe was handed down to him by a very special person, who  had a special talent of taking the most simple ingredients and making something amazing.

Once this cake goes into your oven, you instantly feel warm and cozy. If you enjoy the aroma of  tangy citrus and sweet apple wafting throughout your home, then this next recipe is for you. It’s ridiculously easy to make and looks beautiful!

This recipe was made using the metric system. I’ve included English measurements in parentheses.

What you need.

  • 270 grams flour (2 c flour)
  • 200 grams softened butter (1 c, 6 TBSP)
  • 270 grams sugar (1 & 1/3 c sugar)
  • 10 grams baking powder (2 tsp)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 apples (you won’t use two whole), peeled, cored, sliced in quarters (not too crunchy)

How you make it.

  1. Preheat oven to 355 F (180 C)
  2. Butter a cake pan (about 9 inch in diameter) and flour the bottom
  3. Mix dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt
  4. Mix butter and sugar together until creamy
  5. Mix in eggs
  6. Add dry ingredients to your batter and gently mix them in
  7. Finally add in your lemon zest and pour into prepared baking dish.
  8. Take 5 apple quarters (keep the rest for yourself and enjoy a lovely snack) and make little slits in them.  This helps them cook faster and makes for a pretty design.
  9. Place your apples core-side down, “peel” side-up in the cake batter, so that they are lying just above the surface.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes. If it browns too rapidly simply cover loosely with aluminum foil. Use a toothpick to test whether it’s baked thoroughly.
  11. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!