Years and years ago, I read an essay about a recipe called “Dolly Parton Dump Cake.” The writer was newly married and entertaining unexpected guests constantly. She came up with a recipe for a fruit filled cake that was so easy, she could throw it together in the time it took to brew a pot of coffee, and have her guests caffeinated and satiated in about half an hour. I thought that was pretty genius of her. Unfortunately her cake was filled with canned fruits, which to me taste like lipgloss and diabetes.
My basic go-to cake strategy (fruit+bare cake baking essentials) is my version of hers, though I’ve found that truly unexpected guests are the stuff of sitcoms and cookbooks (“I love making this when loads of people show up announced!” I read on not one, but three recipes recently. If you show up at my house unannounced, I sincerely hope you have the good sense to bring a pizza. Even if you show up announced, making your plus one a pizza is a wise move)
The photo above is one of these cakes, a jammy, biscuity strawberry number I baked today, in honor of a rapidly freezer-burning bag of strawberries. It’s not much to look at, but “it’s a cake that has cracks and lines, like an old movie star,” as Sophie Dahl would say, which is a cake feature that I find attractive and delicious. It would be an excellent base to a strawberry shortcake, for the particularly strawberry obsessed.
Strawberry Cake (inspired by this recipe)
- 1.5 cups of strawberries (I used frozen)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2.5 tbsp. softened butter
- 1 tsp. lime juice
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk until fully combined. In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, lime juice, egg, and vanilla extract. Add half of dry mixture to the wet mixture, top with the almond milk. Mix fully. Add remainder of dry mixture, mix fully. Stir in strawberries. Bake in a greased pan for 45 minutes.