I can't help but think that my grandmother probably made this same cake on more than one occasion. It's the kind of recipe that every lady would have had in her recipe box. I don't particularly remember Grandmother fussing around the kitchen much, but she always baked us angel food cake for our birthdays and made a banana bread and banana sherbet that were legendary. If she was still alive, she would be celebrating her 110th birthday this month. As it was, she celebrated her 100th birthday before passing away. She was a remarkable lady and I could talk for hours about her... maybe another day over coffee I'll share some of her stories.
This classic old vanilla cake recipe is quick and easy and it's the perfect way to use up the last of your strawberries, which after all is what inspired me to bake this cake. We had stopped at a berry farm on our way to the cottage and picked a huge box of strawberries. There must have been five pounds of strawberries in that box! We've been eating strawberries for days and days and I made an awesome Strawberry Rhubarb White Wine Sangria to celebrate the start of summer vacation. There is something that is so fun about picking your own berries, maybe it's sneaking a bite of the juiciest berry you've ever seen or showing off to your brother that you just found the biggest strawberry ever, or seeing who can fill up the bucket the fastest. I'm not totally sure, but it's time well spent laughing and giggling and it's memories in the making.
- 1/3 cup of softened butter, room temperature plus 1 tsp for buttering your pan
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of milk, plus 2 tbsp milk if needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- about 12 strawberries hulled and sliced in half
1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F and lightly butter a baking dish (I used a tart dish but a cake pan or deep pie plate would work too) and dust with flour, tapping any excess flour out of the pan
2. In a bowl or mixer cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
3. Mix in the egg and vanilla next and then slowly add in the milk until well blended - you'll probably see little bits of butter but that's normal
4. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and then add it to the batter and mix until the dry ingredients are moist
5. The batter should pour easily and be the consistency of heavy syrup or honey. If the batter is too thick add a tbsp of milk until the consistency is right, if the batter is too runny add a tbsp of flour until the batter is right, someone once said the temperature in your kitchen affects the way the consistency of the batter mixes... okay!
6. Pour the batter into the greased pan and arrange the strawberry halves on top of the cake batter
7. Put it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and the top of cake springs back when tapped with a spatula
8. Take it out of the oven and cool on top off a wire rack for 10 minutes
9. Sprinkle icing sugar on top or you can serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or just naked like I did here. Enjoy!
Wife, mother and pilot, with a passion for good food.