Lately, I've been seeing beautiful strawberries everywhere while grocery shopping, so naturally, I picked some up to bake with.
With so many strawberry desserts out there, I finally decided to make a fresh strawberry coffee cake, as I need to post more go-to, everyday type recipes here. This is one of those cakes that's perfect for anytime of the day, a great companion to your morning coffee at breakfast or a lovely mid-afternoon snack. It can be served warm or cold, and though the recipe makes a whole tray of cake, it goes quick!
There's cream cheese in the batter, which keeps the cake moist and gives it a richer flavor. The combination of fresh strawberries and strawberry preserves gives the cake that wonderful berry flavor, and the stripe created by the layer of strawberries and preserves gives the slices of cake a nice bit of color. The original recipe tops the cake off with chopped nuts, but I decided to use a crumb topping instead as I love crumb coffee cakes. Also, another plus about this cake recipe is that it's not too sweet, another reason why it's a great anytime cake.
Fresh Strawberry Coffee Cake
adapted from Marg on food.com and Perfect Light Desserts
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. First make the crumb topping. In a small bowl, mix the flour (3/4 cup) and baking powder (1/2 tsp). In another bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add the brown sugar to the butter. Mix in the flour/baking powder until no more white streaks remain; a crumbly dough should form. Set aside for later.
Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside for the moment.
In a separate bowl, mix the butter with the cream cheese. Add the sugar and mix. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the cream cheese mixture and mix until a smooth, thick batter forms.
Spray a 9x13 inch rectangular baking pan with nonstick spray; then line the pan with parchment paper. Split the cake batter in half and use half of it to cover the bottom of the lined pan.
Spread the strawberry preserves over the cake batter.
Cover the preserves with a layer of strawberry slices.
Spread the remaining half of cake batter over the strawberries. This step is a bit tricky since the strawberries are wet and the batter is pretty thick. To do this, I dabbed blobs of the batter over the strawberries and then used the spatula/my fingers to spread it out.
Finally, crumble the crumb topping dough from earlier over the entire surface of the cake.
Bake the cake for 40 minutes, the crumb topping will be golden brown. Let cool in the pan.
To serve, cut the cake into 24 slices, and if desired, garnish the slices with extra slices of fresh strawberry for an extra pop of color.
Makes 24 servings.