Just as I’m licking the last crumbs of Strawberry Smash Muffins from my chubby little fingers, I realized it’s time for this month’s Cake Slice Baker’s challenge. The choice among the 4 offered recipes was easy for me – one choice had hazelnuts (which I don’t like), the next was a raspberry angel food cake that looked awesome but took 12 egg whites (which means I’d have to find something to do with 12 egg yolks), the third was a financier (little cake) that had ground almonds as an ingredient (I’m not crazy about ground almonds – seems to make a recipe gritty to me), and the fourth was an orange-flavored Plum Madeira which looked great. So Plum Madeira it is!
Whoops. Except I didn’t have plums. Or Madeira (a sweet wine). OK, Mr. Pizey from World Class Cakes recommended a few variations, so I chose to make it with fresh strawberries. I looked up a bunch of Madeira cake (a traditional British pound cake) recipes online and none of them actually had the wine in it, so I opted not to buy a 20 dollar bottle of wine when I only need 1/2 tablespoon.
OK. Now that I decided which to make and how to make it, the fun part started. This cake was easy to throw together and baked up beautifully. The orange zest and juice in it went great with the strawberries. The cake, with the inclusion of oatmeal, is textured and spongy (in a good way) with a loose crumb, but at the same time soft and very moist. I loved it!
I thought the recipe was unusual in that it uses powdered sugar for a sweetener instead of regular granulated sugar, but it works! The cake calls for a 6 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ cake pan (about the diameter of a medium-large pancake). My pan is for a top tier of a multi-layer cake and measures more like 7″ x 2″. It worked fine, though, and the cake rose up perfectly.
I had a piece right out of the oven and it was mmm-ingly good (you know, you say ‘mmm’ when you taste it). They’re tiny little wedges so after the taking the photos and the cake was cooler, I had another little piece. Still ‘mmm-ing.’ OK, then I had a piece for breakfast with a nice hot cup of coffee – still great. The strawberries were supposed to be a pretty baked-in garnish ringing the top of the cake, but mine sunk. No problem, though. I loved the big chunks of fresh strawberries that ran through it.
Be sure and browse through the rest of the Cake Slice Bakers’ versions of the different cake choices (the links are below this recipe).
****Textured, soft and moist orange cake with chunks of fresh strawberries. Very, very good!
- 7 or 8 medium fresh strawberries
- 7 tbsp butter softened
- 1 C confectioner's sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 3/4 C self-rising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 C oatmeal
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- finely grated zest of 1 medium orange and 4 tbsp of juice
Preheat oven to 310°. Grease the bottoms and sides of a 6 1/4" x 2 1/2" round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Cut the stems and tops off of the strawberries and cut them in half (or if large strawberries in thirds - should be at least 1/2" thick slices). Set aside.
Cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, a little at a time and beat together.
Sift the flour and baking powder together in a bowl, then stir in the oatmeal, vanilla, orange zest, and juice. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and fold in by hand, only 6-7 strokes. There may be a little flour showing, but that's OK.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and place the halved strawberries evenly across the top of the batter (they'll probably sink while baking - that's OK).
Bake for 35-40 minutes (check after 35 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the middle only comes out with a few clinging crumbs (don't over bake).
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Turn out the cake and remove the parchment paper. Place on a rack and let cool completely.
Tips and Stuff:
The original was made with plums. Also recommended peaches or apricots.
The original recipe had 1/2 tbsp. Madeira. Use it if ya gots it.
My orange was huge and made a little too much zest. Make sure and use and medium or small orange.
I think these would be good as muffins, too.