This weeks cake was inspired by the Rhubarb Snacking Cake I made a couple of weeks ago (another recipe from the amazing Smitten Kitchen). I loved the way it came in little squares that could be picked up and scoffed without a fork or even a napkin. I'm also enjoying making the most of the delicious soft fruits coming into season and what with Wimbledon and all I thought a strawberry cake would be just the thing. I used the same principle as the Rhubarb cake - starting with a sponge base then adding the fruit followed by a crunchy topping.
I used a simple 'all in one' method for the lemony sponge base and made it slightly thicker to soak up all the juices from the luscious strawberries. Then it was just a matter of scattering the strawberries over the top followed by a crunchy layer of crumble and popping it in the oven. This cake will add a bit of sunshine to your packed lunch, make the perfect late night snack eaten straight from the fridge and would make a lovely pudding either on it's own or with a drizzle of cream.
For the sponge layer...
100g plain white flour
100g golden caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
zest of one lemon and a desert spoonful of the juice
For the strawberry layer...
500g strawberries, hulled
2 desert spoonfuls of soft brown sugar
For the crumble layer...
50g soft brown sugar
50g butter, melted
3 desert spoonfuls of oats
Grease and line a 8 x 8 inch square cake tin with a strip of baking paper (so it goes down one side, across the bottom of the tin and up the other side). Pre-heat the oven to 180c.
Hull the strawberries and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle over the sugar and set to one side. To make the crumble topping place the flour, sugar and oats in a bowl. Melt the butter and drizzle it over the flour mixture. Use a fork to whisk the mixture together gently until it turns into a lumpy, sandy crumble. Place all the ingredients for the sponge into a large mixing bowl, beat together until the batter is smooth and drops of the spoon with a satisfying plop. Pour the batter into the cake tin and even out with the back of a spoon. Top with the strawberries in an even layer but hold back any sugary juices that have collected at the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle over the crumble mixture then drizzle over the sugary strawberry juice. Bake for around 40 minutes - until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out without any of the sponge mixture.