Sweet Temptations

Sweet Temptations

Fresh Strawberry Poppy Seed Cake

Makes a 7-inch round cake

Strawberry Reduction

8 oz fresh strawberries

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Canola oil spray, for pan

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted cup sugar

2 large eggs, whisked lightly

1 cup self-rising flour

1 tbsp poppy seeds

½ cup strawberry reduction

1 tbsp milk

2 drops pink food coloring (optional)

Strawberry Condensed Milk Frosting

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

7 oz sweetened condensed milk, at room temperature

1 tbsp strawberry reduction

For Assembly

7 to 8 strawberries, cut into halves and quarters

Edible flowers

Make the strawberry reduction: It’s best to do this either the night before or a couple of hours before starting on the cake, so the reduction has time to thicken and cool down.

In a medium-sized saucepan, using a stick blender, blend all the strawberries until they become a smooth puree. Add the lemon juice and place the saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer, increasing the heat to medium while stirring frequently. Cook until the strawberry mixture is reduced by half, 20 to 25 minutes, and resembles tomato paste. You should have about  2/3 cup of the reduction.

Pour the strawberry reduction into a cup. Set aside to cool, then store in the refrigerator until needed. This reduction will be used for both the cake and its frosting.

Make the fresh strawberry cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the base and sides of a 7-inch round, 3-inch-deep cake pan with canola oil and line the base with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, poppy seeds, strawberry reduction and milk. Beat until well mixed, 2 to 3 minutes, then beat in the food coloring (if using). Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven. Set it aside for 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the condensed milk, a little at a time, and continue to beat until well blended. Add the strawberry reduction and beat until the frosting looks thick and glossy.

Assemble: Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, use an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon to spread the frosting on the top of the cake. Decorate with fresh strawberries and edible flowers.

Reprinted with permission from Elegant One-Pan Cakes by Sonali Ghosh. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photos by Sonali Ghosh.