Strawberry Spoon Cake is a delightfully unfussy cake that you don’t need a mixer to make and it’s ready to eat in less than one hour.
If you know me because of my French Strawberry Cake, you are going to absolutely love this Strawberry Spoon Cake. Many readers have wondered if frozen strawberries will work in my French Strawberry Cake. The answer is no, it works best with fresh berries. It’s a lovely, very popular cake. And I love it best during the warmer months and especially when strawberries are in peak season.
When I stumbled upon this Strawberry Spoon Cake over at NYT Cooking, I knew I had to give it a try. And now after a few test runs, giving the cake my own special touches, I’m ready to share this recipe with you.
Why this recipe works
The buttery cake layer makes magic with the sugared strawberries in the oven. This cake is actually similar to a cobbler. There’s no eggs, just lots of butter and buttermilk mixed with the flour and sugar. The moist warm cake comes out of the oven with a spectacular top layer of jammy strawberries. It’s so simple but yet tastes so good!
Ingredients for strawberry spoon cake
- Strawberries – I like using frozen hulled strawberries for this cake the best. They release more juices after being microwaved to thaw and then mixed with the brown sugar. Frozen berries are the key to a really juicy and jammy topping for this cake.
- Butter – I melt a full two tablespoons of butter in the bottom of my baking dish to grease it. Then there is one stick (eight tablespoons of butter) in the cake batter.
- Brown Sugar – Use light brown sugar.
- Flour – I’ve only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour. I’m not sure if other types would work.
- Buttermilk – The original recipe calls for whole milk, but I prefer the flavor of buttermilk in this cake with the brown sugar and strawberries.
- Baking Powder – Just a little provides a lift to the cake and helps it rise a little as it bakes.
- Salt – Helps to round out the sweet flavors.
- Nutmeg – Just a pinch adds a little extra something to the flavor that is just right.
Instructions for making strawberry spoon cake
- Melt two tablespoons of butter into an 8-inch baking dish (or you could use a pie pan).
- Mash the thawed berries together with half the brown sugar.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
- Melt the butter and whisk in the other half of the sugar.
- Whisk the buttermilk (room temperature, or warmed a bit) into the butter and sugar.
- Combine the flour and butter mixture to form the cake. Spread the batter into the buttered dish.
- Pour the berries over the top of the cake. Use a fork to gently swirl the cake and berries together.
- Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the edges of the cake are turning a light golden brown.
Why is it called a spoon cake?
As the name implies, this type of cake is soft enough to be served and eaten with a spoon. I think of it as a decidedly unfussy cake that is cozy and completely satisfying. Or maybe it’s a rustic dessert that would be right at home in a farmhouse style kitchen. Either way, everyone I’ve served it for so far has been impressed.
- I’ve baked this cake several times now and I have better luck with baking if I gently swirl the cake batter and berry layer together before putting it in the oven.
- In the original recipe, I read some comments that the cake could benefit from more strawberries. I think that might be true if you decide to use fresh, sliced strawberries because they aren’t as juicy. Frozen strawberries release a lot of juice. So a bit over one cup of very juicy strawberries is plenty for this cake.
- This cake could be adapted for other types of fruit. I think a combination of frozen raspberries and peaches could work really well. I also think frozen blueberries combined with a little lemon juice and lemon zest (instead of the nutmeg) would be delicious. If you try this cake with other fruits, please let us know in the comments!
This cake makes six decent sized servings. You might not have leftovers. But if you do, keep the cake covered with plastic wrap on the counter for not more than two days. Putting it in the refrigerator will affect the texture of the cake. And I do not recommend freezing this cake.
The other recipes I looked at for this cake suggest ice cream as the best topping. I enjoyed a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it the first time I baked it. But the second and third times I served each bowl of cake with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. And that by far is my favorite way to serve this delicious strawberry spoon cake.
- 8-inch baking dish I used to test and serve this recipe
- Glass Pyrex measuring cups for mixing and measuring
- My favorite measuring cups and spoons set for baking
More dessert recipes with strawberries
- French Strawberry Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Strawberry Crumb Bars
Strawberry Spoon Cake
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter melted and divided
- 6 oz strawberries frozen and thawed
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar divided
- 1/2 cup buttermilk use full fat buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8-inch (square or round) baking dish with two tablespoons of the melted butter. Set aside.
- With the back of a fork, mash the frozen and thawed, hulled strawberries to release all their juices, and stir in ⅓ cup of the brown sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining eight tablespoons of melted butter, remaining ⅓ cup brown sugar, and buttermilk until smooth.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture and gently mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until a cohesive cake batter forms.
- Spread the batter into the bottom of the greased baking dish.
- Spoon the strawberries and all their juices over the top of the cake batter. Use a fork to gently swirl the cake and berry layers together. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or just when a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before spooning into bowls.
- Place the cake in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or just when a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before spooning into bowls.
- Serve the cake with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
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