When we were traveling in Europe last year, my husband and I had the opportunity to experience…well Europe. I mean, with all of the various cultures, histories, and amazing cuisines in all of the countries we visited, it is nearly impossible to pin point our favorite part of the trip.
I said nearly. While traveling in Germany, I had the opportunity to experience Kaffee und Kuchen in the afternoon. Coffee shop pastry cases were filled with a variety of cakes to choose from for the perfect combination to battle that slow, lagging feeling so common in the afternoon. Who doesn’t appreciate a jolt of sugar and caffeine to help get you to the daily finish line?
I want to make it my personal mission to make this everyone’s favorite daily activity.
To help me along, this past weekend I decided to embrace the plenitude of local California strawberries to make a cake that is both light and summery. Inspired by The Smitten Kitchen’s “Strawberry Summer Cake,” my strawberry cake goes really well with a hot cup of Joe. (Or Josef, if we continue the whole German/Austrian theme.)
In her post, my favorite food blogger and pretty much all around mom/home cook icon, Deb Perelman put together her recipe with a pound of fresh strawberries and a lovely, light vanilla cake base. I loved how she made it in a gorgeous, scalloped edge pie plate, so I went ahead and did that too.
But, because I just can’t seem to leave well enough alone, I tweaked the cake recipe to make it food allergy friendly. With a blend of gluten free and coconut flours, and subbing milk for coconut cream and butter for Earth Balance, my strawberry cake is more of a strawberry coconut cake.
Sprinkle a little flaked coconut or a dollop of whipped coconut cream on top of a slice of cake and your afternoon will no longer be a drag.
Strawberry Coconut Afternoon Cake
6 tbsp Earth Balance or non-dairy butter substitute (or butter, if you eat dairy), softened at room temperature
1 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 egg whites
3/4 cup coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (or more if you want extra strawberry gooey goodness)
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 in (oversized) pie plate or a 9 in spring form cake pan. Stir together flours, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Beat one cup of sugar and the butter substitute together until creamy. Stir in the whole egg, coconut cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until fluffy, then gently fold the two mixtures together. Slowly stir in the flour combo. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate and arrange strawberry halves on top so the entire surface is covered.
Sprinkle the extra 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top, then pop it into the preheated oven. Bake it at 350 f for ten minutes, then drop the temperature down to 325 f and cook for an additional 60 minutes or so.