Every strawberry season, I get in a recipe testing mood. I love strawberries in cakes, cheesecakes, ice creams, trifles, I have tried everything!
I was inspired by a red velvet bundt cake recipe I saw on Instagram by Angelina @bakedambrosia (you can see her recipe here). She combined cream cheese and condensed milk to create a creamy layer inside the cake. I thought this would so work with strawberries. And it does.
I used olive oil for the cake batter for moisture and lemon zest for flavour. Although you could make this cake with strawberry jam, I strongly recommend using fresh strawberries and making a jammy mixture yourself. Jam would give too much extra sweetness and you need the tartness of the fruit for balance.
I tried baking this cake in a bundt pan but the cream cheese layer causes it sometimes to collapse. A 24- or 26-inch cake pan works best and slices beautifully. I put the cake batter first, then spoonful’s of the jammy strawberries, I pour over the cream cheese and finish with more jammy strawberries. During baking, the cream cheese mixture and strawberries sink to the bottom of the cake pan. So, you need to invert it before serving, and you will see that beautiful creamy layer on top of your cake. It’s delicious and gorgeous!
For the strawberry puree:
- 80 g granulated sugar
- 350 g strawberries (weighed before removing stems)
For the cream cheese layer:
- 200 g cream cheese
- 400 g sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 15 g all-purpose flour
For the cake:
- 100 g olive-oil
- 2 large eggs
- 180 g whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 240 g granulated sugar
- 240 g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 175 C fan. Line the base of a 24 or 26 cm round cake pan with greaseproof paper. Butter and flour the paper and sides.
Make the strawberry puree. Chop strawberries and sugar in a chopper or food processor until finely chopped. Transfer in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until reduced and consistency looks like runny jam. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Set aside until needed.
Make the cream cheese layer by combining in a bowl, all the ingredients, in the order given. Whisk to combine and make sure no cream cheese bits remain. Set aside.
Make the cake layer. In a large bowl, mix olive oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add sugar and sift in flour with baking powder and salt. Mix again to combine.
Transfer cake batter in prepared baking pan. Top with spoonfulls of about half of the strawberry puree. Then, pour over cream cheese mixture and top with spoonfulls of the remaining strawberry mixture.
Transfer in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cake stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to release it. Invert on a serving platter and leave to cool. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with extra strawberries.