There are some baked goods that walk a fine line with their status as a dessert, snack, or a breakfast item, but we don’t fault them for it. To the contrary, we think their identity crisis is what makes them even more becoming — a sweet little treat you can enjoy any time of day. Our Strawberry Loaf is just that kind of baked good, a simply sweet strawberry-studded loaf that’s right at home no matter the snacking occasion.
You can thank strawberries pretty much exclusively for the flavor here – there are two cups folded into the batter and another third of a cup in the glaze that tops it. Tossing the fruit in a bit of flour before stirring them into the batter ensures that they’ll be evenly distributed throughout the loaf and won’t sink straight to the bottom. They keep the crumb moist and lend their signature springtime sweetness to every bite.
The loaf itself may be great – and it really, truly is; just sweet enough, and not at all cloying – but the glaze that tops it is worth acknowledging on its own. It’s not uncommon to come across a cake glaze that tastes of nothing but sugar or of a bit of extract that’s been stirred in as an afterthought, but this particular glaze packs a secondary punch of true strawberry flavor. It tastes authentic and adds to the cake beneath it beyond just being an extra layer of sweetness. Just keep in mind that the strawberries will release moisture as you stir them in, so add the milk to the glaze gradually.
Our Best Strawberry Loaf is truly deserving of its title. Good any time of day any day of the year, it’s a must try!
Strawberry Loaf Cake
Serves 8-10 1 hour 15 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups strawberries, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- For the glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup strawberries, finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1-2 tablespoons, whole milk, or as needed
- Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl or mixer, beat together sugar, milk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Working in batches, mix dry ingredients into the wet batter, being careful not to over-mix.
- In a separate bowl, toss diced strawberries with flour until each is fully coated, then fold strawberries into cake batter.
- Once strawberries have been incorporated, transfer batter to prepared loaf pan.
- Place in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out just clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan to finish cooling.
- For glaze: whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, almond extract and diced strawberries. (Note: strawberries will release moisture and help loosen glaze.)
- If needed, work in teaspoons and add milk until desired consistency is reached.
- Spoon glaze on, then let set or serve immediately, enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Tastes of Lizzy T.