Whenever I want to make a fast, good-looking dessert that doesn’t necessarily feed an army, I turn to my loaf pan. I love the shape of a small chubby cake that can be sliced anyway you like. What I also like is my basic butter cake recipe. You can find it in my Apple cake recipe. I really enjoy trying new recipes, but I am sooo happy with that one that there is nothing I would change about it – accept maybe for fruits and extras.

I couldn’t resist adding strawberries to this cake. They added such a wonderful freshness and a burst of red colour to the light cake batter. And since I think strawberries and almonds go so well together, an idea of almond streussel immediately occupied my head and I couldn’t wait for an opportunity to bake this cake. I was in luck (well, partly) – our friends came over for dinner so I thought this was a perfect ending to a tortilla dinner. However, they both watch their weight so they only ate few small slices.

Honestly, I would be lying if I said I had minded all that much – I brought it as a snack to work and as the time went by, the cake was getting better and better. It got perfectly moist and tender, strawberries kept their shape bravely and did not leak juice that would make the cake soggy, streussel kept its crunch and sweetness – the cake was just perfect. I have another variation of this loaf cake waiting to be written down. What would be your favourite combination?

preparation time: about 25 minutes

baking time: about 50 minutes, 180°C/350 F

baking pan size: 25×11 cm/10×4,3 in

Ingredients for the cake batter:

150 g fresh strawberries + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
100 g soft unsalted butter
125 g granulated white sugar
2 whole eggs
195 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125 ml plain yoghurt

Ingredients for the streussel:

25 g cold unsalted butter
50 g chopped almonds
10 g all-purpose flour
15 g brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Start by making the streussel because it should be very cold when put on top. Since it is a small amount, the butter will inevitably warm up between your hands, so you should give it a chance to cool and harden. First, chop the almonds. You could use a food processor, but since if you don’t have it, put the almonds into a plastic bag or a clean kitchen towel and crush them with a rolling pin.Don’t crush them all the way, leave the streussel chunky because it will give the crunch.

2. Cut cold butter into small pieces and put it into a small bow. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon and chopped almond and rub everything between your fingers until you get crumbly mixture. Don’t mix too much – we are not aiming for a bow of dough, but for large crumbs of butter coated with almonds and flour. Put into the fridge until you make the cake batter.

3. Proceed by preparing the strawberries. Wash them, dry on a kitchen towel, then cut the petal off and cut them into small chunks. Put them into a small bowl and sprinkle with flour. Toss the strawberries into the flour until they are well coated. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350 F.

4. Make the batter. Using an electric mixer with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat together soft butter and sugar for a few minutes until the mixture gets really thick, pale and creamy. Add two whole eggs, one at a time and mix them into the butter and sugar mixture.

5. In a separate bowl, prepare all the dry ingredients: sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Pour yoghurt into a measuring cup and add the dry ingredients mixture and yoghurt into the batter alternating between additions – start with a third of dry, then add half of the yoghurt, another half of dry, the rest of the yoghurt and finally the rest of the dry. Mix shortly after each addition to make sure everything is well incorporated. Add the strawberries and mix them in very gently using a rubber spatula.

6. Transfer the cake batter into a prepared loaf pan (if it is not non-stick, lign it with some parchment paper), level the top with a spatula and finally, scatter the streussel on top. Bake in a preheated oven for about 50 minutes. Make sure to place the cake into a middle of the oven or even to a lower part, so that the streussel doesn’t burn while the cake finishes baking.

7. Baked cake should spring back if you press it gently, the top and the sides should be golden brown and if you insert a toothpick into the center, it should come out with no wet batter on. There, use any method you like. =) Enjoy the cake freshly baked or cooled from the fridge.

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