This magical Strawberry Pudding Cake separates into two layers of deliciousness making a tender cake with a layer of fruity sauce underneath. It is an ideal British dessert. We love sponge cakes or steamed sponges with fruity or sweet sauces – Sticky Toffee Pudding, Jam Sponge and Lemon Steamed Pudding are all extremely popular over here. However Strawberry Pudding Cake’s origins are very likely more North American. When I was a child in Canada I remember a packaged cake mix made by Robin Hood brand that had a sauce you poured over the cake batter. The layers then separated in the same way I described above – cake with sauce underneath. I also used to make a more complicated homemade Lemon Sponge Pudding from my Grandmother’s recipe which separated into a light cake layer on top and a sweet/tart citrus sauce layer underneath. Having said that, my Grandmother did come from England. Our cultural food history gets so blended up sometimes it is hard to say conclusively where anything actually originates from.
This Strawberry Pudding Cake is adapted from the Raspberry Pudding Cake recipe in one of my favourite cookbooks of the moment, The Pollan Family Table. Next to The Magical Slow Cooker, it’s the cookbook I have used most this year. I love how the Pollan family have shared a bit of their family life in pictures alongside the recipes in this comprehensive and helpful tome. There is lots of practical advice on basic cooking and pantry skills along with recipes suitable for all levels of cooking expertise. If you are not a confident cook, this book will empower you. If you are a confident cook, it will excite you! As well as the Pollan’s Raspberry Pudding Cake, I’ve made their Citrus Roasted Chicken with Grand Mariner several times and Aunt Mary’s Grand Mariner Orange Cake recipe twice. I can’t wait to try more recipes from this wonderful book!
As well as this Strawberry variation on the Pollan’s Raspberry Pudding Cake, I have made a blueberry version which is equally well loved in our family. Frankly, the reason I am blogging the strawberry one is that it photographed better. Like so many amazing desserts, pudding cakes taste delicious but they are not really very beautiful to look at!
If you try this recipe, you will definitely understand why Raspberry, Blueberry and Strawberry Pudding Cakes have become regular features on our menu, particularly when we are entertaining. Served with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream alongside, they are fast becoming one of the most requested desserts around the Harris family table!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus extra for greasing
- ¾ cup granulated or caster sugar, divided
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1½ cups washed and sliced strawberries
- ½ cup good strawberry jam
- 1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1¾ tablespoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk (I use 2% or half fat milk)
- 1 teaspoon almond flavouring
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
- Grease a 9 inch (23 cm) square pan with a bit of butter.
- Ina small saucepan over low heat, stir ¼ cup of the sugar, the water, lemon juice and cornstarch together.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Add the fruit and jam and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and the remaining ½ cup sugar together in a medium size mixing bowl.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, slightly cooled melted butter and almond flavouring.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the large bowl.
- Stir just until well combined.
- Spread the batter in the baking pan.
- Carefully pour the strawberry sauce over top. (Don't panic at how this looks, it will all work out!)
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool for at least t 5 minutes (or you will burn your mouth on the sauce!).
- Serve warm in individual bowls with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on the side.
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If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like Chocolate Almond Pear Pudding Cake.