Prepare cake batter:
Once upon a time, in the very early days of Melting Pot Tours, I was gifted with a 3-pack of fresh strawberries that inspired one of the best strawberry cakes ever.
“You really need the 3-pack,” she insisted.
“Really I don’t. They’re just for me,” I tried to resist.
“Take them anyway!”
She won. I took them.
The next morning, I was on a tear to find the best strawberry cake recipe ever, since I now had this gorgeous overabundance of ripening strawberries. It felt like they were pleading with me to make them into something amazing.
A couple hours later, from a recipe that was originally designed for a strawberry-rhubarb cake, I removed from the oven ... something amazing.
A few hours after that, a third of the cake had vanished.
Remember now, this was just for me.
Please do not ask how long it was before the entire cake was gone.
The following week, I told my darlings at Farm Fresh that the next time I made that cake, I was bringing it to them. Only because I knew that my consuming that entire cake was destined to happen ... mmmmmaybe more than once again.
That next time, I adapted the recipe with my own touches to include fresh citrus juice, zest, and spices, especially freshly ground nutmeg. It became even more irresistible.
Not surprisingly, we all agreed it was like crack so, in short order it came to be officially named just that. Strawberry Crack Cake.
The recipe is very easily adaptable to be made year-round, with other seasonal fruits. I’ve made it with fresh pear, apple, and cherries in the fall; it’s fantastic with stone fruit and raspberries in the summer. Still, it comes to its most beautiful life when made with fresh strawberries, in May.
It is especially delicious when you taste it with those you love ... which is why I always bake it in my heart-shaped pan. (This time it was styled with a backdrop of black, white, and red to honor the serious matches this last week between my two favorite Mexican futbol clubs, Chivas Guadalajara and Atlas.)
By the way, I am here to tell you that sharing (the cake) is strictly optional.
I ought to know.
Until next time, I remain ~
Your Chef and Tour Maestra,