June for me always meant strawberry time. When I was young strawberries were sweeter, smaller, and juicier than today. I made jam in a large gray kettle, inhaled the aroma, scraped the foam from the luscious concoction, and shared it with the children. The finished product was canned in half pint jars and kept in the cellar for winter.
Recently my daughter Becky came to visit and made strawberry jam. It was delicious, took much less time to make and is now stored in the freezer. We don’t have wild berries, but it certainly brings back memories when poured over ice cream, or spread on toast.
A couple of weeks ago we went shopping at Costco and got a huge crate of strawberries. We got creative and made strawberry bread from Heaven’s recipes. (Recipe found on this blog). There were so many berries we didn’t have room to store them in the refrigerator. So I rinsed and froze most of them in two cup portions and thought of ways to use them: smoothies, muffins, jam, and a recipe for a strawberry fruit cake that I invented.
This is a variation of a Mexican fruit cake that I have been making for years. The recipe originally came from my daughter-in-law Stacey. The difference being I substituted a package of frozen strawberries for crushed pineapple. Try this extremely moist cake while strawberries are still available at a reasonable price.
Strawberry Fruit Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Combine eggs, sugar, and chopped strawberries in medium mixing bowl.
- In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, and baking soda.
- Add contents of medium bowl to flour, sugar mixture and combine thoroughly. Then add nuts.
- Grease bottom of oblong cake pan and pour batter into pan.
- Place into preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake until golden brown about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Ice with this cream cheese frosting recipe while still hot.
- Cool on wire rack and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 stick softened butter (no substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
While the cake is baking, cream the softened cheese and butter (no substitute). Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with mixer until ingredients are well combined. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven pour the icing over the cake. Cool on rack and then refrigerate until ready to serve. This iced cake with the frosting is very rich. Cut it into small pieces and it will serve a large crowd. Let the children help with this project. They love to mix and of course lick the bowl. Have fun cooking with the kids.