So who are we kidding, right? This recipe is called a “bread” but all I can tell you it sure it eats like a lovely fresh, berry cake!
I passed by this recipe initially as I was browsing through my latest Bake from Scratch magazine, but as I made a second pass through, and noticed that it called for roasted strawberries, that sounded so intriguing, I had to give it a try.
And am I ever glad I did! The first thing I thought was “this is just to die for” – it’s so moist, and simply full of all kinds of strawberry flavor. I am a little late for this to be served on Valentine’s Day this year, but it feels like the perfect kind of dessert for a special tea with one’s loved ones.
The original magazine recipe in the March/April 2023 issue of Bake from Scratch was for making one regular-sized loaf, which I turned into several smaller loaves (6×3″) more appropriate for the third course of an afternoon tea (of course!). As I was experimenting with this recipe, I also skimmed a little of the batter off the top to do a few even smaller, mini-loaves (using a mini-cake Silikomart silicon form). Although next time I’d stick with one or the other size and fill up the forms even a little more (I guess this is where the “bread” comes in, which doesn’t rise as much as a cake might!).
The batter is just so full of strawberry goodness – first the puree of the roasted strawberries, then diced strawberries on top of that so you get the deeper roasted flavor, and the bright fresh flavor in every bite.
Definitely dice the fresh strawberries small enough for the size loaf or loaves you’re going to make so you don’t get chunks that are a little too big in the smaller loaves.
And the before and after (below) will show you that they don’t rise a huge amount, so you can fill them closer to the top.
I love a frosting that doesn’t require a mixer, and this one comes together easily with a whisk and can be applied over the top of each loaf easily with a spoon. No worries if it drizzles down over the side some!
I thought a simple strawberry heart decoration would go perfectly with this quick bread, and it definitely did. For me that meant just slicing thin slices of the nicer, round-shaped, smaller strawberries, and cutting out the center and shaping the top into a heart.
Easy enough to do, though I would also caution not to add the strawberries until just before you want to serve and eat. Strawberries will leach water when they just sit on top of the frosting, so best to have them cut but only add at the last minute.
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt, full fat, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 c. fresh strawberries, diced (small for the smaller loaves)
- 1 Tbsp. whole milk
- 1 1/2 to 2 c. powdered sugar
- A few extra fresh strawberries to cut up into strawberry “hearts”, if desired
DirectionsPrepare the roasted strawberries first, as they will need time to cool (makes about 1 1/4 cups). Preheat the oven to 375° F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss together the first two ingredients (1 lb. fresh strawberries and 2 Tbsp. sugar) together in a medium bowl until combined. Spread them on the prepared pan in a single layer. Bake until very soft, dark in color, and you start to smell their aroma, or about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely on the pan. Best on the same day, but they can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight before using.
When ready to make the bread, preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray your mini loaf pans with baking spray with flour. You may also line the pans with parchment paper and let the excess extend over the sides of the pan to make it easy to get out.
Take your roasted strawberries and put them in a food processor, pulsing them until smooth. Reserve 1/4 c. in a small bowl and set aside (for the icing).
Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt – in a medium bowl and set aside.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs at medium speed until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Then with your mixer on medium speed slowly add the oil, beating until combined. Then beat in the yogurt, half of the vanilla (3/4 tsp.), and lemon juice. Add the rest of the roasted strawberry puree, and beat until combined; scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until almost completely combined, then gently fold in the fresh diced strawberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, or 35-40 minutes (check at 35; you want to see it just start to turn golden. Inner temp should be 205° F. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the icing, add the milk and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla to the reserved 1/4 c. roasted strawberry puree. Whisk until combined. Add 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar and whisk until combined; add the rest of the 1/2 c. of sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Immediately pour over the cooled bread.
Just before serving, decorate with a strawberry “heart” if you wish. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.