One day a few years ago, I gave my kids actual chocolate cake for breakfast. Once. As I recall, it was summer, I was inexplicably tired, I had almost nothing to eat (not even milk for cereal) other than some lingering chocolate cake on the counter. It’s also entirely possible that I had a refrigerator full of food and the kids caught me in a moment of temporary insanity, but I choose to remember it the first way. As you can imagine, they talk about that one day constantly. And they’ll talk about it to one another right in front of me (“remember that time mom gave us chocolate cake for breakfast?”), which I have to assume they think makes me more likely to do it again. They’re so very wrong. But this gluten free strawberry breakfast cake? Low in sugar (just 1/2 cup in the whole cake), low in fat (4 tablespoons butter total) and loaded with fresh strawberries—this they can have for breakfast.
Strawberries can be difficult to bake into a cake, as they’re so packed with moisture and they release it during baking. But somehow this cake handles the extra moisture with ease, without having to have anything at all done to them other than a quick wash and a rough chop. I’ve also made this cake with an equal number of fresh blueberries, and it’s delicious, too.
This is one amazing cake. Moist, tender and lightly sweet, and the batter is so easy to throw together that the 10-minute prep time in the instructions is really only true if you get distracted by something while you’re baking. Mom and kid approved!
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (130 g) plain yogurt, at room temperature
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 1/4 cups fresh roughly chopped strawberries (from 8 to 10 strawberries that are washed, hulled, dried and chopped)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, then line it with crisscrossed sheets of unbleached parchment paper, overhanging both sides of the pan. Set the pan aside.
Make the batter. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, yogurt and eggs, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick. Add 1 cup of the chopped strawberries and mix gently until the strawberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough, taking care not to crush the strawberries. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a wet spatula. Scatter the remaining 1/4 cup chopped strawberries over the top of the batter, pressing them gently into the batter.
Bake the cake. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is very lightly golden brown (about 25 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting out by the overhung parchment paper and placing on a wire rack to cool (peeling off the parchment from the bottom of the cake if possible). Allow to cool completely before slicing into 16 squares and serving.
Storage. The cake freezes really well. Just wrap the pieces tightly in freezer-safe wrap and freeze. Defrost at room temperature and then refresh in a 250°F toaster oven for a minute or two before serving.