I’ve fallen a bit behind with my baking and posting lately. I could come up with a whole list of fabulous reasons why, but the reality is I switched to a different anti-anxiety medication and it has been a rough adjustment. The nausea subsided after about a week, but I’ve been so incredibly exhausted I can’t even gather enough energy to change my linen (no joke – clean sheets have been waiting on my desk for almost a week..embarrassing I know), so sitting down to edit photographs and type up recipes has been an after thought lately. But now everything is starting to settle, and I’m keen to get creating again!
I came up with this simple afternoon tea cake one day when the thought of anything made me so nauseous I wanted to pass out. It’s a lovely vanilla tea cake – moist, fluffy, with a tender ever-so-slightly dense crumb, accompanied by a rich sweet strawberry compote. Simple, just sweet enough, and very satisfying with a lovely cup of tea. It’s such a fab base recipe too, so if you feel like something a tad fancier, spicier, fruitier, whatever! You can play around with it quite easily. Add some cacao for a chocolate treat, or throw some fruit straight in the mix for a moist fruity slice, your options are endless! I personally like to keep things fairly simple, so vanilla with a dusting of confectioners sugar and strawberries it is.
This cake also very simple to make, especially as it’s mostly made in a stand mixer! But if you don’t have one of those you’ll still be okay. Instead of beating the oil and sugar in the mixer, simply replicate with a fork. And combining it all together? A regular old whisk and some muscles will do! It won’t take too long so it’s definitely worth a go on a lovely warm afternoon..
Vanilla Tea Cake with Strawberry Compote
Prep Time: 30 Minutes (Includes prepping and getting your compote bubbling away)
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Makes 1x 9inch square cake
- 4 Cups Whole Strawberries; Fresh or Frozen, hulled
- 1/2 Cup Juice; Orange for a tangy compote, or Apple for sweet
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Cups Plain Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Powder (or another 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract)
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
- 1/2 Cup Apple Sauce
For the Compote:
- In a medium pot on your stove, combine the strawberries, juice, and sugar, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and leave to bubble away for anywhere from 30-60 minutes – stirring occasionally.
For the Cake:
- Pre-heat oven to 175°C, and line your tin of choice with grease-proof paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle. Meanwhile sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla powder (if using) into a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the sugar and oil to a stand mixer, and using a balloon whisk attachment beat on medium-high speed to combine. It’ll take a minute or two, but the sugar and oil will have a chemical reaction when beaten well, and it’ll turn a tad more thick and homogenous. When it reaches this stage, add in the apple sauce, vanilla extract, and milk and vinegar mix and beat until smooth and ever-so frothy.
- Turn your mixer down to a low speed, and cup-by-cup, add in the sifted dry ingredients. As soon as the final cup goes in and it juuuuust looks combined, turn the mixer off! It’s done!
- Poor this lovely mix into your lined tin, and pop in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. I’d check it around the 25 minute mark and see how it’s doing, mine was good to go at 28 minutes. When it’s springy to the touch, whip it out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Dust with confectioners sugar, and serve alongside your delicious strawberry compote!
Alternatively, this cake would be lovely with any fruity compote – stewed spiced apples in winter would be absolutely delightful! and a blob of cream or a smear of frosting wouldn’t hurt for a more special occasion. However you choose to present and consume this lovely afternoon treat, I hope you enjoy!