I was so excited to see the first local strawberry stand open this week that I couldn’t resist buying a box of perfectly red berries. My enthusiasm was a bit premature, however – one bite revealed that while the fruit signaled spring, the flavor was flat and mediocre. Unwilling (code for too stubborn) to part with my precious berries, I turned to the oven to give them a quick roast.
Tossed with melted coconut oil and honey, the berries emerge from the oven bubbling and syrupy. Meanwhile, this simple skillet cake comes together quickly with two bowls, a whisk, and a spatula – no mixer required! Perfumed with Meyer lemon zest and vanilla bean, the cake makes a plush pillow for the roasted strawberries.
- 16 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp honey
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine strawberries, coconut oil, honey, and salt in a small bowl; toss to coast. Arrange strawberries in a single layer on baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes; place roasted berries and juices in a small bowl while still warm.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and grease a seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet (or cake pan). Place sugar, vanilla bean seeds, and lemon zest in a food processor; pulse 30 seconds. Whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Whisk together egg, buttermilk, yogurt, coconut oil, and vanilla in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and stir just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Top batter with roasted strawberries and juices; sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven to cool completely in skillet on a wire rack. Use a thin spatula to loosen cake from skillet before slicing.
- Serving Size: 10 servings
- Calories: 220