A couple of years ago, I embarked on a mission to find the yummiest, most enticing, and most delicious recipe for fruit bread. The best fruit bread on this planet. Period.

strawberry rhubarb explosion cake

Just in case you are wondering, my search had nothing to do with culinary curiosity, nothing to do with a quest for excellence and kitchen supremacy. No, no, no, it was a different story altogether: my six-year-old daughter was refusing to eat fruits and an intervention was badly needed.

strawberry rhubarb explosion cake

Those who have a six-year-old will understand the magnitude of the effort. They know developing your child’s palate and diversifying his or her food choices is not a trivial task. There is no straightforward convincing as in, “Hey, here is a yummy strawberry, give it a try.” There is no logic and reasoning as in, “You should eat fruits because they are good for you.” Teaching kids to embrace new foods requires much more than that; it requires a great deal of imagination, patience and character study. Or in layman’s terms, trick her into eating something she already likes, and then build up gradually.

Needless to say, my daughter’s favorite food is bread.

strawberry rhubarb explosion cake | @WolfGourmet

We started small, with a recipe for vanilla bread and three strawberries. Next time we used five. Six. Seven. Then we took a break for a while. (Because where kids are concerned, one can only push it so much.) We stayed on seven strawberries for a couple of months, before we continued to build again. Eight, ten, eleven. Two cups, yay! We added rhubarb and more strawberries. “How much fruit can one add to this bread before it explodes?” pondered my husband. “You should not call it a bread, Daddy,” advised my daughter while munching on a slice, “because you cannot really spread butter on top of it.” But no one cared about butter anymore, because by then it was our favorite “bread” by a long mile.

strawberry rhubarb explosion cake | @WolfGourmet

A couple of years down the road, and it’s still a family favorite. No surprises there, because it’s a loaf that’s bursting with happiness. A jewel loaf so to speak, stamped red all over and quite magical. Like a stained glass in Notre Dame cathedral. Like a tale from one thousand and one nights. Like a big, warm, intoxicating strawberry-rhubarb hug. When we have dinner parties, I fancy it up with a drop of rosewater and a tiny shaving of lemon zest. For playdates and sleepovers, I keep it simple. And last but not least, it’s one happy camper of a cake: it stays for a couple of days without getting dry, and freezes beautifully.

Strawberry Rhubarb Loaf | @WolfGourmet

I often bake an extra loaf, cut it into inch-thick slices and keep it in the freezer for school breakfasts and field trip snacks. These days, I like to bake it in my Wolf Gourmet countertop oven, because it’s the perfect size for the loaf pan, and the red knobs are the jolly companions to the gorgeous red fruits inside. Just like strawberry and rhubarb, my cake and my oven are one happy pairing, and who can ask for more.

strawberry rhubarb explosion cake | @WolfGourmet
strawberry rhubarb cake
Strawberry Rhubarb Explosion Cake
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strawberry rhubarb cake
Strawberry Rhubarb Explosion Cake
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Ingredients
  • 10 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 7 oz white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz butter melted
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 10 oz fresh strawberries
  • 10 oz rhubarb
  • 1/4 tsp rose water optional
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest grated on a microplane (optional)
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees F (325F convection). Butter and flour a loaf pan or a bundt pan.
  • Wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Cut the strawberries in quarters (you want chunks of different sizes). Place the strawberries in a medium-sized bowl. Using your fingers, crush about half of the strawberries. Wash the rhubarb and cut the ends. Cut the rhubarb into 1/2-inch dice. Add the rhubarb dice to the strawberries. Mix and set aside.
  • Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well and sift into a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the sugar, butter, and vanilla, until everything is fully combined. Add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated. Add the strawberry-rhubarb mixture. Add rose water and lemon zest (if using). Mix well.
  • Add the fruit mixture to the flour mixture. Mix gently with a spatula until dry ingredients are absorbed by the wet ones, but try not to over-mix the batter. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 75 minutes if using loaf pan, and about 60 minutes if using bundt pan.) Leave the cake in the pan for about 15 - 30 minutes, before turning it out of the pan. Let the cake cool completely before serving.

 

~*~

Aleksandra Mojsilović | Three Little Halves

 

Aleksandra Mojsilović is a scientist by day, and a cook, photographer and doodler by night. As QueenSashy, she is the face behind the James Beard nominated blog Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was the winner of International Association of Culinary Professionals Best Narrative Culinary Blog 2016, and the finalist for Saveur Food Blog Awards in 2014 and 2016. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.

Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven

 

The Wolf Gourmet countertop oven with convection bakes, broils, roasts, proofs, toasts, and warms – all in a fast, energy efficient way.

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