Lots of recipes are named after the place where they first found popularity–the Boston Cream Pie, the Philly Cheese Steak, the Waldorf Salad…even Neiman-Marcus has their own fictional cookie.
That said, welcome to ‘Nannerbury, a completely made-up land where everyone eats cake for breakfast, lives in thatch-top cottages painted pink, yellow or red, and breathes air scented with sweet and ripe-smelling breezes all day long.
(Sigh.) Or not. But that’s where my mind travels when these yummy little cakes are baking away in my kitchen stove. (It’s much nicer than reality.)
“Once upon a time there was a little oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit…”
Okay, I’ll stop now. Promise.
If your berries are not particularly in season, you can slice them the night before you plan to make this recipe and give them a little boost:
Sprinkle 1 lb. sliced strawberries with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup orange juice. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, add any liquid made by the berries to the batter along with the fruit.
So, anyway…preheat your oven to 350. In a large, spouted batter bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour♥ and 1 scant tablespoon double-acting baking powder.
♥Chef’s Note: I don’t use cake flour in this recipe because it thins the batter and the fresh berries fall to the bottom of the cakes during cook time. All-purpose flour is bulkier and “holds up” the berries.
To the dry mixture, stir in 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Mix until a thick, even powder is achieved.
Break 2 eggs into the bowl and add 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter in pieces. Stir into a powdery paste.
Add 4 to 5 overripe bananas to the batter one-at-a-time, mashing a little between each addition. DO NOT OVERMASH.
Stir in 1 lb. sliced strawberries and any berry juice in bottom of container. Mix only until fruit chunks are evenly distributed in batter.
Pour batter into cupcake tins or custard cups to 2/3 full-mark. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops are sufficiently spongey or inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serve garnished with yogurt, whipped topping, strawberry preserves or fresh fruit.