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Ripe Strawberry Banana Cakes
-1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
-1/4 cup granulated sugar for berries (optional)
-1/4 cup orange juice for berries (optional)
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 scant tablespoon double-acting baking powder
-2/3 cup dark brown sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
-4 to 5 overripe bananas
*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.
To make cakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large, spouted batter bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour♥ and 1 scant tablespoon double-acting baking powder. 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, depending on type of baking tin used, or until tops are sufficiently spongey or inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.