It’s may so goodbye banana bread and HELLO Strawberry bread! Here’s what to do with all those berries you bought/picked/were gifted (if you are the latter can I have them?!) but are going a bit soft because you can’t eat them quick enough!
Strawberry Bread Origins
Before I had my first daughter, I had never roasted berries nor did it ever cross my mind that roasting would be a genius way to prepare them. When she was getting into solids, I read a baby book recommended by our pediatrician which suggested roasting blueberries with cinnamon for a tasty puree. I tried it with some berries we had picked that June from a local farm and – we all thought it was incredible. I knew it would make any bake taste amazing, and came up with a recipe for a blueberry quick bread which was so good my husband and I wolfed it down within hours. I then, most disappointingly, either lost or forgot to write down the recipe.
I have tested for that recipe so many times since then but haven’t found that blueberry bread yet. I did however, manage to make it to roasted strawberry bread perfection. So, I come to you today with an easy and quick(ish) cake bread recipe. It is wonderfully moist and has a pronounced taste of strawberry with every bite.
When to make strawberry bread
This quick bread is the answer to what to do with May & June strawberries once they start to look a bit soft and you are no longer enjoying them ripe. The roasting releases all the juices and sugars into this lovely red mess which you then puree into strawberry deliciousness. If you want to make the bread but it’s not the season, use organic frozen strawberries (not conventional!). Organic berries will lend a much better flavor than conventional. Similarly, don’t use conventional fresh berries – you know the ones that are quite large, white colored inside? They just don’t have much flavor in them and are mostly water. Great for hydration I suppose, but not for cooking & baking.
Strawberries: See above! Note that you’ll need a particular amount for the puree so you might have some leftover. If so, use it for the glaze or spoon it over ice cream. Or toast. Or just eat it with a spoon, it’s lovely.
Butter: In quick bread recipes I usually opt for an oil rather than butter (it keeps things moist longer) but because of the extra water in the strawberry puree I find it not necessary here and keep the butter because it’s got such great flavor.
Sugar: Granulated, fine. Don’t reduce it – it’ll affect the texture (the moisture level!) of the cake.
Eggs: Large, no need to bring them to room temperature but do whisk them in very, very well.
Flour: All purpose. A gluten free 1 to 1 swap would work great too I think. If measuring by cup, sprinkle it into the cup and level it. Don’t dunk and pack it in!
Sour Cream: Full fat. You can use greek yogurt in place of it. I think a strawberry greek yogurt would be especially nice here!
The original version of this strawberry bread recipe (may 2019)
Oh hi! So the recipe in the box below is actually brand new but the original (in the photo above) is from (four!) years ago and I know it has some fans out there. And once in awhile I get a message on a recipe I’ve updated from someone who liked the original and they were disappointed I’d changed it. In case that’s you and this strawberry bread, I got you – here’s the original:
1 ½ cups flour 180g
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
⅓ cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cups roasted strawberry puree*
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar for sprinkling
*To make the roasted puree: preheat oven to 400. On a sheet pan, spread out 2 heaped cups of sliced berries. Sprinkle with sugar. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing at 10 minutes. Once cool, puree in a food processor or blender. I usually strain mine before adding it to the cake to remove some of the seeds but this is up to you.
Preheat oven to 375. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until very light in color, thick and fluffy in texture. About 5 minutes.
With mixer running, slowly add canola oil and beat it in.
Add yogurt and vanilla, beat to combine.
Add flour and while beating on low, add berry puree and lemon juice.
Pour into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle on the sugar and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Strawberries slow cooked to produced a pronounced flavor in this super moist quick bread.
You have two options to cook down the berries, either in a pot on the stove or in a baking pan in the oven.
For the oven, you’ll set the berries on a 13x9” cake pan and bake them in a preheated oven at 375 for about 20-30 minutes. Until the berries have softened, broken down and some of the water has evaporated (check out my roasted strawberry cheesecake recipe for visual images of what this should look like)
For the stove, set the berries in a large pot over medium low heat. Cook until softened, and all the berries have broken down (you’ll see this method in the recipe video), it can take up to 35-45 minutes.
Once you have your cooked berries, puree them in a blender. You can press through a fine mesh sieve if you want to remove the seeds (they aren’t really detectable in the bread so I generally don’t do this). You can make this in advance and store it in the fridge in a sealed jar. For the bread you’ll measure out 160g or ⅔ cup, use the rest for the glaze.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Flour and grease a standard size loaf pan (8 or 9” x 4.5 or 5”).
In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter then add the sugar. Whisk very well, until you can’t detect any butter separate from the sugar. Add the eggs and whisk very well, for at least 2 minutes.
Add the strawberry puree (⅔ cup or 160g - no more), the vanilla and salt and whisk well. Spoon in the flour, baking soda and powder. As you are mixing in the flour, add the sour cream and mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Try not to over mix though.
Pour into the prepared loaf pan and even out the top. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean from the center.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove and set on a cooling rack.
If you are topping with the glaze, the bread should be completely cool.
To make the glaze: combine the strawberry puree and sugar together, whisking and adding lemon juice only as needed to get a pourable glaze. It should be thick if you want it to stay on the cake, rather than slide off. Pour over the cake.
Bread keeps great for a few days, stored in an airtight container.
Makes one standard loaf.You’ll need to make the roasted strawberries before the bread, and they’ll need to cool a bit before being added to the batter. You can make the puree a day or two ahead if you like or at least an hour or two before the bread to give them time to cool.Wanna add some rhubarb? I did too! In one of my tests for this recipe I added a stalk of rhubarb to the roast, it was lovely.