This recipe adds to the dozens of versions we’ve read (and of the many we’ve made and enjoyed) of Marian Burros’s legendary 1979 Italian Plum Torte. Her dry batter absorbs fruit liquids in a gorgeous way, even as it rises and reaches up to blanket the fruit placed on top before baking. As strawberry season approaches, this version will help you celebrate the return of summer and delicious, sun-ripened fruits and veggies. After you’ve tried it once or twice, perhaps it will inspire you to build your own flavor profiles into the recipe and make one more delicious version in Ms. Burros’s honor.

Strawberry Cake Recipe


1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ tsp cardamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups chopped strawberries
3 or 4 large strawberries sliced to place on top prior to baking
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of ginger for sprinkling
4 tablespoons Amaretto


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Grease and flour a 9-inch angel food pan or Bundt pan.

3. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cardamom in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and almond extract and beat together for about a minute.

5. Add the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.

6. Fold in the chopped strawberries.

7. Spoon batter evenly into the cake pan. Arrange thes trawberry slices on top. Sprinkle with sugar and spices.

8. Bake 45 minutes and test with wooden skewer. When it comes out clean, the cake is baked.

9. Use a small rubber spatula to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Let cool for 10 minutes and brush with Amaretto liqueur. When completely cool, flip the pan onto a serving plate. Brush again with amaretto.

10. As a finishing touch, serve with fresh fruit on the side, whipped cream, ice cream, or even a dry sherry.

Story and Styling by Keith Recker / Photography by Dave Bryce

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