Little Citrus-Strawberry Cakes

Citrusy, sweet and oh-so-pretty, these mini-cakes make an idyllic finish to a spring or summertime meal. Fresh strawberries are nestled into prepared fruit preserves, topping a tasty cornmeal crumble cake with a flourish. Oh yes - of course they are perfect to serve at an afternoon tea party!

 

Little Citrus-Strawberry Cakes

Makes 10 to 12 cakes

 

CAKE

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 cup cornmeal (fine ground)

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup vegan light brown sugar or white cane sugar

1 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

 

TOPPING

2/3 cup strawberry preserves, plus more as needed

2 to 3 teaspoons water

2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries

24 small fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 15 x 10-inch rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

 

Put the flour, cornmeal, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in large bowl. Stir with a dry whisk until combined. Add the sugar and whisk to combine.

 

Put the water, olive oil, lemon juice and lime juice in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon just until incorporated.

 

Pour the batter in the prepared pan and spread in an even layer using a rubber spatula. Bake for 20 minutes. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. Carefully invert the cake on to a large cutting board.

 

Cut the cake into 10 to 12 rounds using a 3 to 3 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. (see note)

 

Put the strawberry preserves and the water in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Spread half of the strawberry preserve mixture over the top of each cake using a pastry brush or back of a small spoon. Arrange the fresh strawberry slices in a pleasing pattern on top of each cake, gently pressing the berries into the preserves so they adhere. Spread the remaining preserves over the top of the strawberry slices. Garnish each cake with a single mint leaf. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover cakes will keep for about 1 day.

 

Chef's Note: Alternately, cut the cake into 10 to 12 squares.