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Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Yekaterina Boytsova

Don’t be surprised at how quickly this olive oil and cornmeal-enriched sheet cake will disappear. The strawberry flavor comes from a swirl of jam and a pretty layer of sliced berries on top. Because the strawberries will shrink and sink a bit during baking (how much depends on their size and sweetness), make sure they’re placed shoulder to shoulder on top of the batter.

Ingredients

Makes one 13x9" cake

8

oz. strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced lengthwise

1

cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided, plus more for pan

Kosher salt

¾

cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan

cups (180 g) all-purpose flour

½

cup (60 g) fine-grind cornmeal

½

tsp. baking powder

½

tsp. baking soda

3

large eggs

2

large egg yolks

½

cup plus 2 Tbsp. sour cream

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

3

Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2

tsp. vanilla extract

½

cup strawberry jam (preferably Bonne Maman)

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Gently toss strawberries, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until ready to use.

Step 2

Grease a 13x9" pan with oil. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 long sides. Grease parchment with oil. Generously sprinkle pan and parchment with sugar, tilting to coat pan in an even layer; tap out excess.

Step 3

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, 1 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined. Add dry ingredients to sour cream mixture and whisk gently to combine. Using a spatula, gradually fold in ¾ cup oil until batter is smooth and homogenous with all of the oil incorporated.

Step 4

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Using a small spoon, dollop jam onto surface. Using a butter knife or small offset spatula, gently swirl jam into batter. Arrange reserved strawberries on top of batter in even rows, touching at widest points. Sprinkle all over with remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar.

Step 5

Bake cake until risen and deeply bronzed with no damp spots in the middle and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40–45 minutes.

Step 6

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 4 days ahead. Cover with foil and store at room temperature.

How would you rate Strawberry Snacking Cake?

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Tell us what you think
  • Perfect. Used the strawberry jam I'd made the day before, fresh local strawberries for the top, and added a sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds on top of the strawberries. Used two 9" round pans with oiled parchment cut to fit the bottom. The strawberries sunk but the almond slivers did not. We had macerated strawberries and cream for the top. Our 92 year old relative called me about 10 minutes after I'd delivered one of the cakes with fresh berries and cream, saying, "I had to tear myself away from that cake after two pieces and call to let you know. This is the best strawberry cake ever, and I've had a lot of cake in my life!" Yes, am making a new set of these cakes today.

    • Darcie D

    • Clinton Township, MI

    • 6/23/2022

  • The perfect balance of sweet and savory. I adore the addition of cornmeal, which creates a lovely crumbly texture. Followed the recipe exactly as written and it turned out perfect. Next time, I will make this in my cast iron skillet without parchment paper.

    • JM

    • New Orleans, LA

    • 6/19/2022

  • This is wonderful. Made it last night and the strawberries disappeared. Wondering if "sliced thinly" means not in half? I assumed from the photo that the berries are to be cut in half, but now thinking that is not correct and perhaps why they sank? Advice? Regardless of not seeing the berries on top, this cake is spectacular served with lots of fresh whipped cream.

    • Beth G

    • Los Angeles, CA

    • 5/29/2022

  • Made this cake for dessert tonight in honor of spring. Absolutely fantastic and easy to prepare. The cornmeal crumb texture is divine. This is going in my permanent spring/summer recipe file.

    • Jenni Stephens

    • Coralville, IA

    • 5/14/2022

  • Perfect with either a cup of coffee, or glass of champagne. Fresh whipped cream is all you need.

    • Robin H.

    • Atlanta, GA

    • 3/13/2022

  • Pretty amazing. Also browned top under the broiler since it didn't get the same coloring in photo. As for the jam, Smucker's worked fine, though I did put the jam in the microwave for half a minute or so to make it a little runny. then I drizzled it all over the cake instead of dolloping (is that a verb?) and swirling it. I've also determined that "snack size" is about a 4" square. Maybe 5.

    • LaureenB

    • Portsmouth, RI

    • 9/6/2021

  • This is one for the rotation of light, I-can-have-one-more-piece-because-it’s-light-whoops-I-ate-half-of-it, lovely desserts! I could also see a square of this on an English tea platter, beneath a swirl of whipped cream, sandwiching a smear of lemon curd, or possibly even featuring another seasonal fruit so I don’t have to wait for summer to make it. The only instruction I failed to follow was to shoulder the strawberry pieces and it didn’t make a difference in the appearance. Please ignore any low ratings and make this cake!

    • Rachel

    • Los Angeles

    • 9/4/2021

  • I'm writing this review as I snack on a square now. ;) A low-fuss, delicious summertime treat perfect for outdoor gatherings. Now that it's strawberry season y'all have no excuse...make this!! My only comments are that if you're bringing it to an event I would bake it the day of for the crunchy edges and top to stay in tact; I made mine the night before and let sit overnight covered and it had sogged away all the crispity crunchiness by the next day. Also, although my strawberries did not sink, my jam did -- does anyone know how to fix/prevent this from happening? I was really excited about pretty jam swirls in my cornbread-esque cake! I may add more lemon next time to make it more akin to a strawberry lemonade. As other reviewers have noted, um, it's a lot of sugar...probably could cut back and not miss it.

    • SA

    • Rosslyn, VA

    • 6/14/2021

  • This was disappointing, it was not bad but it wasn’t amazing. I was excited by the reviews but ultimately just kinda like a weird spin on cornbread. Made it a day ahead and don’t think that really helped, I actually think it made it a whole lot uglier. I might recommend this as an interesting side for a barbecue. Definitely not Saturday night dessert.

    • Paris

    • Sunnyvale CA

    • 6/6/2021

  • When I added the 3/4 cup of oil it felt like way too much. I'm wondering if anyone has tried it will less oil? It is really good.

    • Beth G

    • Los Angeles, CA

    • 5/31/2021

  • warning: i modified the recipe based on what i had on-hand. made this yesterday, as i had fading strawberries. I didn't have cornmeal (i know, who doesn't have cornmeal in the pantry?!?) so i used 1/2c of almond flour for texture. reduced sugar to 1/2c, with preserves, final result was plenty sweet. used cherry preserves, as i already had a jar open. all this to say... this is a tasty, low effort, forgiving recipe. feel free to riff on it, still comes out great.

    • Anonymous

    • new york

    • 5/29/2021

  • Made this delightful cake this morning and brought it to the emergency room nurses to celebrate Nurse’s Week...everyone thought it was stupid delicious. It’s lovely for a brunch/tea time offering. I missed the part where it gets better overnight...will have to make another one. Mine didn’t brown really well so I put the broiler on and got some nice carmelization on top. This is a keeper!

    • Kellie Varano

    • Maine

    • 5/9/2021

  • I could eat this forever! Used 1/2 cup of sugar in the batter. The second time I made this, I replaced the strawberries with rhubarb. Perfect. So tart. I used the strawberry jam brand the recipe recommended and it didn't sink to the bottom.

    • Maddie

    • Toronto, ON

    • 4/27/2021

  • This is a straightforward, easy and fun cake to make. I subbed semolina for cornmeal and it worked fine. I took care to cut the strawberries thinly, and they didn't sink, but you're not going to get perfectly even slices like in the picture if you're working with the exact quantity of strawberries, because some slices from the edges of the fruit will be smaller. By the time it came to use them, they were breaking down and a bit mushy, so picking out the best slices was a bit tricky. It was still pretty though, just not as picture perfect. I stirred the jam to make it more workable before i dolloped it, and it sank, but it doesn't really matter. I served it with a skoosh of cream, and the lemony flavour came through wonderfully.

    • heatpad

    • Scotland

    • 4/18/2021

  • It looked exactly like the picture! It is so good and it is gone. I was sure I would have to share it all over the neighborhood but we just were not letting it go. I used a tiny bit of dark brown sugar on the bottom. Yum. My berries did not sink, nor did the jam. The jam needs to be stirred up a bit before you add it in little bits and then slowly swirl. Medium slices of berries need to be put down ever so gently. Know your oven, this is paramount.

    • cd

    • East Coldenham

    • 4/15/2021