baking california fruit recipe sweets

A Strawberry Cake

19 September 2016

I’ve been walking the past week or so — I suppose I could say hiking as I do set out from the Bear Valley Trail in the Seashore and go up to Divide Meadow, though it is so comfortable of a journey it doesn’t much feel like work. I have about a week until I’m cleared to run again and I’m slowly re finding muscles that have been neglected this past month. The air is cool and crisp, infused with that effervescent coastal breeze and the scent of bay leaves mixed with the little stream that winds its way through the woods. I am able to slip away sans children for an hour or so and it’s been so precious. We need these little bits of time for ourselves, especially during these early, sweet, oh-so-needy years.


We’ve been treated this past week to a glorious string of Indian Summer days; yesterday a big group of us trouped down to Shell Beach on Tomales Bay and it was full of sunbathers and swimmers on the last summer Sunday of the season. I haven’t spent an early fall in California in years and had almost forgotten how wonderful it is. These are the clear, starry nights with a harvest moon slung bright and low over the hills that make up for July’s foggy, chilly mornings.

There are still strawberries at the local farmers’ market – California being a produce paradise especially now – and I picked up a basket last weekend to tuck into a cake. We’ve had a fairly steady stream of visitors to our little spot here in West Marin and I have gotten into an easy routine of offering good fresh bread and cheeses, veggie snacks and fruit for the kids, and some sort of homemade baked item. Apple cake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, strawberry cake, etc. …

This version is slightly coconutty from the use of coconut oil though you could use vegetable oil instead if you like. Honey instead of sugar is a standout here, plus plenty of whole grain flour. The strawberries infuse the cake with the delicate flavor of spring yet slices are sturdy enough to tuck into your pocket for a mid-walk fortification if you’re so lucky to find a breezy, sunny spot in which to sit for a bit and listen to the birds. And the quiet.

  • Lisa 19 September 2016 at 9:59 am

    “We need these little bits of time for ourselves, especially during these early, sweet, oh-so-needy years.” This is the most perfect summation of this time I’ve ever read! So glad you’re getting a few precious hours a week to yourself!