Monday, July 13, 2009

Strawberry Amaretto Skillet Cake

So it's time for another cooking experiment. While I'd like to think that my passion for cooking is enough to have me whipping up gourmet delicacies every evening, I know better. I'm pretty sure that I have not cooked ONCE since we got back in town and I started my new job (both good excuses, right?). And although I have a continuous stack of recipes and ideas that I want to try, sometimes I need a little motivation. That motivation comes in the form of another contest (but thankfully, no video).

This time the contest is for the Simple and Delicious magazine, part of the Taste of Home publications. They have great contests every few months and after my first contest experience, I decided it was time to give another one a shot.

The theme is Berry Bonanza, featuring strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries. My first attempt features strawberries along with one of my favorite coffee cake recipes given to me by my grandmother--I call it Strawberry Amaretto Skillet Cake. My recipe will use the same cake ingredients, but with a different topping. Instead of using the full amount of almond extract in the batter that the original recipe calls for, I'm going to half it and make up the difference in the topping guessed it, amaretto liquor. I do adore amaretto. And after all, what's a great brunch without a little booze?

(Kidding, Mom).


1 1/2 sticks of margarine
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour, sifted
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Topping Mix
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tbsp. amaretto liquor, divided
1/3 C. sliced almonds, crushed
1/4 C. sugar


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Melt butter and stir in sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour, salt and almond flavoring; mix well. Line a cast iron skillet with aluminum foil, letting the foil extend up over sides. Pour batter into lined skillet.

Cook 30-40 minutes, until top is firm. Let cool about 20 minutes. Using a fork, poke holes throughout the cake. Pour 1 tbsp. amaretto evenly over entire top of cake, so that it drips through the holes. Toss strawberries with remaining 1 tbsp. liquor and pour over cake, spreading evenly so that it covers entire surface. Sprinkle crushed almonds and sugar over top of strawberries.

It still needs a little tweaking (I'll update this recipe/post as needed), but I think the first attempt turned out pretty well! The cake itself has such a delicious flavor and moist texture, which contrasts nicely with the crunchy almonds. The strawberries add beautiful color and the amaretto...well, if you don't like amaretto then I'm afraid my blog just won't do anything for you! ;)

I'll be back soon with more berry-inspired recipes. Happy cooking!

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