The balsamic reduction on this cake makes it feel unique. Some days I look forward to that finishing detail, but if I'm being honest, most of the time I crave the simplicity of a butter cake that doesn't need anything else to be delicious.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy and lighter in color, 3 minutes. Add the sugar and milk and whisk for 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time. Increase the speed to medium and mix in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest, 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Mix again on medium speed for 30 more seconds.3.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.4.
With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix for 1 minute. Add the other half and mix until thoroughly combined, 1 more minute.5.
Pour the batter in the prepared baking dish.6.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a crumb coating, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Leave the oven on and increase the temperature to 400 F.7.
Scatter the sliced strawberries on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the strawberries are softened, 12 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.8.
Cut the cake into 12 equal squares. Top each piece with roasted strawberries, whipped cream and a mint leaf, then drizzle with a teaspoon of balsamic reduction.9.
Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. Store the whipped cream and strawberries in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
From "Magnolia Table, Volume 3" by Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2023 by Joanna Gaines. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Cookbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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