You know when you get your heart set on making a certain recipe? And even though there are other options that are totally easier for one reason or another…it doesn’t matter?
Ladies and gentleman: Welcome to my brain when I made this cake.
The recipe itself is super simple. But it turned out that getting my hands on the right ingredients wasn’t so easy. This post may say “strawberry cake,” but the original recipe called for figs. And in a silly, produce-naive move, I was trying to make this cake before fig season kicked into full force. (Ahem: I made this cake in April…so now you know I’m not always the most punctual with my posts 🙂 )
I had already bought the other ingredients when I realized my faux pas. I tried four grocery stores, but there were no figs to be found. Still: I really wanted to make this cake. I’d been eyeing this cake for months, and was so curious about what a saffron-tinged cake would taste like. Plus, I’d already bought the yogurt and saffron. Time for Plan B!
Lucky for me, the recipe’s author helped me out. I commented on Alejandra’s blog asking if she thought dried figs would work ok. And she gave me so much advice! She suggested other recipes on her site that were fig-less, but similar. She suggested a way to rehydrate dried figs. And she also suggested swapping in berries instead.
Ta-dah! We had a new plan. Since I stubbornly wanted to use the saffron and greek yogurt, swapping in another fruit was my best option. I got some strawberries to replace the figs, and finally this cake and I got to have our moment in the sun.
I brought the finished beauty to my cake party and it was a total hit. Friends kept commenting on how different it was from other desserts they’d tried before. They couldn’t put their finger on the saffron, but they loved how it tasted!
The cake is super moist, thanks to the olive oil and greek yogurt in the batter. Saffron and almond extract combine for a really unique flavor that’s a little earthy, but balanced. The strawberries add a bit of juiciness and a sweet topping before you bite into the cake itself. Alejandra mentions you can omit the saffron if you want to…but I don’t think you should.
In the end, it all worked out. Thank to Alejandra for all her help! I’m definitely going to try this again now that figs are actually in season!
Strawberry Saffron Chocolate Chip Cake
Original recipe: Always Order Dessert. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary.
Yield: One 9-inch cake
Suggested equipment: It’s best to use a springform pan, if you have one!
Total Time: 1.5 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup plain, whole Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp saffron threads
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Whisk together your yogurt, eggs, olive oil, vanilla, almond extract and sugar until the mixture is smooth
- Combine your heavy cream and saffron in a small bowl. Microwave the bowl until the cream is hot—should take about 20 seconds
- Whisk the cream, and let it sit for 2 minutes. That gives the saffron time to steep into the cream
- Pour the cream into your bowl of batter, and mix it together
- In a separate bowl, whisk your flour, baking powder and salt
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until it’s just combined
- Grease a 9 inch springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper
- Pour your batter into the prepared cake pan
- Arrange strawberry slices and chocolate chips all over the top of your cake
- Bake the cake 40-45 minutes, until it’s golden on top and on the sides. A tester in the middle should come out clean and free of liquidy batter!
- Let the pan cool for fifteen minutes. Then, remove the sides of the springform and transfer the cake to a wire rack so it can cool completely
Note: I actually thought this cake tasted even better the day after I made it, so feel free to prep ahead!