KAKIAGE - Japanese Tempura Fritters


Fresh strawberries indulged in a buttery, brown sugar caramel, crowning a tender, moist sour cream cake.  You too can make strawberries sing your praise.

You know what I'm talking about.  You open the fridge and you hear little voices.  Usually faint, from somewhere towards the back, behind the eggs, the pickles and the juice boxes.  If you're like me, you can usually grab what you need, pretend you don't hear a thing and (thwap) close the door.

But today when I opened the fridge, I listened. This time, to the sweet, little voices of the beautiful, fresh strawberries I bought just the other day.  "Pssst, here we are, back here.  Don't you dare forget us!  You better use us up, before you know what...."

So, really, what could I do?  I picked up the whiny, red, little darlings.  "You're absolutely right', said I, remembering a recipe from Joy the Baker that I had enthusiastically bookmarked last summer, in the height of berry season.  Looking the strawberries square in the, um, berry, without hesitation announced, "I'm going to make your day!"

Forest Grump walked through the kitchen without batting an eye.  Thankfully he doesn't even think twice anymore when he catches me talking to food.  Life is good.

Today, as it turns out, Forest Grump is very happy I had a strawberry chit chat, because he didn't stop mmmm-ing even once as he gobbled down two pieces of warm-from-the-oven strawberry upside-down cake.Strawberry-upside-down-piece Good testimonial. 

This cake is easy peasy to make.  I did increase the strawberry quotient, but didn't change too much else.  As Joy says, "the simple brown sugar and sour cream cake is sweet and moist with a sturdy but delicate crumb."  Amen!

The cake is best served warm with a dollop of brown sugar sweetened, vanilla scented whipped cream.

And I know I have a vivid imagination, but when I flipped the golden baked, wonderfully aromatic cake upside-down to reveal it's crimson beauty, I could have sworn I heard a faint, but spirited chorus of "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow!"


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 generous cups sliced fresh strawberries 

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F.  Use a 9-inch round cake pan with at least 2-inch sides.

Place 1/4 cup butter in cake pan and place in oven.  When butter is melted, remove pan from oven.  Using potholders, tilt the pan around and around, coat the bottom and sides with butter.  Once sides are coated, set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar on medium speed until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl, add egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.

Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl and add the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed while adding the sour cream.  Beat until the batter comes together and is just nicely combined.  Batter will be pretty thick. 

Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly over the melted butter in pan.  Layer the sliced strawberries over the butter and sugar. 


Spoon batter over berries and spread evenly with a large, wet spoon that has been run under hot water.  Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Let cake rest for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the cake and invert onto serving platter.  Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream. 

And now, I just cannot help myself but join in with your strawberries for a wee serenade to regale your yummy efforts!  ♫♪♫♪  For you're a jolly good felllllooooow, which nobody can deny!  ♫♪♫♪