5tablespoonsUnsalted butterCold & cut into small chunks
¼cupUnsweetened coconut flakes
¼cupWalnutstoasted and chopped
1cupAll purpose flour (Maida)
⅓cupWhite granulated sugar
¼cupUnsalted buttermelted and cooled to room temperature
½teaspoonPure vanilla extract
1lbStrawberriescut into half
Prep: Grease a 9 or 8 inch square pan using butter or spray with cooking oil. Then line with parchment paper keeping two sides extra so it’s easy to lift after it is baked.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) for at least 10 minutes.
Making Crumb Topping: Take graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl and mix well.
Add cold butter pieces into it. Using a fork (or pastry blender or two knives) start mashing and mixing butter into the mixture. It should look like coarse crumbs.
Add coconut flakes and chopped walnuts. Mix well and keep this crumb topping aside.
Making Cake Batter: In a bowl, take flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk it until everything is incorporated well.
In another large bowl, add wet ingredients (melted butter, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract). Whisk it well.
Now add dry mixture to wet. Start mixing using a whisk and halfway through switch to a spatula. Fold the batter until everything is mixed. NOTE: The batter is thick (not pourable).
Assemble And Bake: Add dollops of batter to the prepared pan and spread it evenly using a spatula or butter knife.
Evenly arrange the strawberries (cut side down) on top of the cake batter.
Then sprinkle the crumb topping evenly.
Bake into the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let it cool on a wire rack for some time and then serve warm or at room temperature.
Do not overmix the cake batter otherwise cake will turn out tough. To avoid over mixing, start mixing using a wire whisk and halfway through switch to spatula and fold batter until it is just combined.
Always use cold butter to make the crumb topping. Butter has to be firm and chilled. So I would suggest chopping the butter into small pieces and put it back into the refrigerator to chill again. Meantime prep the rest of the ingredients.
Strawberry buying guide: Try to buy firm, fragrant, plump and bright red strawberries. The white or green part around the stem end meaning unripe strawberries. There should be no soft spots, bruising or mildew. Always check the underside of the container before buying to make sure there are no squashed strawberries.
Graham cracker crumbs: You can use crushed digestive biscuits or Biscoff cookies instead.
Walnuts: You can use any other nuts like almonds, pecan, etc.
Unsweetened coconut flakes: You can use sweetened flakes if you have those handy.