A friend of mine was helping me make the lasagna I posted earlier, and she really wanted some cake for dessert. I hadn't thought of a dessert ahead of time, so I threw Baking: From My Home to Yours at her and let her go through the book to pick something out that looked quick and simple. She came across the Swedish Visiting Cake, and I had bought some strawberries and strawberry jam, so I mixed it all together.
It's a very simple recipe and makes a delicious cake using a cast iron skillet. There's definitely room to play around with this recipe and make variations like I did. I also used orange flavoring instead of lemon, and I absolutely noticed great flavors because of it.
Recipe - adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
Zest of 1 orange
2 eggs, room temperature
1 heavy pinch, salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
10 large strawberries, sliced lengthwise, divided
4 tablespoons strawberry preserves
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1/2 an orange
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and move a rack into the middle. Butter a 9-inch cast iron skillet or brush lightly with oil. The more seasoned the skillet, the better.
Remove a stand mixer bowl from its assembly and add together 1 cup of sugar and orange zest. Pinch the ingredients together until fragrant. Place back into the stand mixer and add a paddle attachment. On medium speed, add in the eggs one at a time. Once the eggs are in, add the salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and almond extract. Turn off the stand mixer and add the flour. Using a spatula, fold the flour in until just combined. Add the melted butter and fold again until combined. Pour half the batter into the skillet, then add the slices of 5 strawberries plus the preserves. You won't be able to spread the preserves, so use a small spoon and plop preserves into empty spots. Cover with the remaining batter and top with the remaining strawberries.
Place into the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. The inside remains slightly damp as it's taken out of the oven, but will set as it sits in the cast iron. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Loosen the cake with a knife (be careful not to scratch the cast iron - you don't want to ruin your seasoning).
Add the cream to a stand mixer and add a whisk attachment. Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whisk on high speed. Once it begins to thicken, add the orange juice. Continue whisking until whipped cream forms.
Slice the cake into 10 pieces and top each serving with a dollop of orange whipped cream.
Because it goes together so easily and bakes up fast, using ingredients many people will have around the house, this cake is perfect for a last-minute dessert.