Strawberry sour cream streusel cake

I am tempted to say that this summer delight may well be the best strawberry cake I’ve ever made.

A bold claim, I know. And all the other strawberry cakes on this site are bickering amongst themselves about what makes this one so special.

Well – here’s my case:

  • sweet and sour: I find strawberries to be a bit airy fairy sometimes (said the strawberry grower), so I like recipes that add flavours and textures to give them an edge
  • versatile: eat it warm as a dessert, eat the cooled leftovers (wishful thinking perhaps) as a coffee cake
  • characterful: it’s a minor faff to make, which means you’re never quite sure how it will turn out

I know, I nearly lost you at ‘faff’. Personally I didn’t find it such a big deal, but the original NYT Nigella recipe comments section has a sprinkling of complaints about what a mess it was to layer the cake mixture and the strawberry purèe. I decided to dollop the remaining mixture on top of the purèe and hope for the best, which worked out well.

The comments also recommended adding a little salt, which was a welcome addition.

I’d like to say we tested it cooled as a coffee cake. But the truth is that it barely made the through the photo shoot in one piece, the hovering tasters were too impressed to leave it alone!

Strawberry sour cream streusel cake


Strawberry purée

  • 225 g strawberries
  • 3 tbsp strawberry jam
  • 2 tsp cornstarch / cornflour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Vegetable oil or butter, for greasing pan
  • 150 g sugar
  • 290 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 170 g cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 240 ml sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Crumble topping

  • 2 tsp Demerara or turbinado sugar
  • crumb mixture, reserved from cake mixture above


  1. First make the strawberry purée. Blend the strawberries and jam together until smooth.
  2. Make a paste with cornflour and vanilla essence. Add this to the strawberry mix and blend again until well mixed.
  3. Next, prepare the cake. Pre-heat the oven to 190 C / 375 F (slightly lower for fan-assisted ovens). Grease a 22cm / 9″ spring-form cake tin.
  4. Using the pastry attachment in your food processor, mix together the sugar, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Then add the cubes of butter and combine until it looks like large crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, do this step in a large mixing bowl, and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mixture.)
  5. Set aside 70g of this crumb mixture for use later in the streusel.
  6. Add the sour cream, egg, and vanilla essence to the large bowl, and mix well to make the cake mixture.
  7. Add just over half of this cake mixture to the cake tin. Spread it out so that it covers the bottom and reaches up the sides a little.
  8. Spread the strawberry purée on top of the cake mixture, avoiding the edges.
  9. Dollop the remaining cake mixture on top of the purée in little blobs, and gently spread the mixture out to cover the whole space. (Don’t worry if the purée and cake mixture smush up together.)
  10. Then, make the streusel topping by mixing the reserved crumb mixture with the Demerara sugar. Sprinkle this on top of the cake.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes until just golden. Cool before serving, to allow the fruit centre to solidify a little (it’s super runny when it first comes out of the oven).

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