This recipe is a variation on a spiced rhubarb cake from my second cookbook. It is one I cook often, as I love making cakes with hidden layers in them. It makes a simple cake seem extra special. This one is super easy to prepare and can really be varied depending on what fruit is in season, or even made with a layer of jam instead, which is great for those moments when your fruit bowl is bare.
The first layer is a golden nutty cake base. It has ground hazelnuts, which I roughly pound in the mortar and pestle and also a good amount of butter which is melted and then simmered until nut brown. The strawberries make up the second layer, which are just coming into season again!! Stone fruit works really well here too and will give you a slightly juicier cake. I like to add some freshly ground black pepper, as it goes really well with strawberries, but feel free to play around with the spices. Ground cloves, cinnamon and cardamom are all lovely additions too.
The top layer is an oat-y crumble mixture which is buttery and not too sweet. It’s almost like a German streusel topping, just with oats added into the mixture. Once cooked, the cake is golden all over and the fruit is soft. I like to cut them into bars which makes this cake feel more like a slice – perfect for afternoon tea!