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Summer Balsamic Cake

Vinegar cake? Yep! It’s very tasty and makes a beautiful presentation for any Spring or Summer Brunch! It’s pretty good for dessert too and pairs well with a scoop of vanilla bean or rum flavored ice cream. This is a breakfast or tea type cake. It will be dense, similar to pound cake but with a more open crumb. For a light and fluffier (or cheater) version of this cake see below.


  • Strawberry and balsamic vinegar glaze
  • · 1 ½ lbs fresh strawberries sliced
  • · ½ C light brown sugar
  • · 1/2 C California Balsamic Strawberry balsamic vinegar
  • · 2 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • · 1 Tablespoon orange blossom honey I use PURE honey, locally made in Winters, CA – but any orange blossom honey will work
  • Cake ***
  • · 1 C. sugar
  • · ¼ C California Balsamic Tangerine Peach vinegar
  • · ½ C buttermilk
  • · 3 eggs
  • · 2 Tablespoons orange or tangerine zest
  • · 1 ¾ C cake flour sifted
  • · 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • · ½ teaspoon salt
  • · 2/3 C good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ***Box cake mix instructions fluffier cake
  • Betty Crocker Butter Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ C Buttermilk
  • ½ C Tangerine Peach vinegar
  • ¾ C good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T orange or tangerine zest


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 2. Using an 8-inch spring form cake pan, coat the sides and bottom of pan with Wilton quick cake release or non-stick spray. Cut an 8-inch parchment paper circle, place in bottom of pan, coat parchment with quick release (or spray).Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Do not omit this step, the carmelization of the sugars will make the cake difficult to release without the parchment.
  3. 3. Wash strawberries, drain well, stem and slice vertically. You can either scatter these in a double layer on the bottom of the pan for a more rustic look, or arrange them in a pattern for a more polished appearance. The main focus in this step is to cover the bottom of the pan with very few gaps.
  4. 4. Combine the brown sugar, strawberry balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey in a stainless steel pan and whisk to emulsify. Emulsification is important, if it separates, the oil will burn the sugar and you will have to start over. Bring to a boil and stir frequently until thickened enough that it drips slowly from your spoon. (soft ball stage). Remove from heat and pour evenly & carefully over the strawberries, make sure to cover them all. This helps to hold the strawberries in place when you add the cake batter. (more crucial if you’ve arranged them in a pattern). Set the pan aside to set up while making the cake batter.
  5. 5. To make the cake batter, whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, Tangerine Peach vinegar, and eggs, add the orange zest.
  6. 6. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients using a fine sieve: the flour, baking powder, and salt. (I do this into the bowl of a stand mixer, you can do this by hand, but the batter is mixed much quicker with a mixer)
  7. 7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in three stages, stirring to incorporate each time.
  8. 8. Add the olive oil in 3 stages, folding and stirring to incorporate each time.
  9. 9. Slowly, slowly, slowly…. pour the batter over the strawberries. Don’t pour too fast, or the strawberries will move, the sugar glaze will not hold them completely.
  10. 10. Bake for approximately an hour. The cake is done when the top is golden and it has pulled away slightly from the edges of the pan.
  11. 11. Cool for 10 minutes, and then run a knife between the cake and the pan to make sure it is completely loosened.
  12. 12. Put a flat serving platter on top of the cake pan, then, using potholders, quickly flip the cake while holding the plate tightly to the pan.
  13. 13. Slowly release the spring on the pan, the cake will be covered in parchment paper on the serving platter. Peel off the parchment paper. Tah Dah! Serve warm for the best presentation.
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