July 3, 2011

Strawberry-Pecan Bread ... with a hint of cardamom


When strawberries were in the height of their season a few weeks ago, I found a recipe for strawberry bread while I was browsing a church cookbook from my mother-in-law's bookshelf.  I jotted the recipe down, all excited to make it with the gorgeous, fresh strawberries appearing around our area.  As soon as I got my hands on some beauties, I gave the recipe a whirl.  And was terribly disappointed.  I had envisioned a light, moist, beautifully-risen bread that let the flavor of fresh strawberries shine.  What I got was a dense, somewhat dry, dark bread overly-flavored with cinnamon to the point that the strawberries were ... well ... pointless.  Not what I wanted at all.

And now I had strawberry bread on the brain.  Couldn't get it out of my mind.  Once I get something in my mind, I can be a bit obsessive about it.  So, back to the drawing board I went.  I've been through several iterations of this bread - more iterations than I'd like to admit!  But now I'm happy with it.  Very happy with it. 

Start by dicing some fresh strawberries.  I like to sprinkle them with a tiny bit of sugar to help bring out their sweetness.

A nice little dice

Then mix up your bread batter, following the creaming method ... creaming your butter and sugar, beating in the eggs, and then adding your dry ingredients alternately with your liquid.  This is one adaptation I made - the liquid.  I used buttermilk, because I just love the moistness and richness that buttermilk adds to baked goods.  I also reduced the amount of cinnamon and added a dash of cardamom.  I love cardamom - but you have to be careful with it because it's such a strong flavor.  It took me a couple of tries to figure out the "right" amount of cardamom.  If you're not a fan (which I know some people are not!), by all means leave the cardamom out ... this bread is certainly still tasty without it.

Gently folding in the berries

Gently fold in the diced strawberries and some pecans ... you could use walnuts ... I'm just very partial to pecans.  Love them.  Bake up your bread, and you end with exactly what I was looking for - a light, moist, beautifully-risen bread that lets the flavor of the fresh strawberries shine.

It's ready!

Strawberry-Pecan Bread
Source: Adapted from The Country Cook
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/16 tsp. ground cardamom (optional)
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, diced
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. pecans, coarsely chopped

1.  Dice the strawberries and place them in a small bowl.  Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sugar; set aside while you prepare the rest of the batter.

2.  Beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

3.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined; do not over mix. Gently fold in the strawberries and pecans.

4.  Scrape the batter into a regular-sized (typically 9x5x3") loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and then remove bread loaf from the pan. Makes 1 loaf.



  1. This looks amazing! So glad you kept trying until you got it just the way you like it!

  2. Another great fruit bread! You are my hero. I'm so glad you took the time to figure this recipe out because it looks heavenly.

  3. I came here to thank you for linking this to My Meatless Mondays of My Sweet and Savory and to tell you how much I like this bread. We are a family who is into muffins and quick breads. Both the breads, you posted, are winners, in my book. I plan to make the strawberry bread first and have it printed and ready to go. I have a big container of strawberries. just waiting.

    You might like to post this at Bake with Bizzy, also which is on the blog, I am writing to you from. Now, I have to check out your blog.

  4. I've been trying to find a way to use up all my fresh strawberries and this looks awfully tasty! ~Courtney

  5. Such a pretty bread. I've never tasted cardamom before but it all sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.


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