"A cake-like bread stuffed with fresh strawberries, a pinch of cinnamon, and covered in a vanilla frosting glaze."
I can’t tell you how glad I am that it’s Friday. This week has been an emotional rollercoaster (of the stress / anxiety / panic variety) and I am so relieved that this ship is finally entering calmer waters. Creating and launching the new design of this site took a lot out of me, but now that I’m on the other side I can finally stop and appreciate the good things that came from all that hard work. Like, say, my super awesome new menu!
Go ahead – mouse over “RECIPES” in the menu bar. See that cool drop down?! It has everything you could ever want to access on this site and more!
But as fancy as this new navigation system is, there is one small problem: as much as this menu highlights all the content I do have, it also highlights the all the content I don’t have. And apparently, I’ve been severely slacking in some areas. For example, I don’t have nearly enough recipes that are vegan-friendly, and I was shocked to find only one rice recipe. I guess I must eat all my rice before I photograph it, because there’s no shortage of it in this house.
The menu was designed this way because I hope this layout will stand the test of time as I work my way toward one million pageviews a month (fingers crossed on that one!), but a new design doesn’t change the fact that this site is only 9 months old. Even with posting three times a week, there’s only so much content I can hope to possibly have, and I’ve clearly favored some areas more than others (coughcoughdessertscoughcough).
So, with that in mind, I’m going to start filling in the gaps (and filling out my categories) so that Homemade Hooplah becomes a more well-rounded food blog. And the first category I’d like to expand upon? Breads. I was seriously lacking on breads.
And what better place to start expanding my bread empire than with strawberry cream cheese bread?
And wouldn’t you know it, but Sprouts was having a sale on strawberries this week. Can you say fate?
I absolutely love breads like this, but “bread” doesn’t really do it justice – these loaves are more like oddly shaped cakes with how spongy, sweet, and flavorful they are. They’re able to dance across the line between a sweet breakfast or a flavorful dessert. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In fact, I liked this recipe so much I made it twice, but not for the reason you’re probably thinking. Because you see, I have four dogs. Some of you might already know this and you probably know that I like to justify their number by saying that they’re “small” dogs. And they are small, save for Pepper, our English Cocker Spaniel that just happens to be on the large size for a female of that breed. She’s got long, gangly legs (especially compared to the mini dachshunds weaving around her feet), and those legs make it possible for her to reach the tops of tables should she think she’s something of interest up there.
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this, because yes: as my first strawberry cream cheese bread was cooling on the wire rack, Pepper took it upon herself to take a huge bite out of a corner piece – and it was from the PRETTY SIDE! Other food bloggers, I’m sure you can relate to coveting the “pretty side” of food above all others. The Boyfriend has learned he needs to ask me if he can eat something I’ve prepared, since I only let him have the ugly pieces until the photo shoot is done.
This, sadly, sealed the fate of loaf numero uno. If Pepper had taken a chomp out of the ugly side, I might have been able to push forward with the photo shoot, using clever camera angels to hide the missing piece, but I guess I sealed the bread’s fate when I unknowingly placed the pretty side closest to the edge of the table. Thankfully I also placed a knife on top of the wire rack beside the bread, which Pepper knocked over in her pursuit of her quarry, alerting me to the theft and saving that dog from an even bigger tummy ache.
But really… I’m not sure I can blame her for what she did. The whole house smelled amazing while this bread cooked, and it got even better once it was freed from the pan and was cooling on the counter.
Glazed Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread
Cream Cheese Strawberry Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon ground
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 egg room temperature *
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 and 1/2 cup strawberries cleaned, dried, and chopped
For the Cream Cheese Strawberry Bread
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by generously greasing the bottom and sides with butter and dusting with flour. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), whip together butter, sugar, and cream cheese on medium high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Drop mixer speed to low and add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are just blended, particularly the egg yolks, about another 1 minute.
- To prevent overmixing, do not use a mixer for this next step: Slowly pour bowl of dry ingredients in with wet ingredients. Use a large spoon to mix everything together and stop the moment you no longer see any white from the dry ingredients (be sure to scrape bottom of the bowl, too). Batter will be very thick - this is okay.
- Gently fold chopped strawberries in the bread dough.
- Pour the bread dough into the prepared pan. Push the dough so that it fits into the corners, but do not smooth out top. Leaving a ripped top on the bread is encouraged.
- Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil (top: make a tent above center of bread) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes. Cook time may vary depending on the juiciness of the strawberries. Bread is done when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Vanilla Glaze
- In a small bowl, mix together sugar, vanilla, and cream. Glaze should be fluid enough to drip off a spoon, but not so thin that it won't stick to the spoon. If glaze is too thin, add 1 tsp of powdered sugar at a time to fix consistency. If glaze is too thick, add 1/2 tsp of cream at a time.
Putting it All Together
- When ready to serve, drizzle vanilla glaze on top of bread. Allow glaze to dry for 15 minutes before cutting.
- Bread can be stored in a sealed container (or tightly covered) for up to 6 days. As with most moist breads, flavor is intensified by day 2.
* When baking, it's best to mix eggs that are room temperature. Place whole eggs (still in shell) in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes to bring them down to room temperature quickly. Recipe adapted from Living Beyond Measure.