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Most people have never heard of a strawberry cake, and this version puts the classic summer fruit to good use. Tinted red and sprinkled with poppy seeds, this fluffy cake is topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. 

You will need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup crushed unsweetened strawberries
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon strawberry extract
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
8 drops red food coloring (opt.)
FROSTING:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon strawberry extract

Step 1: Poppy Seed Strawberry Cake Bars

Step 1: Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl. This would include the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I used whole wheat flour and raw sugar in this recipe.

Step 2: Whisk in all remaining cake ingredients until you have a smooth batter. The batter will be very thin.

Step 2: Poppy Seed Strawberry Cake Bars

Step 3: Pour cake batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Step 4: Bake at 350 degrees for 22-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; cool on a wire rack.

Step 3: Poppy Seed Strawberry Cake Bars

Step 5: Make the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth.

Step 6: Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and strawberry extract until smooth.

Step 7: Frost cooled cake.

Step 4: Poppy Seed Strawberry Cake Bars

The finished product!
Add a sprinkling of poppy seeds on top......
That looks really good! I never knew there was a strawberry extract! Seems like a fun thing to have around :)
Oooohhhhhh yum!

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