wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake | theclevercarrot.com

We planted grass seeds in the backyard.

And every morning, I turn on the sprinkler to water the soil. Then I turn it off. And then on again, once or twice in the afternoon. In 3 weeks, we should have fluffy green grass.


On the way back inside, I usually walk past my garden to check out what’s going on. I’ve done nothing to it so far; the soil is dry, there are yellow dandelion weeds everywhere and I’ve just learned that my cat, his Majesty, uses this outdoor space for his own personal litter box. I glare at him from a distance.

On the flip side, I’ve made some interesting discoveries during our first year living in this house- 

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake | theclevercarrot.com

My mint grew back!

I planted one itty, bitty off-shoot last year and look at it now. It’s strangling my oregano.

We also have lots of strawberry plants, courtesy of our previous owner…

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake | theclevercarrot.com

I have to say, these are some of the heartiest plants I’ve ever seen.

We’ve had about 20+ ridiculously cold snow storms this winter and I’m telling you, not one of those plants died. It seems contradictory since strawberries themselves are so delicate and sweet. But here they are, green leaves and white blossoms. We’ll have juicy, homegrown strawberries in the beginning of June.

So, one morning after my sprinkler duties had been fulfilled, I found myself in the kitchen staring at the makings of my son’s French toast: eggs, milk and cinnamon. Leftovers like this drive me crazy. Dillon likes French toast and Jake doesn’t which means, inevitably, I only make one slice. Now, not only do I have to make 2 separate breakfasts in the morning (yes, I’m that mom) I end up wasting the leftover egg batter. That’s practically a whole egg.

Then, I had an idea…

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake | theclevercarrot.com

What if I used the leftovers to bake something?

I mean after all, most recipes call for at least one or two eggs, right?

Yes, excellent idea.

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake | theclevercarrot.com

I made a quick batter in my food processor, followed by a spiced crumble topping to scatter over the top. Thick-slices of strawberries were wedged into the mix. I meant to add toasted walnuts, but I forgot. I love strawberries and walnuts together.

Then the big question at hand: bake in a 9×5 loaf pan? Or 8×8 square pan?

I went with the latter because of its shallow depth. This way, the crumble topping to cake ratio would be somewhat equal, and of course, suited to how I like it!

This is the important stuff, clearly.

And speaking of, it’s also important to note that I used whole wheat flour or possibly spelt flour (the bag is not labeled- either one is fine) in my cake. Therefore, I deem this recipe perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast.

Wouldn’t you agree?

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake | theclevercarrot.com


  • The base of this cake is sweetened with maple syrup, not sugar. To save a couple of bucks, use Grade B maple syrup instead of Grade A. The quality is totally fine and is better suited for baking.  You could also sub 1 cup brown sugar instead if you’d like.
  • No strawberries? No problem. Use blueberries, apples, pears or even peach slices. Pitted cherries and plums would work too, so basically, use whatever you want… except for green grapes. That might be weird.
  • Eat this cake within 1-2 days. Any longer than that, the strawberries will get soggy.

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
Crumble Topping
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • dash of cinnamon & nutmeg
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)
For the Cake
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾-1 cup pure maple syrup, Grade B if possible OR 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. To make the crumble topping, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together with your hands. It should look crumbly, not blended. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. For the batter, crack the eggs into the bowl of a food processor. Add the oil, yogurt, milk, maple syrup-use ¾ cup for lightly sweet and 1 cup for more flavor- (or sugar) and vanilla extract. Pulse until well combined.
  4. Add both flours, cinnamon and baking powder. Pulse the machine again, just a few times, until the batter has come together; do not over mix. Over blending is the cause of tough, heavy cakes.
  5. Pour the batter into your lined baking pan. Scatter the crumble topping over the top and wedge in your sliced strawberries.
  6. Bake in the oven, center rack, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted, about 30-45 minutes.
  7. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

wholegrain strawberry breakfast cake | theclevercarrot.com


    • Emilie says

      Thanks Katrina! There’s something wonderful about eating ‘cake’ for breakfast, don’t you agree? ;)

    • Emilie says

      Yes! Sorry about that, Cathy. It’s 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup. Thanks for pointing that out… I guess one should never do blog revisions before coffee ;)

    • Emilie says

      Hi Megan! So, according to the back of the package new grass takes about 8-10 days. So far? Nothing. It’s like watching water boil. We’re hoping for the best!

  1. says

    In my world cake IS always good for breakfast, but most especially one like this filled with such breakfasty, healthy ingredients; eggs, yogurt, oats, strawberries, of course that’s breakfast! Looks yummy, I can’t wait to give it a try.

    and, I am also one of those moms who makes different meals for each kid, at least the big one eats what I eat!

    • Emilie says

      Yes, cake for breakfast is the way to go. That’s why this version is not too sweet, slightly dense (in a good way) and won’t leave you feeling like you need a nap. Love the fact that you’re a short order cook for your kids as well, Jen! I’m hoping one day my boys will eat what I eat too! xo

  2. says

    You’ve got an instant garden back there! Hurray for the work of previous homeowners! Watch out, you know, that mint tends to take over. I finally pulled all my mint and put it in a pot. There. Contained. And you have glorious strawberries! I say the tastiest, juiciest strawberries are the ones picked from you own garden.. although pickin at the local strawberry patch is really fantastic too! I love spring surprises and it looks like you’ve many!

    I love how you just walked in the kitchen and whipped this up using leftovers! Double high fives for you! TWO breakfasts?! Oh Emilie…. your boys, if they don’t now, will certainly appreciate it one day. I agree this cake should be for breakfast the cake-crumble ratio is spot on! Love the variety of flours, especially whole wheat and spelt. Love your post, Emily! Thank you…. xo

    • Emilie says

      I love my instant garden, Traci! Really, it’s so nice to see what’s popping up as of late, the strawberries in particular. If my boys don’t pick them all, I plan on making on making a berries and cream tart- my fave. You are SO right about the mint. It’s crazy.

      Now, I’m off to go read your banana muffin creation! Let’s do breakfast together! xo

  3. Colleen says

    I love your posts! I have 2 kids that have completely different breakfasts as well… And messy it can be if the 9 yr old decides she wants pancakes. I often have a giggle at what you blog, I remember reading a post about you making sourdough, I do exactly what you do, thought I would be the only one…..thinking of ideas in the night and so on. Cake sounds great, will make on the weekend with blueberries cause in australia strawberries aren’t in season yet. Have a fabulous weekend, colleen

    • Emilie says

      Such is life, right? One day I will have them all figured out, watching them (smugly) eating their greens. But for now, whatever it takes to get through the day is what I say! Thanks so much for reading the blog, Colleen. So glad you like it here! Happy Mother’s Day! xo

      PS- blueberries will be fabulous ;)

  4. says

    Hello beautiful one! Ah, this is such a gorgeous start to my morning (not sure what time it is over there but here it’s 8:30 and I’ve already been at work for an hour *sigh*). I love the combination of oats/crumble and fruit, and the idea of eating cake for breakfast? Oh so good!
    Definitely want to try this soon. We’re heading towards winter so the idea of warm breakfasts is becoming more and more appealing. Sending you hugs and hoping you’re enjoying Springtime! xxx

    • Emilie says

      Ha! Girl after my own heart! This ‘cake’ is more healthified with maple syrup and whole grain flour. It’s definitely not super sweet like your typical baked fare- but I’ll take it any day with a good cup of coffee! Enjoy :)

  5. says

    Hi Emilie,
    2 things…i’m convinced mint will take over the earth one day! haha! the other thing is that this cake just screams spring! it’s such a refreshing break from the usual. can’t wait to try it! have a wonderful mother’s day!!

    • Emilie says

      Haha! So true! I love the fact that it comes back naturally, but boy, it certainly takes over. I love the smell of mint on a hot day. So refreshing. I hope you are enjoying some of this beautiful weather we’ve been having lately (pollen and everything!) Happy Mother’s Day to you too! xo

  6. says

    This looks so yummy, I can not wait to try it! I love the fact that it uses pure maple syrup. That’s all anyone uses here in New England..there is no substitute! My blog is all about art, photography and creativity…and yet most of the blogs I follow are ones that are full of recipes! (Hey artists have to eat, right??) Maybe I love your site so much because as a photographer, I appreciate how visually, you make the food look so yummy. You have a great eye for composition!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Debbie! I really do enjoy using maple syrup in baking. It’s a great alternative for when the mood strikes! And you’re right- the real thing is definitely the best. Thank you so much for your kind words and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! xo

    • Emilie says

      Hi Laura! I know you’ve already made some beautiful creations with strawberries (those bars!) but you could easily make this with any seasonal fruit.xo

  7. Cathy says

    Made it for Mother’s Day and was a huge success. Served it with champagne and orange juice, great way to start a special day!!

    Look forward to additional recipes to try.

    • Emilie says

      Cathy! This is SO wonderful to hear- thank you! I’m ecstatic that your cake was a huge success. And I appreciate the feedback. I’ll have to make this next time with a glass of bubbly. xo

  8. says

    Oh this looks just wonderful – and yes it totally qualifies for breakfast. Congratulations on the exciting news of your book too – well deserved and I look forward to holding it in my hands x

    • Emilie says

      Thank you Nancy! You are so sweet. Hope you both are doing well. How’s baking going? Bread still in the tub? ;)

    • Emilie says

      Yes! Thank you for your tips & the link. It’s common to associate anything less than Grade A as poor quality (especially when there’s meat involved) but as you’ve mentioned here, it has nothing to do with quality- it’s all about flavor. Grade B maple syrup has such a lovely sweet smokiness… :)

  9. says

    I made this last night to eat this morning and we just had our first piece. It’s delicious and moist. I made it with tons of blueberries (maybe like 2 cups not sure). I also sprinkled the top with cinnamon before baking instead of using the crumble top to try to make it even healthier. It tastes like a perfectly moist blueberry muffin cake.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Rose, your blueberry version sounds absolutely delicious. I LOVE blueberries, especially with cinnamon. I’m so glad that you had a chance to play around with the recipe- that’s what it’s all about, making it your own. Thank you for taking the time to comment, I’m inspired to whip up another cake… even in this 100 degree summer weather ;)

  10. says

    Ah this is mouthwatering! I love that it uses maple syrup instead of sugar! Also, if it has fruit and maple syrup in it then it’s definitely a breakfast food to me! :)

    • Emilie says

      Hi there Aryn! Thank you! Often times I’ll bake with maple syrup and honey to switch things up a bit. This cake is definitely lightly sweetened, as are most of my baked goods. And yes, maple syrup + fruit = breakfast indeed! I like how you think. Have fun with the recipe and enjoy :)

  11. Neha kapoor says

    I love the way you order the ingredients to make it easy to track! Thank you. One request – I made the cake this weekend but mine turned out kind of dense. I didn’t over mix like you mentioned. Would it be possible to post a photo of a slice of the cake so I can tell whether mine should’ve been fluffier?

  12. says

    Recently made this coffee cake and included it in my Fav Spring recipes because WOW! So tasty! Seriously one of my fav coffee cakes ever! Made it with Blackberries instead and it was still so good.
    Great recipe! Thanks as always for the fab food and inspiration.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Valerie! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the cake! It’s so versatile too, you can switch up the fruit any way you’d like. Thanks so much for the feedback!

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