When San Francisco pastry chef Sohrob Esmaili had to create a 1950s-inspired cake for the finale of Spring Baking Championship, he immediately thought of milkshakes: They’re an iconic soda-fountain favorite and, as it turns out, a fine cake flavor, too. Sohrob’s pink creation won him the $25,000 prize — and high praise from judge Duff Goldman. Whip up a quick strawberry milkshake–inspired cake to eat while you watch the newest season: You can make this one in the microwave! —Kara Zauberman for Food Network Magazine.
Whisk 1/2 cup each sugar and buttermilk with 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl, then whisk in 1/2 cup flour, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and a pinch of salt until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup finely crushed freeze-dried strawberries and divide the batter among 4 buttered microwave-safe milkshake glasses. Microwave one at a time for 90 seconds, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Be careful removing the glass — it’ll be hot!) Let cool slightly, then top with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and freeze-dried strawberries.