Strawberries are here!
I’ve been plucking strawberries off of my new strawberry tower, one at a time — I can’t resist them long enough to build up any kind of quantity — they’re sweet and delicious. (And, the King of Chipmunks, the ruler of my yard, curiously still hasn’t thought to look “up” for berry treats. But, he’s enacted his revenge for no strawberries this year by decimating my peas: no pea plant got taller than 2″. Sigh.)
And happily, strawberries have also landed in the farmers’ market, and that means it’s time for my now annual tradition of strawberry cake.
I fell in love with this strawberry cake the second it appeared in Martha Stewart Living, many, many years ago, long before this blog was even a glimmer of thought. It’s the simplest of recipes — so beautifully unfussy that the strawberries easily become the star of the show (and full-proof for beginning bakers).
Over the years, I’ve altered this strawberry cake recipe slightly to suit my tastes, including replacing milk with buttermilk, and adding a little lemon zest to the works, because lemon goes so with strawberries.
It’s the perfect springtime party dessert — and if you freeze some strawberries for later, as I do, strawberry cake can make a return appearance for your 4th of July cookout.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or use all AP flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste or extract
- 1 pound strawberries hulled and halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch pie plate. (If you must use a 9-inch, don't use all of the batter - the cake will overflow the pan.) Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
Place the butter and 1 cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; add egg, zest, milk, and vanilla, and mix well.
Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over top of cake.
Bake cake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Continuing baking until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.