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Spring Strawberry Cake

strawberry cake 1

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.

strawberry cake 2

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).

strawberry cake 3

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.

Karen xo

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spring Strawberry Cake

Course: Dessert
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 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.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
Recipe Rating


Monday 7th of March 2016

This works with many kinds of berries and stone fruit too, as long as you peel them if their small (like plums, cherries were a bust due to the skins and I'm NOT peeling the little beggars). I've used raspberries, blackberry and marionberries, all with great success, as well as peaches, nectarines and plums. I bet thinly apples would sprinkled with cinnamon sugar would be wonderful too. I think our favorite in a combo of sliced peaches and blackberries. It's pretty too! Definitely going to try buttermilk and a bit of lemon.


Saturday 8th of June 2013

So I've made this three times now. Hey, strawberries are $1.49 a pound! And the final one - instead of letting the butter soften on the table, I used the microwave on short bursts. The batter was much smoother.

Thanks for the recipe!


Friday 7th of June 2013

My favourite berry farms just posted that they're opening for business, so I'll be making a lot of strawberry treats next week, amongst them a similar berry cake. I'm glad the ruler of your yard has given your strawberry tower a reprieve.


Tuesday 4th of June 2013

That does look good. Still a wee bit early for strawberries here, but will definitely be trying this one!

Rocky Mountain Woman

Tuesday 4th of June 2013

We are still a little ways from berries here and I can't wait! Soon...very soon I can have my very own Strawberry Cake!