It’s no secret that I love summer strawberry season. Typically I go strawberry picking with my kids around Mother’s Day here in Kentucky. This year it was a little bit late. For the past several years this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake has been my top summer strawberry dessert. Even when we lived in Japan I made sure to find the ingredients to make this amazing cake. It’s the kind of cake that is simple enough to whip up, and has the wow-factor to serve for company. It really is one of my very favorite cakes and something that I have to make every year…or else!
Summer strawberries are the perfect way to welcome in summer. After this long time spent at home, getting outside and picking delicious red, ripe strawberries has done wonders for my spirit. I just hope that I will soon be able to make this cake for friends and not only my family. Who knows, by the time we are able to gather with bigger groups it may be raspberry season and I will be making a Buttermilk raspberry cake. I think many different types of berries would work wonderfully in this cake.
Buttermilk gives this cake a very tender crumb
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake has a very tender crumb. The buttermilk in the batter helps tenderize the gluten in the flour which gives it a soft and light texture. Combined with the baking powder, buttermilk also gives this cake a nice rise. The ingredients are simple and easy to whip up using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. The hardest part of this recipe is just waiting for the cake to bake!
The unique baking Temperature and Time give the strawberries condensed flavor
The baking is where all of the magic happens in this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake. The cake is initially baked at a higher temperature which helps activate the baking powder giving it a nice rise. The temperature is then dropped and it hangs out in the oven for about 50 minutes. This may seem like a long time, but those strawberries need time to react with the heat and sugar to break down into little gooey bites of strawberry jam. The berries create such a condensed, strawberry flavor. They are gooey and delicious giving the perfect flavor to this cake. The strawberries definitely steal the show of this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, as they should!
I have found that this cake tastes better after it has mostly cooled. Because the strawberries are doing their magic in the oven, to get the full flavor of the berries the cake really does need to cool a bit. This cake stores well covered on the counter for a day or two and it will freeze well if you have any leftover. I like to whip up some heavy whipping cream for topping, but you could also use a can and spray some on too. Whatever you do, go pick yourselves some strawberries and make this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake this weekend. You won’t regret it!
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Yield: 1, nine-inch cake
Time: 10 minute mix, 55 minute bake
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons for topping
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk, shaken before poured
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 lb strawberries, tops cut off and sliced in half
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment or in a bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the softened butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Save the 2 Tablespoons of sugar for the top of the cake. Mix on high for a few minutes until nice and creamy.
- Add the egg and mix again for 1-2 minutes to incorporate fully. Then add the vanilla extract and mix.
- Shake the buttermilk and add ½ cup buttermilk to the mixture. Mix again to combine.
- Add the baking powder and salt to the center of the mixture and mix again. I don’t like getting a second bowl dirty, so instead of mixing the dry ingredients together I mix them right in. Be careful that you put them right in the center and mix fully. You don’t want any of the baking powder or salt to accidentally be left out of the recipe on the sides of the bowl or fly out when mixing. This technique may not be for everyone, but it works for me.
- Mix in the all purpose flour and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
- Grease a 9 inch cake pan or springform pan with a little softened butter or cooking spray.
- Dump the cake mixture into the pan and spread with a spatula until even.
- Cut up 1 lb of fresh strawberries. Slice the top off the strawberry and then slice the berry in half. Dot the entire cake with strawberries, nestling them as close together as possible in the cake. The more strawberries, the more sweet strawberry flavor.
- Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of sugar all over the top of the strawberries and cake batter.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 375 degrees. This higher temperature helps activate the baking powder for a nice rise. After 5 minutes reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (with maybe a little strawberry gooeyness clinging to it).
- Let cake cool before slicing and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
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