Strawberry Sourdough Cake

Every year I love to go strawberry picking, and every year I make this cake. Actually, I make this strawberry sourdough cake multiple times a year because it’s just so delicious. My husband always requests it for his springtime birthday. It’s light, tender and filled with ripe strawberries that are baked down into the most delicious jammy goodness. Paired with some freshly whipped cream, this strawberry sourdough cake is a little bite of heaven. There’s nothing quite like it – and it’s going to be perfect for your spring and summer gatherings or just an easy sweet treat after dinner. I hope it becomes one of your family’s most requested recipes too. Enjoy!

Important Ingredients in Strawberry Sourdough Cake

  • Sourdough Discard: Use 100% hydration sourdough discard that is no more than a day or two old. If you want a more sour flavor use older discard. You can use fresh, bubbly sourdough starter or refrigerated discard. 
  • Unsalted Butter: I always bake with unsalted butter. Unsalted butter allows me to control the flavor in my baked goods — there is no standard for the amount of salt in salted butter, which makes using salted butter a little unpredictable.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar gives the perfect sweetness that complements the sweetness of the sliced strawberries.
  • Egg: An egg adds richness and structure to this cake.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes this cake light and tender. I recommend using buttermilk if at all possible. If not, you can substitute 30 grams of sour cream mixed with 30 grams of milk. Mix the sour cream and milk together until combined and then add to the cake in place of the buttermilk. 
  • Vanilla Extract: This is a very simple cake recipe that lets the strawberries shine. Vanilla extract gives a nice flavor that goes well with the strawberries.
  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour with an 11.5% protein content works well in this recipe.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder gives this cake its rise.
  • Salt: Salt balances the flavors in this recipe. Don’t leave it out.
  • Strawberries: This is the perfect opportunity to use your strawberries up just before they go bad. These strawberries will be cooked low and slow in the oven, resulting in the most delicious, jammy strawberry flavor. Wash the strawberries, slice the tops off and cut them in half before adding to the top of the cake.
  • Whipped Cream: Freshly whipped cream makes this cake incredible. You can use whipped cream from a can in a pinch, or serve with vanilla ice cream.

Mixing the Sourdough Cake Batter

Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to mix up the cake batter.

Wet Ingredients: To a medium-sized bowl, beat together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy. Pour in the sourdough discard and beat again until completely incorporated. The key to adding sourdough discard into a cake batter is to mix it in with the wet ingredients really well until completely incorporated. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla extract and mix until creamy.

Dry Ingredients: To a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Fluff together.

Mixing Together: Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients. Use the mixer again to mix together until a smooth batter forms. Mix for about 1 minute until creamy and completely combined, scraping down the edges of the bowl as needed. Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch spring form or round baking pan.

Preparing the Strawberries for Strawberry Sourdough Cake

This cake is incredible any time of the year, but especially when it’s fresh strawberry season. Wash the strawberries. Cut the stems off and then slice the larger strawberries in half. This cake uses about 1 lb of fresh strawberries. When they are baked, they turn into the most delicious jammy berries that pair perfectly with the tender cake.

Topping the Strawberry Cake with Cut Strawberries

Strawberries are the highlight of this sweet cake. Nestle the strawberries on top of the cake and next to each other, doing your best to jam as many strawberries on top of the cake as you can. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of the berries. This is an important step to this simple cake – the berries bake up low and slow in the oven creating little puddles of delicious jammy berries all throughout the cake.

Baking a Simple Strawberry Sourdough Cake

Baking is where all of the magic happens in this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake. The cake is initially baked at a higher temperature (375ºF), which activates the baking powder and gives the cake a nice rise. After only a few minutes, we decrease the temperature to 325ºF, where the cake bakes low and slow for almost an hour. This may seem like a long time for cake, but those strawberries need time to react with the heat and sugar to break down into little gooey bites of strawberry jam.

To test if the cake is done, take a toothpick and stick it in the middle of the cake to make sure it’s baked all the way through (some jammy bits may be on it, but the toothpick should come out clean with no batter on it).

Making the Whipped Cream

While the cake bakes, take the opportunity to make the fresh whipped cream. Whip together cold cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until the cream forms medium peaks. Can you use whipped cream from a can? You sure can. But if you have the opportunity to make it fresh, it just adds to the decadence of this strawberry sourdough cake – and gives off similar vibes to this sourdough strawberry shortcake, another delicious springtime recipe.

Serving Strawberry Sourdough Cake

Once the cake has cooled completely, slice pieces and top with freshly made whipped cream. This sourdough strawberry cake is so light, tender and full of strawberry flavor. It’s also super simple to whip up and fun to make and eat.

If you liked this Strawberry Sourdough Cake, you may also like: Sourdough Strawberry Shortcake / Strawberry Buttermilk Cake / Strawberry Chocolate Sourdough Muffins / Chocolate Strawberry Sourdough Focaccia / Strawberry Sourdough Babka Buns / Fresh Strawberry Scones

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make any adjustments if I change the size of the pan?


I recommend using a 9 inch springform pan if you can. This makes it easy to move the cake out of the pan, since this cake is very light and tender. You can also line a round pan with parchment paper and grease the edges of the pan making it easy for the cake to be removed from the pan. If you choose to use an 8 inch round pan instead, the cake may need a little more time – let the cake bake for about 60 minutes until baked all the way through.

How do I store leftover strawberry sourdough cake?

This cake can be covered and stored for 24-48 hours at room temperature. After that I would freeze slices of cake in an airtight container for 1-2 months.

Can I make this cake with other fruit or frozen berries?

This cake is best made with fresh berries. Frozen berries let off a lot of moisture into the cake, so if you try it with frozen, the texture of the cake may change and the berries wont get quite as “jammy” as fresh berries. I do think this cake would work well with any favorite fresh berry, though I haven’t tried it yet.

Strawberry Sourdough Cake

Amy
Light and tender strawberry sourdough cake made with sourdough discard and topped with fresh strawberries. Top with freshly whipped cream and you have the most delicious and easy cake for any occasion.
4.84 from 24 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9 inch cake

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Strawberry Sourdough Cake

  • 85 grams unsalted butter softened, 6 Tablespoons
  • 220 grams granulated sugar about 1 cup
  • 120 grams sourdough discard 100% hydration, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 grams vanilla extract about 1 teaspoon
  • 60 grams buttermilk about 1/4 cup
  • 115 grams all-purpose flour about 3/4 cup
  • 6 grams baking powder about 1 teaspoon
  • 4 grams salt about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 lb strawberries washed & dried about 450 grams
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar for sprinkling on top of the cake

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • 120 grams heavy whipping cream about 1/2 cup
  • 5-10 grams granulated sugar about 2 teaspoons
  • dahs of vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by greasing the bottom with cooking spray or butter. Or line a round cake pan with parchment paper and grease the edges. Set aside.
  • To a medium-sized bowl, cream together softened butter and granulated sugar. Mix on high for a few minutes until the mixture is light in color and creamy. Add the sourdough discard and mix again until completely combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again.
  • Shake the buttermilk and add to the mixture. Mix to incorporate, scraping down the sides and mixing until you have a thick and creamy mixture. See recipe notes for buttermilk substitution.
  • To a small bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Fluff together with a fork. Add the dry flour mixture on top of the liquid mixture and mix for about 1 minute until completely incorporated and combined. Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  • Cut up 1 lb of fresh strawberries. Slice the stem off the strawberry and then slice the berry in half. Dot the entire cake with strawberries, nestling them as close together as possible into 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 the cake for 5 minutes at 375ºF. After 5 minutes reduce the temperature to 325ºF and bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (with maybe a little strawberry gooeyness clinging to it).
  • While the cake bakes, whip up some fresh whipped cream: Pour cold whipped cream into a bowl. Add 5-10 grams granulated sugar and a dash of vanilla extract. Whip until medium peaks (lift the beaters out of the bowl and a peak will hold its shape, but droop down a little). Cover and refrigerate before serving.
  • Let cake cool completely before slicing and serving with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Enjoy!

Notes

Sourdough Discard: In order to avoid a stronger sourdough flavor, use 100% hydration sourdough discard that is no more than a day or two old. If you want a more sour flavor, use older discard. You can use fresh, bubbly sourdough starter or refrigerated discard. 
Buttermilk Substitution: Buttermilk makes the cake light and tender. If you don’t have buttermilk, I recommend substituting 30 grams of sour cream mixed with 30 grams of milk. Mix them together until combined and then add to the cake in place of the buttermilk. 
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Recipe Rating




36 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    THIS CAKE IS SO GOOD. I will most definitely be making it on repeat whenever I buy berries. I made mine with blackberries and strawberries. Seriously, could not stop eating it. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS! This is so good!!! easy and delicious.

    I used greek yogurt and milk as a substitute for the buttermilk and it came out great!

  3. The buttermilk substitute you refer to, at the top of the post it says to mix 60 grams of milk with 60 grams of sour cream. In the notes at the bottom, it says 30 grams of each. Which is correct?

    1. Thanks for catching that. It’s 30 of each. You are replacing it for the buttermilk so you want it to weigh the same as the buttermilk – 60 grams total in this case.