It was another cloudy, dreary day…. nothing to do but sit inside and bake. Despite the words “cloudy” and “dreary”, these are actually my favorite kinds of days. Not just because it means I can stay in my pajamas ALL DAY LONG (much to my boyfriend’s dismay), but because I get to spend all day in the kitchen doing whatever I please.
And “what I please”-d (Totally a phrase. Don’t look it up, just trust me) was to use some of the gallon of buttermilk and three pound container of strawberries I purchased (what’s wrong with me?!?) at my last shopping trip to use. This recipe is adapted from an old Gourmet recipe for raspberry buttermilk cake, but given my recent surplus of strawberries, I substituted those instead. Any berry will do… well, I’d probably steer clear of the poison berries. Any edible berries would do…. That much I’m pretty sure of.
The cake itself is light, yet sturdy. The buttermilk helps to maintain a soft inner crumb while the last minute dusting of sugar really does the trick of giving it a nice, crisp crust (which, might I add, accents the soft interior texture beautifully). I sliced my strawberries into large chunks, just because I thought it would look prettier. If you’re more interested in uniform strawberry flavor, you could dice them smaller (still keep a couple slices for presentations-sake). If you’re using a smaller berry (raspberry, blueberry, etc) go ahead and leave them whole. If you want it to look less…. “rustic” you can skip the last minute sprinkle of berries on top. I think it looks pretty, though.
Since it’s sturdy, I think it would travel well on a picnic, or even in your child’s lunchbox. I don’t have a child, so the rest of ours went to work with Boyfriend (as so many of our desserts do). I regretted it almost immediately. I messaged him from my desk asking if he maybe forgot it, on the hopes that it would be waiting for me when I got home… no such luck.
Even though it doesn’t say it’s a “breakfast” cake, I’m certain that’s when I’d enjoy it most. Of course, it would still be enjoyable as a light, after-dinner snack as well (which is how we enjoyed it).
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
[ Printable Recipe ]
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced. (may sub other berries)
Preheat oven to 400°F, placing the rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan and keep ready.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla. Finally add the egg and beat well for another 2 minutes.
Switch the mixer setting to low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
Fold in half of the strawberries into the batter. Pour batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Scatter the remaining strawberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, remove parchment, and allow to cool completely.
Serve slices of cake on their own, or with freshly-whipped cream.