I went strawberry picking (twice) last week. I knew it was late in the season so I wanted to get as much out of it as possible.
On Saturday we picked about 8 pounds: about 3 pounds went into refrigerator jam, I froze about a pound for smoothies (gone already) and I’m not really sure where the rest went – I guess we ate a lot! So just four days later on Wednesday I dragged Mom out to the fields and brought home about 5 more pounds. I had found this Buttermilk Strawberry Cake and knew that I wanted to make it so made sure to put some berries aside. Besides this cake, we ate (and drank in smoothies) a lot more berries again the rest of the week.
I’m telling you – you just can’t beat the taste of fresh-picked berries. Strawberries from the store have a super strong yummy taste but the fresh berries are super sweet and have a more subtle and natural flavor! This year the strawberries in our area were very tiny because of the super wet spring. The smallness of the berries made it a little harder to pick and prepare: but did nothing, in my opinion, to the tastiness of the berries!
I decided to make this cake for my parents who were babysitting the pups while we were away with friends/family for the weekend. While I had all the ingredients out and the oven heated up, I decided to whip up another cake to bring to the beach with us to go along with the other breakfast goodies.
My dad said this cake was awesome warmed back up with some of the strawberry jam I had given them over top (and just for good measure – he put some vanilla ice cream between the layer of strawberry cake and strawberry jam).
Dad was not the only one who enjoyed this cake.
I had the cake (and Snickerdoodle Muffins AND Banana Carrot Whole Wheat Muffins) all cooling on the table. Upon walking toward the kitchen I heard some “slurping” and walked in to see Donner (our Flat Coat Retriever) with his head tilted in a perfect angle to get his tongue to the side of the cake….
He immediately stopped when I screamed at him (and I guess we should be happy that at least all 4 legs were on the ground and he wasn’t hopping up on the table)! The cake which we brought south with us ended up arriving with a slab cut off the side in order to protect everyone from dog slobber (except for Rich who decided it is his dog and the cake was too good to let some slobber ruin it).
SO, this cake is: dog, father, boyfriend, & friend approved – enjoy!
- 1 cup cake flour (AP flour is fine, too)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup plus 1½ tablespoons sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Beat butter and ⅔ cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
- Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter berries evenly over top (I think next time it would work even better to just cut them in half if you have smaller berried like these and just push them in farther) and sprinkle with remaining 1½ tablespoons sugar.
- Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
And I leave you with this classic Beatles Quote: “Let me take you down, ‘cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields. Nothing is real and nothing to get hung-about. Strawberry Fields forever.”