Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

I've seen this cake in the June issue of Gourmet, and then on SmittenKitchen, and then on several other blogs. If fact, I feel like I've seen it, or a version of it just about everywhere I look lately. And, I've been wanting to try it for some time. The original recipe features raspberries, but suggests it would be equally yummy with other berries, and since I'd picked up some luscious, and ready-to-use-right-now strawberries from the store, I decided strawberry it was!

This cake is quite a bit sweeter than most desserts I would make. The batter in fact smells a lot like a typical cake mix, but in a really divine smells-like-childhood kind of way (not that my mom used cake mixes often, but I've been around them once or twice). To be honest, I almost liked the batter better, but the finished product is also quite good. And the whole thing comes together rather easily with minimal prep.

The Gourmet recipe only butters and flours the pans, which worked on one ( I doubled the recipe), but one of my cakes was not so lucky - the strawberries formed little soft sticky spots in the finished cake that stuck to the pan and only half my cake released, with quite a lot of effort. Next time, I would definitely use a greased parchment round in the bottom (the sides did not stick) to prevent this. Or, you could also just serve it from the pan.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Serves 6

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into quarters

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. In a mdium mixing bowl, cream together 2/3 cup sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and continue to beat until well incorporated. Alternate additions of flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.

Butter and flour a 9" cake pan. Cut a 9" round of parchment, place on bottom of buttered pan, butter parchment. Pour batter into prepared cake pan spreading evenly. Scatter strawberries ontop and sprinkle over remaining sugar.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes, invert, and place on a rack to cool completely or serve warm.

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