I don’t make a lot of ‘everyday’ cakes. I find them charming, but I tend to avoid them. I’m not quite sure why, because the idea of tea and cake makes me swoon. It sounds so lovely – summer afternoons spread out on a picnic blanket somewhere, chatting and eating without a care in the world. But I’ve never had that luxury; alas, my afternoons are much more practical.
But it’s summer. And being practical isn’t always fun. I am romantic at heart, and an afternoon spent picnicking and snacking on this lovely cake would be delightful. It overflows with strawberries, buttermilk gives it a slight tang, and the crunchy sugar top is heavenly. Plus, it’s pretty simple to put together. It’s a great afternoon treat, but works well as an after dinner dessert, too. So go enjoy your day. Take along someone you love. Take along this cake. Eat, drink and be merry.
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
adapted from the Smitten Kitchen
I used a deep dish 9-inch pie plate for this cake. A regular 9-inch pie plate will be too small for this cake – it will overflow. This cake would work, however, in a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan. The 10-inch would make a thinner cake than pictured. Whole milk can be substituted for the buttermilk.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.
Do ahead: Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered.