Fresh strawberries from Plant City, Fla., peak in February; from Louisiana, in March; from Tennessee, in April and May; then from Michigan and New Jersey and on up north, in the summer. They’re the harbinger of our first warm days.
Strawberries are the only fruit with external seeds—some 200 seeds per berry. Ounce for ounce, they have more vitamin C than citrus, and they’re packed with cancer fighting phytonutrients. Strawberries won’t ripen after picked, so avoid green ones and remember that smallish berries can be more flavorful than colossal ones.
Small berries are what you’ll want when making this cake, which gets its golden hue from a dose of coarse, brown turbinado sugar. The cake bakes up and around the berries, creating a creamy, sweet strawberry “tunnel” inside.
When sweet local strawberries make their way to farmers’ markets, stand back and let them do the work. This recipe lets you do just that. Not too sweet, the cake is delicate and moist—perfect for breakfast or dessert.
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
If you don’t have turbinado sugar, substitute an equal amount of granulated white sugar.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups small strawberries, plus more for topping (use the smallest strawberries you can find in this cake, or cut larger ones into halves)
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Combine flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Beat butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, until just blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Top with strawberries and sprinkle with extra turbinado sugar.
4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a pick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool. Release sides of pan. Remove cake and place on a serving plate. Garnish with additional strawberries, if using. Serves 10.
Per serving: 243 calories, 8g fat, 61mg chol., 4g prot., 39g carbs., 1g fiber, 370mg sodium
Recipe by Jill Melton, Relish Editor