First I saw it on Smitten Kitchen. Then Mary the Food Librarian did a variation of it. The other day I was instant messaging with a friend of mine and he mentioned it too. It was only a matter of time before I made a version of the famed buttermilk cake found in the most recent issue of Gourmet magazine. I got home about ten minutes earlier than normal last night so I decided it would be the perfect time to make this cake. I had an especially light farmers market outing this week, but I did manage to pick up some strawberries which were some of the best strawberries I have ever had. I'm not sure if it's because I waited a couple of days to use them or because it was an especially great crop. Either way, they were bursting with juicy sweetness and I have plenty left over to snack on. This cake is super deluxe easy to make and since I made a small batch, I think it's easier mixed by hand. All you need are a couple of bowls and a whisk. Even though this is such a simple combination of flavors, it is one outstanding outcome. I am about to have the rest of this for breakfast this morning, but what a treat it was to have a slice of this last night. As I was pouring the batter into the cake pan, I thought about how nice it would be to mix some lemon zest into the batter which I will try the next time I make this. As suggested in the magazine, this batter would be great with any summer berry. I'm thinking blackberries will be the choice for the next go-round. Anyway, I highly recommend this cake and since it is such a simple pleasure, I think you will enjoy it a lot.
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
(Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009)
*A couple of notes, I used slightly less sugar called for than what I wrote here. Also, I checked my cake at the 20 minute mark and it was just about done so I didn't keep it in the oven for too much longer. The pick came out clean although in the picture, there appears to be batter in the center of the slice. For this small batch, it is probably easier to do the mixing by hand with a whisk. This cake is best slightly warm on the day it's made.
Makes 1 4.5-inch cake
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 4.5-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter and 1/3 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.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter the strawberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
Bake until the cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-30 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool to warm, 10 more minutes.