It’s always wonderful when the first fresh California strawberries arrive in the stores. I look at them as the harbinger of summer; and my thoughts turn to barbecues, summer salads, and strawberry desserts. My supermarket always positions the strawberries near their entrance; and, on a recent shopping trip, their sweet aroma pulled me immediately to their display where I found a buy one, get one sale.
One of my strawberry-loving daughters, Sara, and her boyfriend Luke were coming home from college for the weekend, so I set out to find a new strawberry recipe. It didn’t take long to find a Martha Stewart recipe for a strawberry cake which looked quite delectable. I decided it would be just the thing to have after a nice dinner before the “kids” went back to school on Sunday.
We had a nice visit over the weekend; and, as planned, I made the cake midday Sunday and had it in the oven when Sara informed me that travel plans back to school had changed. A fellow student’s dad was driving them back, and the departure time had moved up to early afternoon. This meant we had to leave in less than 30 minutes to get to the friend’s home to drop Sara and Luke off. In true college family style, we went into Three Stooges mode with arms flailing (“Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo!”). The kids ran to pack while I “fran”tically made fresh whipped cream for the cake soon to be out of the oven. The timer went off—no time to cool off the cake; half of it went into a disposable aluminum pie tin. (When you have college kids, you save every plastic or aluminum container. They do come in handy.) I found a disposable container for the whipped cream, filled it, found some plastic forks, and off we all went.
After we dropped Sara and Luke off, Roger and I drove home and talked about how great it was that we enjoyed salmon since the two of us were going to have 2 1/2 pounds of it for dinner. With all the rushing around, we decided not to wait until after dinner to have our cake which we thought was absolutely delicious. I do like to get feedback on new recipes and was wondering how Sara and the group liked it when she sent a text, “The cake is awesome.” Mere seconds later, there was a follow-up text, “No, it’s frantastic!”
- 6 tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tbl. turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of cake
Preheat oven to 350o F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan or pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
Gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Arrange strawberry slices on top of batter. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over berries.
Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 50-55 minutes. Let cool in pan. To serve, cut into wedges. Store cake at room temperature, for up to two days. (I doubt it will last that long!)