Devouring fresh strawberries is one of my favorite summer pastimes. I love to eat them sliced on granola for breakfast, or over vanilla ice cream with a splash of fruity balsamic vinegar. My favorite new way to enjoy them is baked in this strawberry cake – as it cools, the cake fills the kitchen with the perfume of a strawberry stand, and I have no complaints about that.
If you have access to strawberries from a farm stand or farmer’s market, use them. Buttermilk adds a slight tang and fluffy texture to the cake, and lemon zest adds a floral aroma. Baking this in a rectangular baking dish makes it an easy sweet to cut into squares and serve a group.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add egg and vanilla; beat well. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture, beating just to combine. Add buttermilk, then finish with remaining flour mixture.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish; smooth top with an offset spatula. Arrange strawberries on top of batter in a single layer with cut sides down and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Store leftovers loosely covered at room temperature up to 2 days.
Yield – 16 squares (serving size: 1 square)
Calories – 140
Carbs – 22