Nothing quite says “summer” more than fruit. And no fruit says “summer” more than strawberries, right? I mean, okay, maybe watermelon, but watermelon would probably not be good in a cake. Too much water. Ha. But that’s beside the point. This would be the perfect dessert to bring to a summer barbecue potluck/picnic/garden party (holy unintentional alliteration). I don’t know about you guys, but someone says “potluck” and I immediately volunteer to bring dessert. It gives me an excuse to bake a lot of delicious goodies without having to worry about them sitting around my kitchen, trying to hide them from myself, and eventually caving and eating them all (I have little to no will power, sad but true). This cake is as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious; bring it to share with everybody and your friends will love you forever. People you are trying to impress? Consider them impressed! I mean, come on, try to name someone who doesn’t love strawberries. List is short (or non-existent), right? They’re just so great. Even in cakes.
When I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, it was immediately bookmarked in my unnecessarily extensive “recipes (yumz)” folder. This cake just looked so so pretty and summery and happy. I’m not a huge cake fan (I’d choose pie almost any day), but this one was quite honestly amazing. I will most definitely make this again. The strawberries get so gooey in the best way possible and the cake part is soft and perfect and yum. My brother ate almost the entire cake tonight alone–which is about the only way he compliments my cooking/baking, by eating it–so I guess I did something right. Definitely eat a slice of this while it’s warm. While it is a little more difficult to cut and get a slice out intact this way, it is so worth it. Make this cake! Do it do it do it!
6 tbsp room-temperature unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar (plus 2 tbsp. to use at the end)
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
16 oz. strawberries, cut into halves
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter either a 10″ pie pan or 9″ cake pan (that’s what I used, it made the cake a little thicker); a 9″ pie pan will overflow, so don’t use one! Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer for a couple minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla until they are just combined, then gradually add the dry mixture until it’s all mixed together in a beautiful, creamy batter. Pour it into your cake pan and arrange the strawberries seeds-up on top of the batter as closely together as possible. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar you set aside on top of the cake and stick it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350, then adjust the temperature to 325 and let the cake bake for another 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are lightly golden brown. Beautiful.
I do realize that the strawberries look black here. They’re really not that dark, I promise. The photo is just weird and I really didn’t feel like editing.