strawberry vanilla summer cake

it's day three of strawberry week! be sure to check out the other recipes using one of my favorite fruits.

this cake is great after a nice, light, summer dinner, with a side of lightly whipped cream. and it's even better the next morning for breakfast. the strawberries turn super sweet, and almost jam-like, creating a perfect layer of strawberry goodness over a moist vanilla cake.

while i'm definitely keeping this cake in my arsenal for next summer - or another lonely quart of super ripe berries - i would make a few adjustments next time.

i used grandpa's homegrown berries, tiny, thumbnail sized berries rather than the big, fat berries at the grocery store. the small berries, especially cut in half, made a layer of strawberry jam on top of the cake. next time, i'll leave the berries whole and layer them between the cake batter rather than leave them all on top. and instead of making two small cakes, i'm going to make one big cake, baked in a springform pan. i was sure to well grease my pan, and the sides and bottom still stuck to the pan enough so it bugged me. a springform pan should cure it.

other strawberry cakes on my to bake list:
joy the baker's strawberry upside-down cake with cardamom
piece of cake's strawberry buttermilk upside-down cake
the galley gourmet's strawberry dream cake
russian season's strawberry sponge cake

strawberry vanilla summer cake
adapted from smitten kitchen, who adapted it from martha stewart
1 hour, makes 2 six inch cakes or 1 nine or ten inch cake

while deb made a nine inch cake, i decided to split the cake into two six inch cakes (one for me, one for work). the six inch cakes baked beautifully and deb warned that a standard nine inch pie plate isn't big enough for this cake; it will overflow. the most viable options: a deep dish nine inch pan, two deep six inch pans, and a nine or ten inch springform pan.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar + the seeds of a vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
small splash of vanilla extract, about 1/4 teaspoon
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved
2 tablespoons vanilla or plain sugar
  1. preheat your oven to 350F. grease a nine inch deep dish pan or two six by two inch pans and set aside.
  2. in a medium bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with a mixer. mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla, until combined. with the mixer on low, mix in 1 cup of the flour, then the baking powder and salt. finish with the last half cup of flour and mix until combined.
  3. pour mixture into prepared pan or pans and smooth over the top. spread the strawberries over the top of the batter in a single layer. i had a double layer of berries, since they were so small. sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the berries.
  4. bake for 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325F and bake until brown and a toothpick comes out clean. deb suggests 50 to 60 minutes for a nine inch cake and my six inch cakes took about 40 minutes, but you may want to check them after 35 minutes.
  5. let the cake cook in the pan on a rack (don't try to invert it while hot, unless you want a hot strawberry mess on your hands. the berries turn jam-like and make a mess when the cake it still hot). cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream.
check out more sweet treats at sweets for a saturday!


  1. This is beauuttiffulll, it looks so jam packed with strawberries (other recipes are rather mean with them i think :) ) but this looks so goddarn moist and just plain scrummy. lovely :)


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