buttermilk skillet cake with strawberries

while june has a brand new meaning for us this year, it's still the start of fresh produce at the market and one of our all time favorites: strawberries! last year, i jazzed up mojitos with them, turned them into sorbet and ice cream, rolled puff pastry around them, transformed them into jam which went into cookies, and added them to lemon bars and cake. this year, i'm kicking off berry season with this simple buttermilk cake topped with sweetened berries cooked ever so slightly. it's perfect for summer barbecues and since it can be whipped up in less than an hour, last minute picnics.

buttermilk skillet cake with strawberries
cake adapted from the joy the baker cookbook
45 minutes, makes one 8" or 9" cake

for the cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk

for the berries:
1 quart (4 cups) fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  1. preheat your oven to 375F. grease the bottom and sides of an 8" or 9" round cake pan and set aside. 
  2. in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  3. in a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and light in color, about three minutes. add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  4. add half of the flour mixture and mix until almost incorporated. add the buttermilk and mix until almost incorporated. add the remaining flour and mix until incorporated. 
  5. spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out so it's even. bake for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  6. while the cake is cooling, make the berry sauce. combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium low heat. cook, stirring frequently, just until the berries release their juices. remove from heat, let cool, and store in an airtight container.
  7. serve slices of cake with generous spoonfuls of berries on top.


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