Breakfast and Brunch, Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Nicoletta July 29, 2016

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Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, as simple as the title states and flavors that are luxurious and moist, and delectable, using the freshness of B.C. strawberries and the passion for baked goods.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Sometimes simple is all you want to do, meals and desserts that take almost no time between the preparation and the cooking time. But that still pack a ton of flavor in your mouth and leave you with a sense of fulfillment. It is the case of this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, easy, quick, summery and deliciously juicy and sweet.



We were at the market at La Cité Francophone, some Sundays ago and among all the berries and stone fruit displayed beautifully on a BC produce stand, there were still some strawberries, gorgeous little crimson jewels that when tasted, were sweeter than a Georgia peach. It was a no brainer to take a basket with us, they’re still my favorite fruit, after all. Before all you can find in the stores are the huge, who knows what they’ve pumped it with, monster, somewhat flavorless strawberries -that we do not buy, by the way- I wanted to end strawberry season with the real, organic, unmistakable strawberry flavor.

So when I saw that Deb from Smitten Kitchen (that I love!) had a recipe that well suited the main character of my dessert, it was a sign. This cake was meant to be.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake here we go!

As I said, it is an easy and fast recipe to make, the ingredients are pretty straightforward, no last minute running to the store to get something you’ve never heard of before, and you can adapt it to whatever you have in your pantry and fridge. As for me, I am using strawberries as the main ingredients, coconut oil for the fat and unrefined brown sugar for the sweetness. The cake would work with any fruit or berry you want, butter if that is your thing (and butter was in the original recipe), whatever sugar or sweetener you like, and you can even make your own buttermilk with milk and vinegar or lemon juice, if you don’t have it handy. Lemon zest, optional in the original recipe, is a must for me and the kind of flavor I like in my cakes. It adds a beautiful touch and with the brown sugar, vanilla and coconut oil, a wonderful aftertaste.

Strawberry Buttermilk CakeStrawberry Buttermilk Cake

If using a stand mixer the batter comes really fast, if using bowls, a whisk and a spatula, you need a bit more time and elbow grease, but many are the sweets that I make just like that; I really like that old-fashioned way of baking. The oven temperature is pretty high, 400° F, so keep an eye on the cake, since every oven is different and the cake bakes quickly. In my oven, this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake baked in about 20 minutes. The color is a deep golden brown, outside and inside, due to the brown sugar. If you use a granulated sugar you’ll end up with a lighter color, but I try to stay away from the refined sugars as much as I can.

Strawberry Buttermilk CakeStrawberry Buttermilk Cake

The flavor of this cake will have you coming back for seconds and you’ll see the cake disappear as quickly as it took you to make it, from the bursts of juiciness of the strawberries, to the moist delicate dimension of the cake, that little tease of coconut, the hint of freshness from the lemon zest, and the brown sugar nicely caramelized and brought to the crust in a beautiful golden hue.

It is always a  good sign for me when a dessert goes quickly,  especially since I am always in desperate need of reassuring words and a boost of confidence.

Song of the day: “Learn To Fly”, Foo Fighters.

Recipe adapted on Smitten Kitchen’s Raspberry Buttermilk Cake.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cake 1x


Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, as simple as the title states and flavors that are luxurious and moist, and delectable, using the freshness of B.C. strawberries and the passion for baked goods.


  • 1 cup (130 g) organic, unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 56 grams coconut oil, melted (or butter, if you prefer)
  • 2/3 cup (146 g) plus 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (or any fruit you like)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan (or use a non-stick pan like I did).
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat coconut oil and 2/3 cup brown sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then add in vanilla and lemon zest,
  4. Add egg and beat well.
  5. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
  6. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top.
  7. Press strawberries lightly and evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar.
  8. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  9. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, invert, and let cool completely.


No buttermilk? Add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk and let it sit until it clabbers, about 10 minutes.


  • Serving Size: 8-10 servings
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We have more strawberry desserts for you!


Strawberry Tiramisu


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie


Strawberry rhubarb ice cream sandwich


Strawberry Ice Cream with drunken rhubarb

Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products or places we normally purchase and like.  

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  • Avatar
    Reply Cristina @ I Say Nomato July 29, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Yes! I completely agree on the monster, flavourless strawberries. Only fresh, local ones! Even the small ones are full of flavour 🙂 These looks deeeelicious! It would definitely disappear quickly at my house!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 30, 2016 at 7:23 am

      Thanks Cristina! It did disappear in our house too 😉 . Yes to organic, local strawberries so full of flavor!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sean July 29, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Buttermilk is something I never really paid attention to as a kid. I don’t think we ever really had it around the house. But I started cooking with it a few years ago, and now I’m constantly curious about it. And if I can make a buttermilk cake that looks even HALF as good as this one, I’ll be happy. I’m absolutely, completely in love with the way those strawberry halves peek out of the top of the cake with all of their seeded textural glory. It’s a lovely, elegant yet rustic touch. I think it’s fantastic.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 30, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Thanks Sean for the beautiful comment! I love the way described the cake, I agree, it is elegant yet rustic. And delicious 🙂 . Buttermilk adds such a great texture and flavor to baked goods, I use it quite a bit.

  • Avatar
    Reply July 29, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Hey friend! Come to my house with your delectable treats and I promise you’ll leave with confidence to spare! Your creations are incredible. Really…you blow me away! I love how beautiful and rustic this cake is! My kind of dessert! Have a lovely weekend, dear!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 30, 2016 at 7:29 am

      Thanks so much Annie, I’d love to meet you, talk and share some delectable treats and maybe go away with a boost of confidence that will last me forever 😉 . Have a great weekend, too, my friend, here is the long weekend, yay!

  • Avatar
    Reply Justine @ July 29, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Oh yum! You guys have been cranking out the delicious baked treats lately. I love the artful approach you took with this cake — those fresh strawberries on top are darling! 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta July 30, 2016 at 7:30 am

      Thank you Justine, it was so delicious, it lasted 1 day 🙂 . The strawberries are the star of the show 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply La Cuisine d'Helene July 31, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    This looks amazing, I shared this post on my blog today with a direct link to your post.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta August 1, 2016 at 7:25 am

      Thank you so much Helene for sharing our recipe. It is indeed delicious and so easy to make!

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