Strawberry Cake for Mother's Day (and Other Days)

By • May 12, 2013 • 51 Comments

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Author Notes: When my daughter in law asked me to make dessert for Mother's Day, I gave her the choice of berries or chocolate, and she chose berries. I was going to make my Beach House Strawberry Cake (http://food52.com/recipes/13351-beach-house-strawberry-cake), but because i had made it in a vacation house, it had some flaws I wanted to correct--it was dense and heavy, it used oil instead of butter (oil imparts moistness, but I prefer the taste of butter), and it was kind of ugly (my fault for my random placement of strawberries). So I decided to modify that recipe, but still make a snacky cake that could serve a bunch of people for dessert after a barbecue.

I used Shirley Corriher's wonderful book Bakewise to make the improvements I wanted--she suggests beating the butter well before adding the sugar and then beating them well together, adding the eggs on low speed, whisking the flour-baking powder-salt mixture well to evenly distribute the leavening, and adding a little oil to increase the cake's moistness.
drbabs

Serves 8 to 12

  • 1 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  1. Butter an 8x12 ceramic dish. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together till thoroughly blended. Whisk milk and yogurt together. Set both aside.
  3. Place butter into bowl of stand mixer, and beat on medium speed till very light, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed another 3 minutes till almost white in color. Scrape down as needed. Add vanilla extract and oil, and continue to beat on medium speed till well blended.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add eggs one at a time and continue to mix just till well blended.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to lowest setting ("stir" on my mixer). Alternate milk mixture and flour mixture and stir till just well blended.
  6. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place the strawberries on the top in a pretty pattern, cut side down. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, and a tester comes out free of cake batter.
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Open-uri.4355

4 months ago Dina Moore-Tzouris

Now you tell me! I spent all weekend trying to use up my farmer's market berries, and this pops up on Monday morning...ha ha, can't wait to make this one.
I did make Midge's Strawberry Lime Crostada, and it is fantastic!

Stringio

4 months ago Lisa Yeager

Well, since I promised to post my outcome, I will, although I made quite a few adjustments. It turned out great/to my taste, but is probably quite a bit different from the original recipe. To make this gluten free and honey-sweetened, I used 1/2 c of honey in place of the sugar, did not sprinkle sugar on top, and subbed 1 1/2 c of all purpose gluten free flour and 1/2 c of almond flour for the flour. Instead of the milk, I used 1 1/2 c of regular (not Greek) yogurt, and for the oil, used coconut oil. Very dense, moist cake, exactly what I was aiming for.

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so glad it worked for you.

Stringio

4 months ago Greta Deitrich Sergeant

Since this recipe makes a dense cake, I was fairly certain I could make a Gluten Free version for my friends with very little trouble. I used Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend (Gluten Free) and subbed coconut oil for the veg oil. This resulted in a moist, dense cake that was much appreciated by GF and Non GF friends alike!

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Great to know.

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4 months ago gretch374

Just made this with sour cream because I didn't have yogurt and there was no time to go to the store. Wow. Really incredible flavor and texture. Now I'm going to have a hard time deciding whether to make this or a crumble with all my fruit this summer! Thank you for this fantastic recipe.

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks for letting me know. Im glad you liked it.

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm really glad that my recipe has inspired so much creativity. I must tell you, though, that this is dessert, not health food. The oil makes the cake extra moist while the butter makes it taste good. I don't find the cake to be super sweet-- I don't like overly sweet desserts, but you might. Keep in mind that everything you're thinking of doing-- making it gluten free, changing the fat to sugar ratio, using honey instead of sugar-- will change the chemistry of baking the cake. You might want to consult Shirley Corriher's Bakewise-- she writes a lot about the science of baking and what you have to do to balance chemistry when you make changes like the ones you propose. Please let me know how it all turns out.

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4 months ago Linda

I cup of sugar per 2 cups of flour does not seem "less sweet" to me

Stringio

4 months ago Greta Deitrich Sergeant

Am going to try to make this Gluten Free...

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4 months ago Andie

How about a real food substitute for vegetable oil? More butter?

Stringio

4 months ago Lisa Yeager

I was wondering the same thing...am planning to try this tomorrow and will post the result (although I will likely make a number of other changes too...gf, honey-sweetened, etc...)

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4 months ago redorgreen126

coconut oil!

Stringio

4 months ago Greta Deitrich Sergeant

I used liquid coconut oil, worked great!

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4 months ago Amandadp

This cake is delicious! Thanks for posting this recipe. It's denser, but I prefer that kind of cake to a lighter one. I think the butter is key because it adds so much to the flavour. I'm imagining making this with all kinds of fruit this summer!

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks!

Stringio

5 months ago DeannaC

How do you keep your strawberries from sinking and getting covered up by the batter? The cake still came out delicious.

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hmmm, that has never happened to me. Maybe your strawberries are especially juicy?

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I haven't had to do this but you might want to try it:
http://www.splendidtable...

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5 months ago ShaunaF

So I have made this twice now, and find it very dense. I am following all the directions for room temp ingredients and mixing times. Is this just a very dense cake or is something wrong? Thanks in advance.

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

It's somewhat dense, depending on how juicy the berries are. Beating the butter really well, and then beating the eggs in till the mixture is very light helps. So does using full fat yogurt and milk. I'm sorry it didn't work for you.

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Shauna, I made it today with blueberries and it came out denser than usual. I was almost out of yogurt so I used more milk than yogurt, rather than the other way around. So I think the denseness is caused by either too much liquid, or not enough acid. Could this be what happened in your case?

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4 months ago ShaunaF

It could have been the problem the first time, as I used 1 1/2 cups homemade yogurt instead of what the recipe calls for (greek yogurt/milk). The second time I made it per instructions though. However, I've continued to follow the threads of comments, and they remain so positive I am going to try again when the next crop of fruit hits the farmer's market (peaches I think). Thanks for your suggestions.

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5 months ago AJerusalemArtichoke

Made this yesterday for my mom and sister as written and it's disappearing before my eyes. Magic! Thank you!

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you! I'm so happy you all liked it.

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5 months ago Linda W

I used 1% and whole wheat flour and my husband and I loved it. Also it smelled sooo good cooking. Did find it tasted better reheated than cold ,could be because I used wh. wt. flour don't know.

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Good to know.

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5 months ago JJGood

Is this a recipe where whole milk is necessary, or will skim/1% do?

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I made it last week with 2%. It's very forgiving.

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5 months ago JJGood

Terrific, thanks!

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5 months ago Musebe

I have a pint of farmer's market blueberries can I substitute for strawberry

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes! Enjoy.

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5 months ago Andrea

I made this cake over the weekend with homegrown strawberries. Boy, was it a hit! the cake was moist and tender with lots of strawberry flavor.

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I made it this weekend, too! I'm so glad you liked it.

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5 months ago Linda W

Thanks a bunch

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

My pleasure.

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5 months ago Linda W

Do you have the nutritional content esp. calories available?

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I don't, but I put it into a calorie counting app. The app would only let me put in nonfat yogurt, and it assumed 8 servings. Here you go:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 150 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393Calories from Fat 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16.7g26%
Saturated Fat 8.5g43%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 124mg5%
Potassium 153mg4%
Total Carbohydrates 56.1g19%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g5%
Sugars 31.7g
Protein 6.7g
Vitamin A 8% • Vitamin C 19%
Calcium 9% • Iron 10%

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5 months ago Kristin

Is there a good substitute for the butter? Veg oil?

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You can use vegetable oil, but the cake will be denser and not as tasty (IMHO).

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5 months ago ShaunaF

I have homemade plain yogurt, and it seems a waste to strain it to get thicker yogurt and then add back liquid as milk. Do you think I could use 1 1/2 cups plain regular yogurt? Thanks!

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes, definitely. I added milk to the yogurt to thin it.