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

By • May 12, 2013 64 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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Comments (64) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago LizCo77

Total winner! I made this for Father's Day, and it was moist, flavorful, and a hit with the extended family. I was a little low on yogurt, and all I had on hand was half and half, so I did about 3/4 cup of each. I also only had a 10 x 10 round Cazuela to bake it in, so after the hour and ten minutes had passed and my cake tester was still coming out not-so-clean, I lowered the heat to 300 and baked it for an additional 10 minutes. Delicious, thank you!

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2 months ago magpiebaker

Just tried this - cake was a little dense for what I'm used to, but the flavor was excellent. I think next time I will try beating butter/sugar for longer before adding eggs. I did find that it only took about 50 minutes (in a ceramic 8x12 dish) so peek at it early on.

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3 months ago Ruth Johnson

I'm curious about whether or not a metal pan will work. I don't have a glass or ceramic one that will work.

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

yes! Enjoy!

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3 months ago Hollie D

Could I use a 9x13 pan? Would it come out too thin do you think?

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You can. Just increase all the ingredients by 50%, and it will be the same thickness.

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3 months ago Ruth Johnson

Can anyone help me with a pan substitution?

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes, of course. What do you want to do?

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3 months ago jeanne marie ward

hi ~ I'd like to use a 9" ceramic pie plate. will that work & are there any time or temperature adjustments? thank you!

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I think it will be fine--it will be higher because the area of the 9" dish is about 2/3 of the area of my dish--even so, you'll probably just have to bake it a little longer (and make sure to leave about an inch of head room).

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3 months ago jeanne marie ward

thanks!

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3 months ago jeanne marie ward

cake turned out great; everyone loved! thank you!

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

That's so great! Thanks for letting me know!

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about 1 year 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!

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so glad it worked for you.

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Great to know.

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

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

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago Linda

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

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about 1 year ago Greta Deitrich Sergeant

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

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about 1 year ago Andie

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

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago redorgreen126

coconut oil!

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about 1 year ago Greta Deitrich Sergeant

I used liquid coconut oil, worked great!

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks!

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

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

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Good to know.

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about 1 year ago JJGood

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

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago JJGood

Terrific, thanks!

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about 1 year ago Musebe

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

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about 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes! Enjoy.