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...), 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
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together till thoroughly blended. Whisk milk and yogurt together. Set both aside.
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.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add eggs one at a time and continue to mix just till well blended.
Reduce mixer speed to lowest setting ("stir" on my mixer). Alternate milk mixture and flour mixture and stir till just well blended.
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.