Strawberry Addiction

Admit it: it’s impossible to eat just one strawberry — especially at the farmers market where the tables teeter with boxes of sun kissed berries, and juicy samples are seductively placed for easy nibbling. If you are like me (and you know you are) then it’s all too tempting to sneak an extra berry or two for sampling, discreetly of course, while feeling like a sneaky child with a hand in the cookie jar. So now that we’ve confessed to our shared weakness, I have a piece of advice. Buy lots. You know you will eat more in the car on the way home, and that the family will clamor around them once placed in the kitchen. You will need ample reserves for all of that, but more importantly to ensure that you have enough left over for a cake.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

This strawberry cake is delightfully simple. Light, gently sweetened, and jammed with fruit, it has summer written all over it. Adapted from a recipe from Martha Stewart.

Makes 1 (10 inch) cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 pound strawberries, halved – or quartered if very large*

To Prepare:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch (25 cm) pie or cake pan.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine the butter and 3/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon zest on medium-low speed. Add the flour and mix to combine without over-mixing.
  4. Spread the batter in the prepared dish. Arrange the strawberries, cut-side down, on top of the batter, gently pressing to partially submerge. Squeeze in as many strawberries as possible. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon sugar over the top.
  5. Bake until the top is light golden and a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool the cake in the plate on a rack. Before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon lemon zest over the cake. Serve with whipped cream.

You can purchase local strawberries from Marin Roots Farm at the San Rafael Farmers Market. I’ll see you by the samples.

Want to learn more about how to grow your own strawberries? We have some insight for you.