Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

An incredible dessert - that also makes a fabulous breakfast.

Gluten-Free Strawberry Buttermilk CakeStrawberry Buttermilk Cake definitely falls in the “absolute crowd pleasing” category. The cake is really easy to make, and bakes up a tender, flavorful and simple to serve treat. Honestly, slicing the strawberries is the hardest part of the prep. 

I’m lucky enough to live in California, where strawberries are in season year-round. In winter, strawberries are grown outside and in hot houses in Southern California, then harvest moves north in spring and summer. Peak season is late spring and throughout summer, when the berry plants are producing so much fruit they have to be picked every three days. During that time, every grocery store and fruit stand around is bursting with fresh berries.

strawberry buttermilk cake recipeI love pairing the sweet berries with tangy grapefruit zest. I call for 3 teaspoons, but I often add a bit more. The cake works equally well with lemon or orange zest too – so use what you have or what’s in season.

 I use Pamela’s Products Artisan Gluten-Free Flour or the King Arthur Gluten-Free AP Measure for Measure in most baking. Or I mix my own flour and add gum-free baking binder. This cake isn’t temperamental, so any of those options will work well.

If you don’t have Buttermilk:

STRAWBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE GLUTEN FREEI’ve used coconut milk in this recipe with success, but you’ve got to add about 3/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to the coconut milk and let it stand for about 10 minutes to get the tangy flavor you’re looking for. (The same process will work with regular dairy milk if you don’t have buttermilk.) I haven’t tried replacing the butter in this cake, so that’s why I’m not offering a dairy-free option. A few friends have tried this with regular AP Flour and loved it – so it can be made conventionally as well.

best Gluten-Free Strawberry Buttermilk CakeIf you love this cake, you’ll love my Berry Buttermilk Cake too. Strawberry fans should definitely check out this Farmer’s Daughter strawberry + basil cocktail and my Real Strawberry Cheesecake

When you try this cake, let me know! I love it when someone tries one of my favorites.

Gluten-Free Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

This rich and delicious gluten-free Strawberry Buttermilk Cake goes perfectly with summer nights, backyard barbecues or a cup of coffee.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, gluten-free baking, strawberry recipes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 265kcal
Author: K.C. Cornwell


  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten Free flour blend add 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or baking binder if not already included in the blend
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest divided (orange is ok if you prefer)
  • 1 pound strawberries halved – or quartered if very large


  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Butter a 10-inch (25 cm) pie or tart pan, or prepare with non-stick spray.
  • Whisk the Gluten Free flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Combine butter and 3/4 cup sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, buttermilk, vanilla and 2 teaspoons of the grapefruit zest on medium speed. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine without over-mixing. Spread batter in the prepared dish (it will be thick). Arrange strawberries, cut-side down, on top of the batter, gently pressing to partially submerge. Squeeze in as many strawberries as possible. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar (if you have turbinado or raw sugar available, that works well on top of the cake).
  • Bake in oven until top is light golden and a knife inserted in the cake comes clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in plate on a rack. Before serving, sprinkle remaining zest over the cake. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Accompany with whipped cream if desired.


adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.


Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 279mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 332IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

Photos: Meg van der Kruik

Gluten-Free Strawberry Buttermilk Cake.  Breakfast & Dessert.