Strawberry 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. This is truly our favorite strawberry cake recipe.
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.
I 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:
I’ve used coconut milk in this strawberry cake recipe with success, but you’ve got to add about ¾ 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.) You can replace the butter in this cake with coconut oil for a fully dairy-free option. A few friends have tried this with regular AP Flour and loved it - so it can be made conventionally as well.
When you try this cake, let me know! I love it when someone tries one of my favorites.
Gluten-Free Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
- 1 ½ cups Gluten Free flour blend add 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or baking binder if not already included in the blend
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (or coconut oil)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 large egg
- ⅔ cup buttermilk (or non-dairy milk with lemon juice added)
- 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 ¾ 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.
Photos: Meg van der Kruik - it's her favorite strawberry cake recipe now, too.
Gluten-Free Strawberry Buttermilk Cake. Breakfast & Dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions About This Strawberry Cake:
This cake calls for ⅔ cup of buttermilk. To substitute, add ¾ teaspoon of lemon juice to ⅔ cup of plain coconut milk or dairy milk and stir, then allow to sit for 10 minutes. Use in place of buttermilk.
Since this cake bakes with the strawberries in in and it's lower in moisture, the strawberries stay fresh once it's baked.
This cake does not need to be refrigerated. Strawberry cakes that are covered in icing likely need to be.
This strawberry cake can sit at room temperature for up to three days, covered.