After a long winter season, the sight of the first gorgeous and fragrant Queensland strawberries is a sign that spring is on the way. I always snaffle up a few punnets as soon as I see them. They have been especially sweet and delicious this year. And also so cheap! At only $1.50 per punnet, I’ve been going through several a week! I have also started growing my own in the garden and it’s so fun to watch them grow. This gorgeous and simple Strawberry Cake is one of my favourite ways to celebrate the season.
Originally this recipe came from Queen Martha Stewart, and I first tried and published it all the way back in 2011. It has been ten years and I keep coming back to it over and over. It tastes like a baked strawberry shortcake – and easier too, in my opinion! The recipe is just that good – and skimming over the 700+ reviews on Martha’s site, I am clearly not the only fan of this lovely cake.
Once you have secured your prized strawberries, it’s highly likely that you have the remaining ingredients already in your fridge and pantry – butter, sugar, flour, eggs, milk and vanilla. The cake comes together very simply – you will need a hand mixer or stand mixer but it’s very quick to make. When baked, the light batter puffs around the sweet, ripe fruit. It’s a lovely afternoon tea cake and also perfect on a picnic.
My Top Tips for making this Strawberry Cake…
- Room temperature ingredients: Ok, this is a general tip for baking all cakes, but taking your butter and eggs out of the fridge beforehand to come to room temperature will make the texture of your cake even better.
- Don’t skip the raw sugar on top! I really think this is what makes this cake extra special. When it bakes, it forms a nice crackly crust.
- Serve it up: This cake is lovely on its own, but I like to serve it simply with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and some more fresh strawberries. It is also delicious still warm or served at room temperature.
- Try other flavours: The finely grated zest of a lemon or lime would be a lovely addition to the batter. Maybe even some cinnamon if you’re making this in the cooler months. But of course the fruit on top can be remixed to almost anything you like. Any berry would be delicious – or a combination. But try experimenting with sliced apples, pears or peaches, apricots, pineapple, cherries or rhubarb would be delicious! Give it a try with whatever fruit is in season.
- Cake Tin vs Pie Dish: The original recipe called for the Strawberry Cake to be baked in a pie dish, but I use a normal 20cm spring-form cake tin. I have also seen people making this in a skillet. Whatever type of baking tin you decide to use, just be sure to grease it very well with butter. I also line the bottom with non-stick baking paper.
- Make in advance: This cake stores beautifully for 2 days lightly covered with some plastic wrap, or up to 3 days in an air-tight container. Dust with icing sugar just before you serve it up. The whipped cream can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge.
I can honestly say that everyone who has tried this Strawberry Cake has loved it. When they inevitably request the recipe, I just send them this blog post! It’s a real crowd pleaser, but no one has to know how easy it is! I really just can’t wait to bake this cake for the next 10 years.
Originally made in July 2011, with post and photos updated in September 2021.
Related Post: Blueberry Crumble Cake
Strawberry Cake is the perfect quick dessert to showcase lovely seasonal strawberries. Make this crowd-pleaser for afternoon tea or picnics – it's delicious with a dusting of icing sugar and some lightly-sweetened whipped cream.
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups (240g) plain flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g) caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (133ml) milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 punnets (500g) strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter a 20cm cake pan.
Whisk or sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl.
Place butter and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, and then mix in egg, milk and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low, and mix in the flour mixture in batches. Transfer batter to buttered cake tin. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle raw sugar over berries.
Bake cake for 10 minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 160°C (325°F). Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in cake tin on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and cut into wedges. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream if desired. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Makes one 20cm cake