Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (2024)

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Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (1)

This strawberry cake recipe makes an incredible dessert - and also a fabulous breakfast.

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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.

This is an anytime 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.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (2)

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.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (3)

Choosing gluten-free flour for cake:

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.

Make your Strawberry Buttermilk Cake gluten-free or conventional:

A few friends have tried this with regular AP Flour and loved it - so it can be made conventionally as well. This recipe is really very versatile.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (4)

If you don't have Buttermilk, but you want to make buttermilk cake - or you need a dairy-free substitute:

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.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (5)


Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (6)

More berry good recipes:

If you love this cake, you'll love my Berry Buttermilk Cake too. Strawberry fans should definitely check out this Farmer's Daughter strawberry + basil co*cktail and my Real Strawberry Cheesecake.

When you try this cake, let me know! I love it when someone tries one of my favorites. Plus, you can serve this Strawberry Buttermilk Cake for breakfast & dessert!

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (8)K.C. Cornwell

This rich and delicious Strawberry Buttermilk Cake goes perfectly with summer nights, backyard barbecues or a cup of coffee. Make it gluten-free or with conventional flour - everyone loves this recipe!

4.95 from 20 votes

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Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 50 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Servings 8 servings

Calories 265 kcal


  • 1 ½ cups Gluten Free flour blend add 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or baking binder if not already included in the blend - or conventional AP flour (if not GF)
  • 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
  • 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 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.


adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.


Calories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 4gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 332IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 1mg

Keyword cake, gluten-free baking, strawberry recipes

Photos:Meg van der Kruik - it's her favorite strawberry cake recipe now, too.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (9)

The Best Gluten-Free Recipe For Strawberry Cupcakes from Sprinkles!

Your new favorite sweet treat is thisGluten-free Recipe For Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry ButtercreamIcing, which is overflowing with rich strawberry flavor from strawberries in the cake and the frosting.

Real Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

After trying this Real Strawberry Cheesecake recipe, rich in natural strawberry flavors, you'll never go back to the gloppy-red-topping version.

The fresh strawberry sweetness combined with the cheesecake's luscious creaminess. Yum! Don't try to hide it; you're drooling. This strawberry cheesecake might make you never want to eat regular cheesecake again.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (10)

Frequently Asked Questions About This Strawberry Cake:

How do I substitute for buttermilk?

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.

How do you keep strawberries fresh in a cake?

Since this cake bakes with the strawberries in in and it's lower in moisture, the strawberries stay fresh once it's baked.

Does strawberry cake need to be refrigerated?

This cake does not need to be refrigerated. Strawberry cakes that are covered in icing likely need to be.

Can strawberry cake sit out?

This strawberry cake can sit at room temperature for up to three days, covered.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Melissa says

    This was exactly the recipe I needed to use up some buttermilk and strawberries! I did take some liberties - diced the strawberries and mixed them in along with swirling in Nutella (which I also had to use up). It was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe. Absolutely making it again when strawberries are in season.


    • K.C. Cornwell says

      so happy you love it!


  2. Laurie Hopmann says

    Strawberry Buttermilk Cake: Our Favorite Strawberry Cake Recipe! (15)
    This was yummy! My strawberries sunk to the bottom. Any idea why?


    • K.C. Cornwell says

      Laurie - I haven't had that happen - might you have pushed them in deeply or did you cut differently than we did? Did you make an ingredient substitution perhaps? Either way, I'm so glad you love the recipe!


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