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Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Guess what? I have another something special for you. I’d like to welcome a very special guest, miss Maggie Battista of Eat Boutique. Yes, that Eat Boutique, the fabulous blog and purveyor of our favorite foodie gift boxes. Not only is she sharing a delicious summer dessert recipe, but don’t miss the end of the post. You just might win an EB Summer Gift Box (also, a hearty congrats to Molly and Nichole, the lucky winners of the Nudo chocolate giveaway!). Take it away, Maggie!

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

This happens to be a short story of two yeses, two recipes and a giveaway.

Let’s start with the yeses. I’ve only known Lindsay since the start of this year, but I feel like she’s a sweet, forever friend. We’ve built up our friendship over the course of two giveaways (here and here). Lindsay’s a big supporter of my blog, Eat Boutique, where we share recipes and guides, spotlight food makers and sell homespun gift boxes. (Thanks, Lindsay!)

Preserved Whole Strawberries

When I told Lindsay about Eat Boutique’s summer gift box, a crafty box packed with food fit for a summer picnic, she said, “yes” to a summer box giveaway. (Don’t you just love a giveaway?) And when she asked me to write the blog post, I couldn’t help but get excited and say “yes” – though, of course, secretly stressing about what I might share with you all.

Preserved Whole Strawberries

While I’ve been a food blogger for four years, baking for this crowd is a bit scary; you’re all such great bakers! More so than baking, I love preserving. I’ve found my passion in homemade jams, vinegars, syrups and sweet cordials with whatever is in season. Our strawberry season is coming to a close in New England, but I managed to preserve several quarts, including this easy recipe for preserved whole strawberries.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

Since we’re not preserving these strawberries to take us through to next year, the preparation is really easy. And let’s be realistic, local strawberries don’t last more than a few weeks in my house, whether freshly picked or preserved; they’re just too delicious.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

Keep in mind: You could add spices, like an adobe chile during cooking, or even liquor, like a few splashes of Campari just after the cooking, to the strawberries for some added flavor. (My oh my, Campari-flavored preserved strawberries make for a great Americano cocktail!) But I kept it simple, as this strawberry buttermilk cake doesn’t need much to shine. Maybe just a touch of homemade whipped cream. And while the cake is perfect at room temperature, I actually loved the “ice box” nature of chilling it in the fridge for a bit before serving.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

Yield: about 8 servings

Ingredients:

For cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 handful fresh strawberries
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon sugar (If you don’t have lemon sugar on hand, there’s a nice version in the Eat Boutique gift box, or just use plain sugar)

For preserved strawberries:
1 pound cleaned and hulled strawberries, but kept whole
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 a lemon, juiced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour an 8-inch spring form cake pan or a 9-inch regular metal cake pan. If using a spring form cake pan, cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place in the pan. (I got lazy and just placed a large sheet of parchment paper on the base and placed the spring form side right on top snugly.)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest. Add the egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing out the top. Scatter strawberries evenly over top, loading in as many as you would like. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the lemon sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the spring form or invert from your pan, and cool. Some prefer to serve this cake warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream. I opted to put mine in the fridge and serve it with freshly made whipped cream and preserved strawberries.

To make the preserved strawberries, place the strawberries in a heavy, medium-size pot with the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat – as the fruit begins to juice, the sugar will melt. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, skimming off the foam, if you’d like. Stir it every 10 minutes or so – do so gently because you want the strawberries to stay intact. The strawberries are done when they’ve shrunken and the syrup has thickened a bit. Serve drizzled on top of the slices of the buttermilk cake and store any leftovers in the fridge for two to three weeks.

These recipes were adapted from Amanda Hesser’s Preserved Strawberries with Chiles on Food 52, and Melissa Robert’s Raspberry Buttermilk Cake featured in Gourmet in June 2009.

Eat Boutique Summer Gift Box

Now let’s get to the good part. (Finally!) I am thrilled to be able to personally giveaway one of my Eat Boutique summer gift boxes. This summer box is filled with the following handmade food that I’ve personally sourced and tasted: lime & hibiscus syrup, s’mores marshmallows, a picnic set of preserved pickles, sweet beets and a sweet & spicy barbecue sauce, bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts, a trio of citrus sugars, and, perhaps, the best brownie I’ve ever tasted.

Just enter your comment below, per Lindsay’s directions, and one lucky winner will get this box shipped directly to them or, if they’d like, shipped to a friend (with a personal hand-written gift message). And because I am so in love with this site, all Love and Olive Oil readers will get free shipping on their summer gift box order by using the code “LAOO” at check out.  Happy summer!

***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

To Enter:

Simply leave a comment on this post with the answer to this question:
What artisan treat from the summer Eat Boutique gift box would you most like to try?

Entries open through Tuesday, July 12 at 11:59 CST. Winner will be selected using a random number generator on the morning of Wednesday, July 13th. Prize will be shipped to the winner directly from Eat Boutique (to either you, or the recipient of your choice). Due to the perishable nature of this product this giveaway is open to residents of the continental United States ONLY.

Want Extra Entries?
Increase your odds of winning! In addition to the main entry comment, leave a separate comment for each bonus entry.
1. Follow @loveandoliveoil on twitter and tweet the following:
I just entered to win a gourmet gift box from @eatboutique and @loveandoliveoil! Enter here: http://bit.ly/mWaVJb
Leave a comment here with a link to the tweet and/or your twitter handle.
2. Like Love & Olive Oil on Facebook (or if you are already a fan just say so!). Leave a comment here with your first name and last initial so I can stalk verify you.

Be sure you enter a valid email address, because if your name is drawn and I can’t get a hold of you within 48 hours, I will choose an alternate winner. You may also want to add me to your address book (lindsay AT loveandoliveoil DOT com), as I’d hate for your congratulatory email to end up in the spam folder.

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339 CommentsLeave a Comment →

1 2 3 4
  1. 1
    Cathy
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I have to pick the brownie – how could I not after that endorsement? Thank you for the giveaway – and the recipe, can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Holly
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Those bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts sound interesting. I would love to try those.

    Reply

  3. 3
    La Chapstick Fanatique
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I think the lime and hibiscus syrup – I would love to find different ways to use it.

    http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

    Reply

  4. 4
    Holly
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I’m a fan on Facebook.

    Reply

  5. 5
    Holly
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:31 am
  6. 6
    Kate
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:37 am

    The lime & hibiscus syrup sounds wonderful!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Danielle McDermott
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:38 am

    I’m not going to lie, the brownies!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Jessica C.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Old Salties, bacon-fat roasted, Old-Bay peanuts – I love bacon, I love peanuts, and I love Old Bay. End of story! Thanks!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Jessica C.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I Like you on Facebook!

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Old Salties, bacon-fat roasted, Old-Bay peanuts. You can’t go wrong with bacon on anything!! Add Old-Bay and it’s a done deal.

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 6:59 am

    The Square One Chocolate Brownies are definitely my top pick. Love chocolate!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Mmmm I want to try to lime and hibiscus syrup! sounds delightful!

    Reply

  13. 13
    summer
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:07 am

    the brownie of course!!!!

    Reply

  14. 14
    Ronda
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:08 am

    I want to try the s’mores marshmallows. Absolutely my favorite summer treat.

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Probably the citrus sugars. Those sound intriguing!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Ellen
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:19 am

    The Sweet Beets!

    But I agree that I’m very interested in the citrus sugars too

    Reply

  17. 17
    Alison
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Sweet Beets! I love love love beets…

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

    It is definitely a tie between the brownie and citrus sugars.

    Reply

  19. 19
    amy
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Yum to it all! Would love to work with the citrus sugars!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Jen E
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I think the lime & hibiscus syrup would be wonderful on a warm biscuit….

    Reply

  21. 21
    Julie B.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Definitely the s’mores marshmallows!

    Reply

  22. 22
    Jessie
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:36 am

    The brownie! No contest!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I would love to try the lime and hibiscus syrup! So yummmm!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:39 am

    @singerinkitchen follows @loveandoliveoil and I tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/singerinkitchen/status/88965103671721984

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I already follow you on Facebook!

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Your cake looks and sounds simply divine! The entire give away looks so tasty and intriguing with unique flavors. I would have to be most excited about the lime & hibiscus syrup, since it is completely different. Hope you have a great week!!! :)

    Reply

  27. 27
    Mark S
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I’m curious about the beets. Never had one yet that really wowed me. This could change that.

    Reply

  28. 28
    Ana
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Really excited to try the citrus sugars! I love flavored sugars!

    Reply

  29. 29
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:42 am

    I’m down for the lime and hibiscus syrup – summer soda is in my future!

    Reply

  30. 30
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:52 am

    The lime and hibiscus syrup really sounds intrigueing!!

    Reply

  31. 31
    Jade
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:52 am

    ooh, I’d like to try the citrus sugars- those sound fun!

    also, I’m a fan on facebook- Jade M. is my name!

    Reply

  32. 32
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I woud love to try the Old Saltie’s peanuts. They sound delicious.

    Reply

  33. 33
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I’ve only ever had mass-produced marshmallows – so I’d love to try some artisan ones on one of my upcoming summer camping trips!

    Reply

  34. 34
    Anne
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I want some of those Old Bay peanuts!! I’m from MD, where Old Bay goes on everything…yet, somehow, I’ve never put it on peanuts. Sounds amazing!

    Reply

  35. 35
    Robin
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Wow, you had me at bacon fat roasted peanuts! I need those in my life!

    Reply

  36. 36
    AllIson
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Mmm. Looking forward to the sweet beets!

    Reply

  37. 37
    Rita S
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:32 am

    They all look delicious but I would really love to try the citrus sugars!
    rncstrong at gmail dot com

    Reply

  38. 38
    Mel
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

    That brownie sounds good. It’s been a while since I’ve made a brownie. Never had sweet beets, though. Looking forward to trying something I’ve never had. =o]

    Reply

  39. 39
    tiffany
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

    The old salties sound really good! Your strawberry cake looks delicious too.

    Reply

  40. 40
    Molly
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:52 am

    “best brownie I’ve ever tasted” sounds like a challenge to me. Hard not to want to taste that one (even though I’m really tempted by the thought of trying a new kind of marshmallow).

    Reply

  41. 41
    Molly
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I’m a fan on facebook, too!

    Reply

  42. 42
    jess :)
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

    That brownie would be first on my list!

    Reply

  43. 43
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I grew up on the Eastern Shore and thus an utterly addicted to Old Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Company’ roasted peanuts, so there bacon/Old Bay peanuts really pique my interest. But even more, I want to try to the lime hibiscus syrup. I’m imagining all sorts of summery drinks- alcoholic and not.

    Reply

  44. 44
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

    What WOULDN’T I want to try? The box even looks wonderful. I’m sure it might taste funky though.

    All of it! I’m all….well, mouth!

    Reply

  45. 45
    Connie
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

    What a great gift! I’d love to try the bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts — can’t go wrong with pork fat! :)

    Reply

  46. 46
    Lynn D.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I would love to try the lime and hibiscus syrup. My first thought was to use it on a cake. Or as a glaze for chicken. Or add it jasmine rice…. I just want to try it. And I like you on Facebook.

    Reply

  47. 47
    marci g
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

    so hard to choose – i’m intrigued by a trio of citrus sugars

    Reply

  48. 48
    Marie
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I am quite excited about the s’mores marshmallows and the citrus sugars!

    Reply

  49. 49
    Marie
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I like you on FB too. Marie T

    Reply

  50. 50
    Denice Heatherly
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

    The sweet beets – I am enthralledbwith preserved beets!

    Reply

  51. 51
    na
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

    The pickles for sure….lately, I’ve been on a pickle kick :-)

    Reply

  52. 52
    Emily
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Love the pickles!! ;) Check out my walnut-coconut crusted tilapia with pineapple salsa! :)

    http://www.MrsCapretta.com
    Recipes Fashion Marriage

    Reply

  53. 53
    Meg
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:29 am

    The brownie!

    Reply

  54. 54
    Meg
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I like you on FB.

    Reply

  55. 55
    courtney
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

    ooh, the lime and hibiscus syrup would be amazing in a cocktail, or even with a glass of sparkling water! yes, please!

    Reply

  56. 56
    stephanie
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    yum! it all sounds heavenly, but i’m dying to try the Old Salties, bacon-fat roasted, Old-Bay peanuts

    Reply

  57. 57
    Harrison
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    i want to try the lime and hibiscus syrup! sounds interesting to put onto things

    Reply

  58. 58
    Harrison
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:43 am
  59. 59
    Ken G.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I stopped perusing after I hit the Old Salties. Ridiculous! One day, they will be mine!

    Reply

  60. 60
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 9:57 am

    lime & hibiscus syrup!

    Reply

  61. 61
    Evelyn R
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

    The bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts sound wonderful…..bacon makes everything better!

    Reply

  62. 62
    Evelyn R
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I follow Love & Olive Oil on Facebook.

    Reply

  63. 63
    Erin S.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:16 am

    for me it’s easy, the brownie! but everything looks amazing!

    Reply

  64. 64
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Those bacon fat roasted peanuts sound amazing!

    Reply

  65. 65
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

    The bacon fat roasted Old Bay Peanuts. They sound delicious.

    Reply

  66. 66
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I follow on Facebook!

    Reply

  67. 67
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:26 am
  68. 68
    Leah
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Citrus sugar sounds amazing.

    Reply

  69. 69
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Personally, I’d like a Square One brownie topped with a S’mores Marshmallow, popped under the broiler until toasty and melty. Then, I’d garnish it with some Old Salties. Yup, that sounds about right :)

    Reply

  70. 70
    Diana D.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I’m most intrigued by the trio of citrus sugars – I’ve heard of vanilla sugar of course, but lemon sugar? I would love to be able to taste these and find out how they’re made.

    Reply

  71. 71
    Brandi
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:39 am

    MARSHMALLOWS!……so yah, the s’mores!

    Reply

  72. 72
    Erin H
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I’d love to try the s’mores marshmallows! I love s’mores, but haven’t had them for way too long! I’m curious about the various sugars, but am unsure to how I’d use them.

    Reply

  73. 73
    Erin H
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I like Love and Olive Oil on Facebook as well.

    Reply

  74. 74
    Sarah
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 10:57 am

    The bacon-roasted Old Bay peanuts! And I’m a sucker for brownies…

    Reply

  75. 75
    Carri
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

    S’mores are probably my favorite food (if they can be classified as such) so I would LOVE to try the s’mores marshmallows for sure!

    Reply

  76. 76
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I would so love to try the smores marshmallow – what a great box! That cake looks amazing too. :)

    Reply

  77. 77
    Aubrey
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

    It’s gotta be the bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts.

    Reply

  78. 78
    Emily
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I think the citrus sugars would be really interesting to try.

    Reply

  79. 79
    Nissa
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I am a chocolate addict, so I would LOVE to try the brownie!

    Reply

  80. 80
    Grace Sprehn
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    definitely the sweet beets!

    Reply

  81. 81
    Nissa
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I am a facebook fan :)
    Nissa G.

    Reply

  82. 82
    Lauren Mc
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

    mmm brownie :) though the citrus sugar sounds really tasty too!

    Reply

  83. 83
    Tiffany
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I HAVE to try the Lime & Hibiscus Syrup!!! It would be wonderful in a sparkling drink or over tequila pancakes. :) Yum!

    Reply

  84. 84
    Mariko
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

    With a sell like that, I can’t wait to try the brownie! Sounds great.

    Reply

  85. 85
    Julie
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

    The brownies for sure!!!

    Reply

  86. 86
    Julie
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I like you on Facebook.

    Reply

  87. 87
    Melissa
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Brownies!! Yum,

    Reply

  88. 88
    GuRLiee
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I’d most be intersted in the syrup and would figure out a way to use it while I was gobbling up the brownie

    Reply

  89. 89
    hannah v
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    oh wow! Old Salties, bacon-fat roasted, Old-Bay peanuts!

    Reply

  90. 90
    Lily
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    You had me at “brownie”!

    Reply

  91. 91
    karen b.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I’d devour the peanuts first. If I could keep them away from my husband, the Old Bay fiend, long enough to do so.

    Reply

  92. 92
    karen b.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    And I’m a fan on the Facebooks (Karen F.)! :)

    Reply

  93. 93
    karee
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    It all looks delicious, but I love to try new bbq sauces. The brownies sound devine too. Yum!

    Reply

  94. 94
    Don Wulf
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts, everything’s better with bacon

    Reply

  95. 95
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    s’more marshmallows!!! no question for me! :)

    Reply

  96. 96
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm
  97. 97
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    liked your page from my personal facebook Lynn Lovejoy!

    Reply

  98. 98
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    liked your page through my food blog facebook page Order in the Kitchen

    Reply

  99. 99
    kristin m.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    i already “like” you on fb! kristinmik at gmail

    Reply

  100. 100
    kristin m.
    Posted On July 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    bacon-fat roasted peanuts? um, YES PLEASE!!! kristinmik at gmail

    Reply

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