Love and Olive Oil

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

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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


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


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.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

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!


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:
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.

There may be affiliate links in this post. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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341 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. 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!

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

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

  4. I’m a fan on Facebook.

  5. The lime & hibiscus syrup sounds wonderful!

  6. I’m not going to lie, the brownies!

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

  8. I Like you on Facebook!

  9. 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.

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

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

  12. the brownie of course!!!!

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

  14. Probably the citrus sugars. Those sound intriguing!

  15. The Sweet Beets!

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

  16. Sweet Beets! I love love love beets…

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

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

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

  20. Definitely the s’mores marshmallows!

  21. The brownie! No contest!

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

  23. I already follow you on Facebook!

  24. 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!!! :)

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

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

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

  28. The lime and hibiscus syrup really sounds intrigueing!!

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

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

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

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

  34. Mmm. Looking forward to the sweet beets!

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

  36. 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]

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

  38. “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).

  39. I’m a fan on facebook, too!

  40. That brownie would be first on my list!

  41. lime & hibiscus syrup!

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

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

  45. 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.

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

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

  48. I like you on FB too. Marie T

  49. The sweet beets – I am enthralledbwith preserved beets!

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

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

  52. Love the pickles!! ;) Check out my walnut-coconut crusted tilapia with pineapple salsa! :)
    Recipes Fashion Marriage

  53. The brownie!

  54. I like you on FB.

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

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

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

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

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

  60. I follow Love & Olive Oil on Facebook.

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

  62. Those bacon fat roasted peanuts sound amazing!

  63. I follow on Facebook!

  64. Citrus sugar sounds amazing.

  65. 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 :)

  66. 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.

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

  68. 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.

  69. I like Love and Olive Oil on Facebook as well.

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

  71. 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!

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

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

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

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

  76. definitely the sweet beets!

  77. I am a facebook fan :)
    Nissa G.

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

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

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

  81. The brownies for sure!!!

  82. I like you on Facebook.

  83. Brownies!! Yum,

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

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

  86. You had me at “brownie”!

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

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

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

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

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

  92. liked your page from my personal facebook Lynn Lovejoy!

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

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

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

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