Love and Olive Oil

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Preserved Whole Strawberries

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, sharing a delicious summer dessert recipe!

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. 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

Did you make this recipe?


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


  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. uh, bacon-fat Old Bay peanuts? i am in heaven!

  2. I also liked the Facebook page– I’m Maya O!

  3. I tweeted- my handle is @kinziesays

  4. The brownie, definitely the brownie!

  5. I would LOVE to try those marshmallows!

  6. just added you on facebook. my FB name is Shari Leigh

  7. bacon-fat roasted, Old-Bay peanuts and anything labeled smores sounds amazing!!

  8. The Lime & Hibiscus Syrup would be devine. I would like to try it in summer cocktails or over ice and soda. Potentially on vanilla frozen yoghurt, or to add a kick to home brewed iced tea. I follow on twitter, but my account is protected, and I like you on facebook. :)

  9. I am also a fan on facebook!

  10. I am following you on Twitter and tweeted here:!/frankly_n

    (I definitely don’t know how to link to a single tweet… sigh)

  11. I would love to try the S’mores Marshmellow… a s’more within a marshmellow?! It’s brilliant madness!

  12. would love to try the brownie! have not been craving any chocolate for months and i am beginning to think that i am abnormal. lol.

  13. The cream on that cake just looks so sinful.

  14. You totally had me at bacon fat roasted old bay peanuts!! Sounds awesome.

  15. Oh the citrus sugar sounds amazing!!!!

  16. The bacon fat roasted peanuts, definitely! Bacon makes everything better

  17. I think I’ll have to fight my husband for the bacon fat roasted Old Bay peanuts, they sound delicious!

    Also a Facebook follower.

  18. I like you on facebook!

  19. The honeyheat sauce sounds amazing.

  20. I like like like you on facebook!!!

  21. The Lime & Hibiscus Syrup sounds heavenly and also like something that I could re-create where I live. But I’d have to go with the lemon sugar since I’m obsessed with anything lemon!

  22. I would love the citrus sugars! I can’t name the number of summer recipes they would complement.

  23. I want the S’mores marhmallows. Hands down. Yummmm!

  24. I would love to try the citrus sugar trio, I want to use them to rim the glass of my fresh strawberry margarita as an alternative to salt. And I also want to try the pickles, simply because I love pickles!!!!

  25. I would love to try the citrus sugar trio, I want to use them to rim the glass of my fresh strawberry margarita as an alternative to salt. And I also want to try the pickles, simply because I love pickles :)

  26. How have you done the whipped cream on top of the cake? It looks like fluffy clouds! Lovely.

  27. I am a fan….
    Choosing is a toss up between the Old Salties and the Chocolate Brownies…. I can’t choose!!!

  28. C’moooon baby! Momma needs a new jar of hibiscus syrup!

  29. I can’t wait to try the marshmallows! :)

  30. I’m a facebook fan!

  31. Citrus sugar? Sign me up.

  32. The marshmallows—no contest!

  33. Without a doubt, s’mores marshmallows. Can you imagine those babies with peanut butter? Oh my… that’s sinful.

  34. I follow you on Twitter (@orlndofoodie) and have tweeted here:!/orlndofoodie/status/90082264288993280

  35. I’d never even thought of preserving strawberries whole! What a great idea. As far as the box goes…the citrus sugars intrigue me most of all.

  36. I would have to pick the sweet beats. I know it is the one thing in the basket no on else in my house but me would eat and they would be ALL MINE!!

  37. I like on FB!

  38. Although the BBQ sauce is tempting I would have to say the Brownie has me.

  39. Lime and hibiscus syrup sounds amazing!!

  40. The brownie! I am a brownie addict. Can’t get enough of em!

  41. The Smore’s marshmallows, yummm!

  42. Um, bacon-fat roasted peanuts? YES PLEASE.

  43. I would love to try the lime and hibiscus syrup, hoping it would remind me of an amazing trip I took to Hawai’i. :)

  44. Coming from Maryland, I’ve got to pick the Old Bay Peauts! Yummmm

  45. simply love your blog, I will be making the strawberry buttermilk cake tomorrow for brunch .. wish me luck ;)

  46. I think I most want to try the Lime & Hibiscus Syrup!! I love the idea of flowers used in “food” ways. My mom has always (my entire like) made jam with rose petals… its a special pink rose, very fragrant.. and so yummy! Anyway, I can imagine this must be so good!

    And I totally like you on FB –> Ani G

    #WINNING!! :-)

  47. The lime and hibiscus syrup looks incredible.

  48. Everything looks great, but the smores caught my eye immediately.

  49. It’s hard to pick just 1 I’d like to try the most. I’d have to say the smores. Love chocolate and marshmallow, enough said, right? =)

  50. ooo… i’ll have to say the brownie. i really want to try EVERYTHING in there, but chocolate always win with me!

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