This is a lovely light cake with fresh strawberries baked into the batter. The batter is scented with lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract which all work so nicely with strawberries. Since the cake is so flavorful, we love serving it simply. Try a dusting of powdered sugar on top or next to a bowl of whipped cream. (Ice cream would work, too!)
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon for strawberries
2 large eggs, separated, see notes
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 grams) sour cream or plain yogurt
8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
Powdered sugar for serving, optional
Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch by 2-inch round pan. Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other (this helps even baking).
In a large bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until smooth and blended. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then beat in the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Mix in a third of the flour until only a few streaks of flour remain then mix in the remaining flour. Add the egg whites and sour cream and mix on medium low speed just until smooth.
Spread the cake batter into an even layer in the baking pan. Gently press strawberries into the top of the batter in a circular pattern so that the strawberries are covering most of the top of the cake. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar over the strawberries.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.
Cool cake in the pan for 5 minutes then run a knife around the edges and remove from the pan. Place strawberry-side-up on the cooling rack and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.