You will love this simple, light, and lovely strawberry cake recipe! We bake halved fresh strawberries into a batter flavored with lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extract. Serve slices of cake plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
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 fine sea 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 the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour an 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pan. (Optional: Place the pan on an insulated baking sheet or use 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.
Fold half of the flour into the batter until only a few streaks of flour remain, then fold in the remaining flour.
Add the egg whites and sour cream and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth.
Spread the cake batter into an even layer in the baking pan.
Arrange the strawberry halves on top of the batter in a circular pattern, covering the top of the cake. Sprinkle one 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.