Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake

10 Jul

A strawberry recipe is the perfect reason to return to blogging.

Have you ever bought strawberries in the store, thinking they were the ripest, plumpest, most beautiful strawberries ever – only to cut into them and find they’re mostly white and un-ripe, with very little flavor? It’s almost un-American.

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in The City

This is the perfect time of year for strawberries and these beauties did not disappoint.

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in The City

There are a couple of farmer’s markets near me in Lakeview and Lincoln Park. I went to the smaller of the two recently and found the most amazing looking strawberries. I got them home and started capping and chopping them for this cake and the more I cut into them, the more excited I became.

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in the City

I’m not sure how I came across this recipe, but once I found it, I knew I was going to make it. If you’re like me, you’ll start Googling something and end up down a rabbit hole of other ideas and your original search has turned into something completely different. That’s how I initially found this. And boy, am I glad I did!

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in the City

This was super easy to make and all the flavors came together in a rich and delicious way. Of course, the strawberries are the star of the show.

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in the City

But the buttermilk provides a nice tangy backdrop with the cake, which is not too heavy, even with the caramel brown sugar topping.

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in the City

Perfect for breakfast, or a brunch, or maybe when you get home from work?

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in the City

There’s something about an upside down cake – and anything with buttermilk added – automatically becomes Southern by default.

Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake - Grazing in the City



  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 pints strawberries, patted dry, hulled and halved
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar



Position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Have ready a 9-inch nonstick cake pan. If your pan is not nonstick, spray it generously with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, combine 4 tablespoons of the butter, the brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 2 minutes. Pour the caramel into the bottom of the cake pan and spread into an even layer. Arrange the strawberry halves over the caramel in a circular pattern, leaving little to no space between the berries.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the egg yolks. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture with the buttermilk in three batches. When just a few streaks of flour remain, fold the batter by hand until smooth.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar to firm peaks. Stir about a quarter of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest of the whites until the batter is smooth and well-blended. Pour the batter over the fruit and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting it onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with unsweetened whipped cream.


5 Responses to “Strawberry Buttermilk Upside Down Cake”

  1. Nancy Ray Fennel July 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Oh I am so making this! Wish you two were here to enjoy it with me!

    • billpeeler July 11, 2014 at 7:15 am #

      Thank you, Nancy! Wish I could see you too – we’d stuff ourselves silly.

  2. Corey Trautvetter July 11, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    Can you make and send me one of these for my birthday? I would gladly do anything! Anything, dammit!

    • billpeeler July 11, 2014 at 7:16 am #

      Corey, I’ll make you any damn thing you want!

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 13, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    We love using buttermilk. This looks fantastic.

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