Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk CakeMother’s day is just around the corner and there is no better way to surprise your mom and say I love you than with a gorgeous cake.  Because it’s strawberry season for most of you, I thought I would share an easy and delicious vanilla bean-strawberry cake, a match made in heaven. For me, this cake embodies spring and afternoon tea with your mom.

Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

The cake is a vanilla cake studded with little flecks of vanilla bean, which is basically the best thing ever.  The cake is kept moist by the addition of buttermilk, which I feel goes so well with strawberries. Beautiful fresh strawberries grace the top  of the batter, which then get a sprinkling of sugar giving the cake a nice crunch when baked and a light sweetness to the strawberries. I love that the strawberries get nicely roasted in the oven giving the cake such a beautiful strawberry flavour. I love, love, love, roasted strawberries.

Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk CakeThe cake takes minimal effort to make but tastes absolutely delicious. Serve it slightly warm with some vanilla ice cream and you have the perfect spring or summer dessert. Your mom will love it!

Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Vanilla Bean-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 8-inch cake- about 8 to 12 servings

A vanilla bean speckled buttermilk cake studded with beautiful fresh strawberries.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds removed
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 8-inch springform pan. (alternatively an 9-inch works also)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla bean seeds. Mix until combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl if necessary. The mixture will likely look curdled, but don't worry,
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined and batter is smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and arrange the strawberries over the cake. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  6. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Continue to bake the cake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about another 75 to 80 minutes. (Note: if you use a bigger cake pan the baking time will be less- start checking at 60 minutes).
  7. Store covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.


I opted to bake this cake in an 8-inch cake pan to yield a taller cake, and therefore it took longer to bake. Feel free to use a larger cake pan, therefore yielding a thinner cake and shorter bake time. The first time I used a 9-inch pan and it took 60 minutes at 325F.

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Generously adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cakes
This post contains an amazon affiliate link.
  • Kate@Diethood

    Vanilla bean and strawberries AND buttermilk?! Speak to me!! I looove this from a to z. Obviously! :)

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    Fact – I am 100% making this today!!

  • Graham Blackall

    It took literally three seconds for me to reach for the Pin It button. Like, this is major.
    I LIVE for anything buttermilk + strawberry. It’s such an amazing combination that (I think) goes underutilized. Biting into one of those strawberries is the best!

    I’m making this soon!

  • Georgia The Comfort of Cooking

    This time of year, there’s nothing better than a simple fruit dessert… and with strawberries! This totally fits the bill, Jessica. I can’t wait to try it!

  • June

    This looks fantastic…. so moist and luscious! I’ve already told both of my daughters, two Portuguese girls themselves, to check this recipe out… hinting that they will bake it for Mother’s Day. If they don’t I’ll make it and share it with my husband one afternoon!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi June! I hope your daughters make it for you and you enjoy it! Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I love anything that features vanilla bean. This cake is so simple yet sounds so delicious!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you, Lauren!

  • cheri

    Hi Jessica, just happen to have a pound of strawberries hanging around, looks like I will be making this gorgeous cake!

  • Tutti Dolci

    Such a pretty cake, love the vanilla bean and strawberry pairing!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you, Laura!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    This is a gorgeous cake! And I love me some roasted strawberries.

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you, Friend!

  • Amy | Club Narwhal

    Jessica, what a gorgeous strawberry-studded cake! When berry season arrives, I cannot get enough of them :) PS: I just adore your styling. Such pretty utensils!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Amy!!

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan

    ooh – love the vanilla, strawberry and buttermilk combo in these cakes!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you, Shashi!

  • Denise @ Sweet Peas & Saffton

    Looks delish! Love the suggestion of serving it warm with ice cream. Beautiful photos!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Thank you so much, Denise!

  • Averie Cooks

    Gorgeous cake! I love buttermilk cakes and strawberries and vanilla beans! pinned