Strawberry Brita Cake

The photo of the Strawberry Brita Cake on Smitten Kitchen’s Instagram grabbed me instantly. Super easy, can be made with any summer fruit, tastes good and the added bonus, it looks beautiful. I made it for Saturday evening after a full-on French dinner of cheese, bread, and salads. Super decadent. This photo was mine.

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, halved or sliced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or creme fraiche ( I used creme fraiche)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch cake pan with parchment paper and coat it lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Using a mix master with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon salt on medium/low speed until they begin to thicken. Increase the speed to medium, and add half the sugar — 3/4 cup — a little at a time. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat the mixture until the egg whites are glossy, and stiff peaks form. Set this bowl aside.

I scraped the egg whites into a bowl and then used the mix master bowl again without cleaning the beaters. Beat the butter with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat to combine. Sprinkle the surface of the batter with baking powder and beat thoroughly. Add the buttermilk and beat to combine; the batter will immediately look curdly and split. Don’t worry. Add the flour and beat until smooth; the mixture should come back together evenly.

Spoon the cake batter into the cake pan, and spread it into a thin, even layer. Dollop the egg white mixture all over the batter and gently spread this across the cake. Bake the cake for 20 minutes; a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out batter-free.

I cooked the cake for a while, but ten minutes is fine. Put a flat tray on top and flip the cooled cake onto the tray. Slowly peel off the parchment paper and then cut rectangularly in half with a bread knife.

In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and lemon juice, and set aside for about 15 minutes. Whip the heavy cream, crème fraîche, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and vanilla extract for a delicious whipped cream.

On a clean plate, lay down half the cake and cover it with half the whipped cream and half the strawberries. Place the second half of the cake on top and repeat. It drips and gets messy, but it is part of the experience. I put a few mint leaves on top for decor.

A winner. When the strawberry season ends, blueberries next!