Cakey Strawberry Cobbler

3.8
(8)

This strawberry-studded cobbler comes together with just 10 minutes of prep

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
90 mins
Yield:
6 serves

We're always looking for ways to capture the fleeting taste of summer. Luckily, no matter the time of year, this easy strawberry cobbler delivers.

As it bakes, the roasted berries are enveloped in a light and airy cake batter that gets golden and crispy-edged as it rises around the delicate fruit. This is a batter cobbler (as opposed to recipes that require dough), which is one of the easiest cobblers to make.

Top it with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla for that timeless strawberries-and-cream combo everyone loves. Best yet, it only requires 10 minutes of prep, which might also be how long it will take before each and every bite disappears from your table.

Cakey Strawberry Cobbler Ingredients

Juicy, ripe red strawberries are the stars of this easy fruit cobbler. They get softened and sweetened with sugar and lemon (more on that later). Then they're layered on top of melted butter and a quick cake batter made with flour, leavened with baking soda, and flavored with vanilla extract. Buttermilk gives the cake a deliciously moist and airy texture.

If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute regular whole milk, but the cake won't rise quite as high. (Since so many baking recipes call for a cup or less of buttermilk, it's a good idea to keep a tub of the powdered kind around so you can have buttermilk on-demand in small quantities, without buying a fresh quart.)

You can also substitute any other type of fresh berry or stone fruit; all will yield delicious results.

The Right Strawberries for Cobbler

Fresh, juicy strawberries at the height of strawberry season are ideal for this cobbler. But even the strawberries you buy at the grocery store in the dead of winter will work here: Roasting the berries actually intensifies their flavor.

Once you get your fresh berries home, don't wash them until you're ready to slice them up since the water will shorten their shelf life.

If you're wondering what to do with lots of fresh strawberries (a wonderful dilemma to have), this is a great way to use up a couple quarts quickly with minimal effort. It's also a smart use of blemished berries or fruit that's just past its prime. Just trim away any bruised or overly-ripe spots, and no one will be the wiser.

Can Frozen Berries Be Substituted?

If you're wondering if you can use frozen strawberries for strawberry cobbler, the answer is yes. You can sub in frozen, although the texture of the fruit will be mushier than if you opt for fresh.

How to Prepare Fresh Strawberries

Rinse the berries under cold water, then dry them thoroughly.

Next, hull the berries by using a paring knife to remove the green stems. You also want to lop off any white "shoulders" where the top of the fruit hasn't ripened since they don't have much flavor.

What Does it Mean to Macerate Fruit?

The first step of this recipe is to "macerate" the berries (which means "to soften" or "to steep"). And while that may sound like an intimidating, chef-y process, it actually couldn't be simpler. Macerating just means adding sugar—and often liquid like a fruit juice or liqueurs—to fruit and letting it marinate for a few minutes.

macerated strawberries
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly

Why bother macerating fruit? The process does a few things that are beneficial when making lots of dishes, but especially desserts like cobblers. First, the sugar draws out the fruit's natural juices and softens the fruit. It also allows the flavors to meld, enhancing its flavor. By drawing out the juices, it also gives you more control of how much liquid you add to your cobbler than you would if you added fresh, just-cut fruit, so you get the results you want.

How To Make Cakey Strawberry Cobbler

In just 10 minutes, you can get the ingredients for this strawberry cobbler into the oven. Here's how.

Step 1: Macerate the Berries

Add the strawberries to a bowl, toss with lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar, and let sit for 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

macerated strawberries

Step 2: Melt the Butter

Place the butter in the baking dish you want to use for the cobbler (which means fewer dishes to wash!), and melt it in your pre-heated oven.

a casserole dish with butter and ingredients for a cobbler
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly

Step 3: Make the Batter

Whisk together the dry and wet ingredients to make the batter, then pour it evenly into the baking dish with the hot butter. But don't stir!

cakey strawberry cobbler ingredients
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly

Step 4: Scatter the Berries

Use a slotted spoon to scatter the strawberries over the batter, letting the extra juices fall back into the bowl. Again, this helps you control how much of the juices you add to the cobbler so it comes out moist and juicy, but not soupy.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the strawberry juice on top of the berries, and reserve the remainder for another use. (Might we suggest a vodka or gin cocktail, or adding it to a fruit smoothie?)

scattering strawberries on batter
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly
cakey strawberry cobbler

Step 5: Bake

Bake until the center is golden and the edges are browning, about 40 to 45 minutes.

baked cakey strawberry cobbler
Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly

How to Serve Strawberry Cobbler

Who doesn't love the classic combination of strawberries and cream?

Serve the cobbler slightly warm, or at room temperature, cut into squares. Serve them in shallow bowls with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

How to Store Strawberry Cobbler

If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, store them covered in the refrigerator to prolong the life of the berries.

You can freeze extra cobbler, but the dessert will lose its delicate, airy texture once it's frozen and defrosted.

How to Reheat Strawberry Cobbler

To enjoy leftovers, either bring the cobbler to room temperature before eating, or reheat it, covered, in a low oven. Ten to 20 minutes in a 250°F oven should heat it through without drying it out.

Southern Living Community Tips and Praise

"Heavenly flavor and so easy. Will make this again and again," wrote Melissa Hartman.

"This recipe was exactly what I was looking for and worked well. I've been looking for ways to get my kids to eat fruit desserts," wrote one reviewer. "The only real comment I have is that 1/2 c of butter seems excessive. I used 6 Tbsp but next time, which will be soon, I'll use 4 Tbsp."

More Berry Recipes

Looking for more ways to cook this favorite summer fruit? Peruse our gallery of the best fresh and juicy strawberry recipes and 100 ways to cook with fresh berries.

Editorial contributions by Elizabeth Brownfield.

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, with larger ones quartered (about 2 lb. strawberries)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • ½ cup butter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup whole buttermilk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Gently stir sliced strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of the sugar in a large bowl until totally combined. Let strawberry mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 15 minutes.

  2. Place butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish, and put dish in pre-heated oven until butter is melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove dish from oven.

  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and remaining ¾ cup sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk together buttermilk and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture, and continue to whisk until batter is smooth. Pour mixture evenly over melted butter in hot baking dish. (Do not stir.) Using a slotted spoon, scatter strawberry mixture evenly over batter. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of accumulated juice from bottom of bowl over strawberries. Discard any remaining juice, or reserve for another use.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until batter is puffed and slightly golden in the center and dark golden brown around edges, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

    Cakey Strawberry Cobbler in a casserole dish and bowl
    Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely, Food Stylist: Ana Kelly
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