1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan. (A tube pan is preferred, but if you use a Bundt pan instead, you'll need to make sure to leave 1 inch of space at the top of the pan, so you may end up with a small amount of leftover batter.)
2. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of sugar over the sliced strawberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the cake.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the remaining 3 cups sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely. Serve each piece with a spoonful of the chilled strawberries and a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
FRESH WHIPPED CREAM
1. Place a medium metal bowl in the freezer to chill.
2. When ready to prepare the whipped cream, place the cream and vanilla in the chilled bowl. With an electric mixer, whip the cream on medium speed, gradually adding the sugar. The cream will begin to thicken.
3. Whip the cream until it begins to form stiff peaks. Be careful not to over whip or the cream will separate.
Photo by Angie Mosier. From Gumbo Love: Recipes for Gulf Coast Cooking, Entertaining, and Savoring the Good Life by Lucy Buffett (Grand Central Life & Style, 2017).