We are both celebrating our birthdays this month, hence the Happy Birthday banner. We are sharing with you one of our all-time favorite desserts, strawberry shortcake! Strawberry shortcake screams summer. Strawberries are ready to pick and are just so sweet and juicy. If picked fresh, they taste like strawberries should! Pair them with this wonderful pound cake recipe provided to us by our friend, Bernadette, and you’ll have a killer summer dessert! Bernadette is a baker that we both had the pleasure of working with for a little while. Bernadette’s pound cakes were always a hit, so much so that we dubbed her the “Pound cake Princess.” These pound cakes were so good that we would often put free samples out on the counter and would quickly have to take them back because customers were coming back for thirds and fourths. We were both guilty of eating even the dry ends that we cut off before slicing a new piece to sell. Bernadette would make all sorts of pound cakes using this recipe as a template. Cinnamon swirl, lemon poppy, chocolate swirl, and orange with citrus glaze. Nothing was better than one of her warm, freshly baked pound cakes.
When my kids were little, having breakfast for dinner was a dream come true. Not a frequent occurrence, but very well received. Peach pancakes and bacon? Practically dessert! Almost as cool as Rolie Polie Olie’s “totally chocolate dinner.” Rolie Polie Olie was one of the late 90s cartoons we had recorded and watched on VHS tapes (we did not have cable TV and still do not). Somehow strawberry shortcake became our version of “totally chocolate dinner,” even though there’s no chocolate involved. We had it only once every summer for dinner and it was always something to look forward to and now something we fondly look back upon. Sounds crazy, but what a treat it was! Eventually Caroline and her sister Jane became the ones to make it. Claire always just being the one to eat it. (Those are my three daughters, FYI).
We have made strawberry shortcake with angel food cake, the traditional “biscuit,” lady fingers, and of course pound cake as well. For this recipe we decided to make the pound cake in a Bundt pan, but you can make it in a loaf pan if you want it to look more like a traditional pound cake. It is very easy to assemble either way.
Pound cake ingredients
2 sticks of room-temperature unsalted butter
2 cups of sugar
4 room-temperature eggs
3 cups of flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tsp lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease your loaf pan or your Bundt pan with cooking spray or butter. Cream together butter and sugar. Make sure that you fully cream these two ingredients together.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). Add vanilla to the buttermilk. Alternate adding the buttermilk mixture and the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture until everything is fully incorporated.
If you are using a Bundt pan, bake for 40-50 minutes. If you are using a loaf pan, use one that is 8 ½”x 4 ½” x 2 ¾” and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Another tip for making pound cake is to avoid using a dark nonstick pan. They tend to absorb and distribute heat quicker than lighter colored pans, leading to a darker, and potentially over-baked, cake.
Slice the fully cooled cake horizontally through the center. Set the top half aside. Using your own homemade whipped cream (recommended) or store-bought, spoon a generous amount to cover the entire surface. Top the cream with sliced strawberries (we like to slice strawberries and add a little sugar and water to create a bit of a syrup). Gently place the top half back on and garnish with more strawberries and whipped cream as you please. If you have leftovers, store them covered in the refrigerator.
Olivia and Caroline are enthusiastic foodies and bakers who are constantly in the kitchen, as well as explorers who create their own adventures in our area – and did we mention they are mother and daughter? Follow Olivia on Instagram to see her many creations at @oliviawvalentine.