Every year we anticipate each fruit as it comes into season: cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, but strawberry has to be one of our favorites. And where there are strawberries, strawberry shortcake soon follows! One of my newest favorite recipes I’ve found and tweeked, puts a spin on traditional shortcake, upgrading the normally dry and crumbly treat to this sinfully sweet, dense and moist cream cheese pound cake. After a day spent plucking juicy strawberries from the vine with some of my favorite short people, we take home the bounty to wash, dice and slice the crowning glory for our decadent dessert.
Perfect Pound Cake
1 1/2 c. softened butter
8 oz. cream cheese
3 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbs. vanilla
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
It’s that simple!
While you’re cleaning and slicing strawberries, I like to get my real butter and cream cheese softening on the counter to room temperature and to preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. And if you are truly feeling uninhibited by summer time shorts and bathing suits, add a few tablespoons of sugar to the sliced strawberries, mix and cool in the fridge. The sugar helps bring out the natural juices in the strawberries to drizzle on your finished product.
Next, combine your butter and cream cheese in your mixer until smooth. Then, add sugar and eggs, mixing continuously. Follow the sugar with flour and salt. Finally, add vanilla and lemon zest to the mix and continue beating until the whole mixture is thick and creamy.
Once the batter is complete, grease a bundt pan with shortening liberally and sprinkle with flour to keep the cake from sticking. It bakes into a stunning cake and presents beautifully for summer gatherings on a dessert stand, so it is worth the extra time and effort to cover the inside of your pan well. Finally, pour your batter into your waiting pan and bake for an hour and 35 minutes. Yes you read that right! It is a long, slow bake but so worth the wait! Check a toothpick to come out clean and when the timer beeps, allow the pan to cool for ten minutes before removing the cake to help keep it intact and pristine.
Once you’re ready to serve, this dense, rich pound cake is fantastic warm from the oven. The crust is absolutely to die for…don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to go back for seconds and thirds! Serve with a giant dollop of whip cream and a sprinkle of strawberry goodness for the ultimate summer dessert.
Note: I also to like to serve this cake with a mixture of berries as the mood strikes, plus it dresses up beautifully for the Fourth of July with blueberries and strawberries!