A simple vanilla cake that is moist and sweet with baked strawberries inside, keeps well for several days, and can be frozen! It's a no-fuss recipe for when you want a little extra in your regular pound cake. The berries get soft and jammy and add a wonderful flavor.
As a lover of pound cakes in general (lemon pound cake and chocolate chip pound cake just to name a few) I wanted to add a fresh strawberry cake recipe to this category because, you know, berries and cake are always a good idea, especially when strawberry season hits and my sweet tooth craves them.
About the recipe
- Flavor. I wanted to keep the pound cake as a separate part, so I decided to add fresh strawberries to the batter and top it with a strawberry glaze. The result? Simple and amazing flavors! A moist cake with a tender crumb and wonderful pops of fresh strawberries. Truly delicious.
- Easy to make. Pound cakes are great, solid cakes that can be eaten alone or topped with fruit or creams for a more rounded dessert.
- Keeps well. It can be made ahead and kept wrapped (I use plastic wrap) in the fridge for a week, and frozen (with or without the sweet glaze).
For the cake:
They are simple and easily available.
- Strawberries: use fresh ones, the sweeter the better.
- Cream cheese: it adds moisture and texture to the cake. See Notes in the recipe card for substitutions.
- Butter: the recipe calls for unsalted. Use the best brand you can afford.
- Sugar: we use white granulated sugar. You can use light brown sugar which will add a caramel undertone and a beige color to the crumb.
- Flour: all-purpose flour or cake flour, both work well.
- Salt: it brings out the rest of the flavors. I like to use kosher salt.
- Baking powder: make sure it's fresh and active. It will help the cake rise during baking.
- Orange and vanilla: they are the flavorings of this cake and pair great with strawberries. Any pure vanilla extract or paste works very well. You can also use pure orange extract if you don't have fresh orange zest.
For the strawberry glaze:
- Strawberry puree: this is made by simply processing fresh sliced strawberries. I use a mini food processor, the one that comes with the hand mixer because the amount of strawberries you'll use is small.
- Powdered sugar: this is a non-negotiable ingredient that can't be substituted.
This is a simple butter cake that uses the creaming method where you beat the softened butter with the sugar until light and airy. Using a hand-held electric mixer (or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) is highly recommended to beat it properly and achieve the right consistency.
Creaming. Pound cakes are dense and need proper beating for best results. One of the key parts is creaming butter and sugar well, in a large bowl at medium speed for several minutes, before adding the room temperature eggs (image 1). You should have a smooth batter before adding the flavorings (image 2).
Dry ingredients: also called the flour mixture, they include flour, salt, and baking powder, and are added alternating with the cream cheese. At this point (after the dry ingredients are added) you should beat only until well mixed and no dry spots remain. If using a stand mixer do so at a low speed. Don't be tempted to beat too much as it will produce a tougher cake the more you beat.
Strawberries. Chopped or sliced strawberries are added at the end with a spatula. We don't want to break them up too much, we want to gently incorporate them.
The pan. This is a loaf cake and I like to first butter or spray the pan and then add a strip of parchment paper that covers the bottom and the two short sides (images below). This will make it easier to remove this delicious pound cake after it's baked and transfer it to the cooling rack.
As you can see below the batter is thick, so smooth it out as evenly as you can before baking so it rises as evenly as possible.
A simple powdered sugar glaze never fails. And this one with fresh, processed strawberries is gorgeous and delicious! By adding more or less strawberry puree you can adjust the consistency (thinner or thicker) of your glaze.
Drizzle the glaze on a completely cooled down cake (or cold if you kept it in the refrigerator) and let it drip down the sides. Let the glaze dry out before cutting.
Frequently asked questions
Originally, it was made with a pound each of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. The modern version includes some type of leavening and sometimes cream cheese or a liquid such as milk.
It probably wasn't beaten well (too little or too much) so not enough air was incorporated and/or the ingredients weren't properly mixed. Also, some recipes are lighter than others while still maintaining the pound cake dense structure, so you might want to try different ones and see which is your favorite.
My top tips
- Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, the equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
- Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Strawberries: chop them into bite sizes, not too large. Fresh strawberries work best, so I recommend you make this cake seasonally.
- Make ahead: you can keep the cake in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a month, well wrapped (I wrap it first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil). If you store leftovers with glaze, they will lose some of their shine, but they will still taste good. So, if you want to make it ahead before serving, I recommend you store the pound cake plain and ice the cake an hour or so before serving it. You can use another type of airtight container or wrapper, just make sure it's well covered to prevent freezer burn.
- Flavorings: you can use lime or lemon zest instead of orange. They pair very well with strawberries.
- No cream cheese? You can use regular sour cream or Greek yogurt instead of the cream cheese, same amount. The crumb will be a tad less dense and a smidge tangier. They both add great moisture and tenderness.
- Bundt cake: you can easily double this recipe and bake it in a bundt pan or tube pan.
- Desserts: you can use this cake for the Strawberry Cream Trifle or go the fancier route and cover it with whipped cream and whole strawberries, similar to the Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes. I know a friend that serves it thickly sliced with a lot of sliced strawberries on top and vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, similar to a shortcake.
Related recipes you might like:
Let me know in the comments below if you made this recipe and loved it and if you had issues so we can troubleshoot together. I love to hear what you think, always. Thanks for being here. It's much appreciated.
You might also consider subscribing to our FREE email series to Boost your Home Baking Skills! And our regular newsletter.
And let's connect via Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
For the cake:
- 2 cups (about 9 ounces) whole fresh strawberries (some will be used for the glaze)
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose or cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature (see Notes for substitutions)
For the glaze:
- Strawberries (from the whole amount above)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
- Butter or spray a 9x4 inch (10x24 cm) loaf pan and, if you want, add a strip of parchment paper to cover the bottom and two shorter sides.
- Wash, dry and hull the strawberries. Reserve 4-5 for the glaze and chop the rest into bite sizes.
For the cake:
- Beat soft butter for 20 seconds in a large bowl with electric beaters or a stand mixer.
- Add sugar gradually while you continue beating at medium speed, and then for 3 more minutes after adding all of it. The mixture should be light in color, fluffy and the sugar will have partially dissolved.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl regularly.
- Add vanilla with orange zest and mix.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) together in a bowl, or have them measured and sift them directly over the egg batter.
- Add them in 2 parts, alternating with the sour cream in 1 part. That means you start and end with the dry ingredients.
- Mix and integrate it well, but don't beat much at this point. After adding the flour cake batter should not be beaten too much as it will develop gluten and toughen the baked cake.
- Add the fresh, cut strawberries and mix them with a spatula. Just a few strokes trying not to crush them much, or at all.
- Put the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until it rises, the top cracks and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Pound cakes are dense so make sure it's fully baked. If the top is browning too quickly but the middle is not done, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum paper and continue to bake.
- Cool on a wire rack and remove carefully from the pan, removing the strip of paper.
- Drizzle the glaze over and let it dry before cutting.
- Serve with some extra fresh strawberries if you want.
For the glaze:
- Puree the reserved strawberries, either with an immersion blender or with a fork if you have patience. It can be completely smooth or have some small chunks if you like them. You should have about 2 tablespoons.
- Mix half of the berry puree with the powdered sugar in a bowl and check to see the consistency. It should be like thick honey. Add more strawberry puree if needed to adjust the consistency.
Organize yourself: read the recipe first and make sure the ingredients are measured and at the right temperature. Same with the pan, prepare it before starting with the batter, and preheat the oven.
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Strawberries: chop them into bite sizes, not too large. Fresh strawberries work best, so I recommend you make this cake seasonally.
Make ahead: you can keep the cake in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a month, well wrapped. But if you store it after the glaze is applied, it will lose some of its shine and probably and be a little mushy, but it will still taste good. So, if you want to make it ahead before serving and maintain a shiny glaze, I recommend you store the pound cake plain and ice it an hour or so before serving. I wrap it first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze it up to a month. You can use other type of airtight container or wrapper, just make sure no air is getting into it to prevent freezer burn.
Flavorings: you can use lime or lemon zest instead of orange. They pair very well with strawberries.
No cream cheese? You can use regular sour cream or Greek yogurt instead of the cream cheese, same amount. The crumb will be a tad less dense and a smidge more tangy. They both add great moisture and tenderness.
Bundt cake: you can easily double this recipe and bake it in a bundt pan or tube pan.
Desserts: you can use this cake for the Strawberry Cream Trifle or go the fancier route and cover it with whipped cream and whole strawberries, similar to the Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes. I have a friend that serves it thickly sliced with a lot of sliced strawberries on top and vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, similar to a shortcake.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/10
- Calories: 460
- Sugar: 33.7 g
- Sodium: 109.6 mg
- Fat: 22.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 59.4 g
- Protein: 5.8 g
- Cholesterol: 129.1 mg
Keywords: strawberry pound cake