A moist Strawberry Pound Cake featuring three layers of fresh strawberry jam, buttery vanilla pound cake, and a vibrant strawberry glaze. If you’re looking for a way to use up a pound of ripe strawberries, this is it. It’s both humble and stunning at the same time and can be as dressed up or dressed down as you need. Serve it as is for a coffee klatch or dress it up with a glaze and/or whipped cream for a fancy dinner party or holiday dessert. Whatever the occasion, this cake will be a hit.

A Tried and True Strawberry Pound Cake

I tested this recipe upwards of 12 times and throughout the process I came to a few conclusions. For starters, you can’t just add chopped strawberries to a pound cake batter and hope that it will be bursting with flavor.

Strawberries are good, but they aren’t that powerful. To achieve a truly impressive strawberry pound cake you need to start with fresh strawberries and cook them down into a jam. The jam then becomes three different layers of strawberry in the cake. 

Second, you need to load the batter up with flavorful fat—butter and sour cream do the trick

Third, a low oven is key to baking a dense yet tender and moist cake. Too hot and the edges will burn before the center has time to bake through. 

And finally, there are a lot of thoughts out there on whether or not a pound cake should have leaveners in them. I’m in the “yes” camp on that. A bit of baking soda opens up the crumb a bit and makes the perfect pound cake. 

Butter, fresh strawberries, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt set out on a counter.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Fresh strawberries: you’ll need a pound of ripe, delicious strawberries. 
  • Freeze dried strawberries: if you plan on making the strawberry glaze then you’ll need a bag of freeze dried strawberries which you’ll grind into a powder. I also like to dust some over the top of the cake.
  • Sugar: granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar (if you plan on making the glaze)
  • Salt: I develop recipes using Morton kosher salt. If you’re using Diamond Crystal, you’ll want to use heaping measurements. 
  • Vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste: I like to use both in this recipe, but you can just use one or the other if you want. You’ll need a tablespoon (yes) of vanilla extract for the batter and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste in the strawberry jam. 
  • Cornstarch: just a teaspoon and a half is needed to thicken the jam (you’ll first make a slurry with equal parts water). 
  • All-purpose flour: no specialty flour here. To create that clean pound cake appearance, just use all-purpose flour. 
  • Baking Powder: less than 1 teaspoon is needed to give this cake a bit of lift without making it light and airy (a pound cake should be nicely dense and moist). 
  • Butter: when baking, I always recommend using unsalted butter. It allows you to control the seasoning level. I developed this recipe with standard super market butter. You do not need to use European cultured butter here. Though if you do, let me know how it turns out.   
  • Sour Cream: use full fat sour cream here. This is not the time to skimp on fat! You’ll need a ½ cup. 
  • Eggs: it’s important to use eggs labeled as “large” not medium, not Jumbo, you need large eggs. A large egg, out of shell, should weight about 50 grams. For the best results, use room temperature eggs (this will help you avoid those air pocket bubble you see in my slices).
  • Half-and-Half: just a splash is needed for the glaze. You can also use whole milk or a combo of cream and milk.  

How to Make (step-by-step)

  1. Cook the Strawberries

You’re essentially making a quick strawberry jam. The first step is to finely chop the strawberries. 

Finely diced strawberries in a glass mixing bowl.

Combine the chopped strawberries, sugar, salt and vanilla paste in a small saucepan, Cook, stirring and mashing the mixture until it has thickened and measures about 1 cup, this will take about 20 minutes. 

Whisk a cornstarch slurry into the strawberry mixture and cook just until thickened, this will take a minute or less. 

Cooked strawberries in a small glass mixing bowl.

Transfer the jam to a bowl and place in the refrigerator. Allow the strawberry jam to cool completely before assembling the cake. (You can always pop the jam in the freezer for a quicker cooling time). 

  1. Cream the Butter and Sugar

Whip the butter and sugar together, using a paddle attachment, until the mixture is very light in color and fluffy.

Butter and sugar creamed together in a mixing bowl.

This will take about 6 minutes—I recommend you scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once through the creaming. 

  1. Beat in the Eggs

With the mixer of medium-low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Allow each egg to get mixed in before adding the next egg. Beat in the vanilla then scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for about 30 seconds more to ensure everything is incorporated. 

Butter and egg mixture in a mixing bowl.

If the mixture looks a little curdled, that’s OK. 

  1. Add in the Dry Ingredients

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture (flour, baking powder and salt).

Pound cake better in a glass mixing bowl.

Finish mixing the batter by hand to ensure it doesn’t get over-mixed (over-mixed=dense and tough cake). 

  1. Layer the Cake
Pound cake batter in a loaf pan topped with a layer of strawberry jam.

Spread a third of the batter in the bottom of the 9×5-inch loaf pan. Dollop a third of the strawberry jam over top and spread into an even layer. Repeat layering twice more.

Loaf pan filled with batter and topped with swirls of jam.

Use a spoon to swirl the top layer of jam into the batter. 

  1. Bake the Cake
Pound cake in a loaf pan with swirls of strawberry on top.

Bake the cake in a 325ºF oven until the edges are golden brown, the cake is tall and round, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This will take about an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes. 

  1. Cool and Glaze 

Allow the cake to cool then drizzle with the strawberry glaze. Allow the glaze to set and serve! 

Strawberry pound cake drizzled with a strawberry glaze.

Baking Tips From the Test Kitchen

  • Storage: Cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. I do not recommend refrigerating pound cake—it will make for a very dry and dense cake. 
  • Freeze Dried Strawberries: find freeze dried strawberries in the dried fruit or health food section of your grocery store. You can also buy them online. To make a powder, add the strawberries to a coffee or spice grinder or mini food processor and process until a fine powder is formed. Use it as directed to make the glaze. You can also mix the powder into yogurt, use as a topping for ice cream, or whipped into heavy cream to make a strawberry whipped cream. 
  • Pan Size: the size of pan you use is very important. I recommend you use a 9×5-inch loaf pan. It’s a traditional size for a pound cake and is large enough to hold all of the batter. If you are using a 8.5×4.5 pan (which I prefer for quick breads like Banana Bread and Sweet Potato Bread) then you will need to hold back some of the plain batter. Use the batter to make mini pound cake cupcakes or pancakes (yum!). 
  • Measuring Flour: for the best results, I recommend using a food scale to weigh the ingredients. If you do not have a food scale, measure the flour by spooning into measuring cup and leveling off (do not scoop the flour with the cup—this will result in too much flour).
  • Kosher Salt: I develop recipes using Morton kosher salt. If you’re using Diamond Crystal, increase the amount a bit (heaping ½ teaspoon for the strawberry layer and the batter). 
  • Butter: it’s very important that the butter is at room temperature and is soft. It should not be melty and it should not be hard. Using room temperature butter will allow you to incorporate more air into the batter and thus more lift in the finished cake.
Strawberry pound cake on a parchment-lined platter with strawberries set around.

Serving Suggestions (glazes, whipped creams and more)

I originally wanted to top this cake with my Strawberry Whipped Cream, but my friend Lori recommended a strawberry glaze. And it’s the perfect pièce de résistance for this cake!

It adds another layer of strawberry flavor and is incredibly beautiful. But there’s no reason you can’t also add some whipped cream! 

Here are a few more topping ideas for this strawberry pound cake: 

How to Store Pound Cake

Cooled pound cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. I do not recommend refrigerating pound cake—it will make for a very dry and dense cake. 

Slice of strawberry pound cake on a blue-rimmed plate.

Why is My Pound Cake Dry?

  • Too much flour: if the flour is improperly measured and too much flour is used, then your cake will come out dry. I always recommend measuring ingredients by weight, but if you don’t have a food scale, make sure you are spooning the flour into your measuring cup(s) and leveling off with a flat edge. Do not scoop the measuring cup through the flour, or pack the flour into the cup—this will result in too much flour. 
  • Over-baked: this could be from an oven that was too hot (I always recommend using an oven thermometer to check how accurate your oven is) or from being in the oven too long. To avoid a dry cake, start checking the doneness after about an hour of baking. This will give you quite a bit of leeway should your oven be running hotter than it should. 
  • Wrong size of eggs: all of my recipes, and those developed by trustworthy recipe developers, are tested with large sized eggs. If you are using smaller eggs, this will likely impact the texture of the cake. For reference, one egg, out of shell, should weigh 50 grams. 
Piece of strawberry shortcake on a fork with whipped cream.

FAQs

Can you freeze pound cake?

Yes, but wait to glaze the cake until ready to serve it. Allow the cake to cool completely then wrap tightly in plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. For extra protection from freezer burn, you can also place the warped loaf in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow the thaw at room temperature for at least 4 hours before glazing and serving. 

Can you use frozen strawberries?

You can, though I would recommend increasing the cornstarch to 2 teaspoons. Frozen berries release a lot more moisture than fresh and will need more cornstarch to thicken the juices so they don’t impact the texture of the cake. 

Can you make this using a Bundt or tube cake pan?

I have not tested this, so I cannot guarantee it will work. But, that being said, I think it would. I recommend one and a half timesing the recipe (i.e. use 1 ½ pounds strawberries, use 3 cups flour, 6 eggs, etc.). 

Bake at 325ºF for about 90 minutes (check the cake at 75 minutes and adjust timing as needed since this is an educated guess). 

Can I use store-bought jam instead of cooking fresh strawberries?

I tested this and it *works* but it’s not as good as making your own quick strawberry jam. The cornstarch in the cooked jam makes for a much thicker mixture than what you get from a jar. If you use store bought jam, the layers of strawberry will be a bit softer and will be slightly drippy and wet in the cake. 

Strawberry Pound Cake Recipe

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Yield 1 cake (8 servings)
Category Dessert
Cuisine Amercican

Description

A moist Strawberry Pound Cake featuring three layers of fresh strawberry jam, buttery vanilla pound cake, and a vibrant strawberry glaze.

Ingredients

Strawberry Layer

Pound Cake

Strawberry Glaze

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground freeze dried strawberries **
  • 5 teaspoons half-and-half
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

Strawberry Layer

  • Cook 1 pound chopped strawberries, ½ cup (100g) sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste, if using, in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring and mashing frequently, until thickened and mixture measures about 1 cup, about 20–22 minutes.
  • In a separate small bowl, stir together 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch and 1 ½ teaspoons water.
  • Stir cornstarch slurry into strawberry mixture. Cook until thickened, 30 seconds–1 minute (mixture should measure ~1 cup).
  • Transfer filling to bowl and refrigerate until no longer warm, about 1 hour. (Filling can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

Pound Cake

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325ºF (163ºF). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan*. Line pan with a 12-inch x 8-inch piece of parchment paper, making a sling in pan. Fold and crease parchment over edges.
  • Whisk 2 cups (260g) flour, ¾ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt together; set aside.
  • Using stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat 16 tablespoons butter and 1 cup (200g) sugar on medium to combine. Increase speed to high and cream until pale and fluffy, 5–7 minutes, scraping down bowl twice throughout process.
  • Beat in ½ cup (123g) sour cream.
  • Scrape down bowl and mix in one egg at a time (4 eggs total), followed by 1 tablespoon vanilla.
  • Scrape down bowl and mix again for about 30 seconds to ensure the eggs are fully incorporated, mixture will look slightly curdled, that’s OK.
  • With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture just until incorporated. Use a spatula to give it one final stir.
  • Spread ⅓ of batter (1 ½ cups; ~338g) into prepared pan, dollop ⅓ of jam (~¼ cup; ~75g) over top and spread into an even layer as best you can, leaving a ½-inch border around pan. Repeat layering with another ⅓ batter and ⅓ jam.
  • Spread remaining batter over top and remaining jam over top, use a spoon to swirl jam into batter slightly.
  • Bake until edges are golden brown, cake is tall, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour 15 minutes–1 hour 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
  • Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and let cool completely on rack, about 1 hour.

Strawberry Glaze

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 teaspoons ground freeze dried strawberries and a pinch of salt. Add 5 teaspoons half-and-half and whisk until smooth. Adjust with additional half-and-half or confectioners’ sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Drizzle glaze over cake. Optional, but I like to also dust with additional strawberry powder.

Notes

Storage: Cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. I do not recommend refrigerating pound cake—it will make for a very dry and dense cake.
*Measuring Flour: for the best results, I recommend using a food scale to weigh the ingredients. If you do not have a food scale, measure the flour by spooning into measuring cup and leveling off (do not scoop the flour with the cup—this will result in too much flour).
**Freeze Dried Strawberries: find freeze dried strawberries in the dried fruit or health food section of your grocery store. You can also buy them online. To make a powder, add the strawberries to a coffee or spice grinder or mini food processor and process until a fine powder is formed. Use it as directed to make the glaze. You can also mix the powder into yogurt, use as a topping for ice cream, or whipped into heavy cream to make a strawberry whipped cream.
Pan Size: the size of pan you use is very important. I recommend you use a 9×5-inch loaf pan. It’s a traditional size for a pound cake and is large enough to hold all of the batter. If you are using a 8.5×4.5 pan (which I prefer for quick breads like Banana Bread and Sweet Potato Bread) then you will need to hold back some of the plain batter. Use the batter to make mini pound cake cupcakes or pancakes (yum!).
Kosher Salt: I develop recipes using Morton kosher salt. If you’re using Diamond Crystal, increase the amount a bit (heaping ½ teaspoon for the strawberry layer and the batter).
Eggs: make sure you use room temperature large eggs. If the eggs are used cold you will get air pockets in the cake (as you can see in my photos). So to avoid that, use room temp eggs. 
Store Bought Jam Shortcut: I tested this and it *works* to use store bought jam in place of the homemade cornstarch strawberry jam, but it’s not as good. The cornstarch in the cooked jam makes for a much thicker mixture than what you get from a jar. If you use store bought jam, the layers of strawberry will be a bit softer and will be slightly drippy and wet in the cake.

Nutrition

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Strawberry pound cake

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Overall easy to follow, and the cake was very tasty. In the ingredients / measurements list for the glaze I found very confusing. It is written as “ 5 teaspoons 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons half-and-half” is it 1 table spoon + 7 teaspoons, or 1 table spoon + 2 teaspoons. Glaze was okay, truly don’t know if I did it correctly.

    1. Hi Briana, thanks for the review. And I apologize for the confusion on the glaze. The correct measurement is 5 teaspoons, which can also be measured as 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons. For some reason the parenthesis to differentiate these measurements did not show up in the recipe card. I have now streamlined the ingredient list to be more clear. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!