Growing up, one of my favorite times of the year was late spring when my family’s small but fruitful strawberry patch would be brimming with strawberries. As the biggest strawberry enthusiast in the house, collecting the berries (and, you know, sample them) fell to me. After I brought them in, my mom would cut thick slices of a store-bought pound cake, smother it with sliced berries, and top it all off with lightly sweetened whipped cream. I know the strawberry and biscuit variety is more traditional, but for a while now, I’ve wanted to put a homemade spin on my family’s strawberry shortcake.
This recipe features a springy, moist pound cake with a hint of lemon and a buttery flavor. On top, just-ripe strawberries sliced and sprinkled with a touch of sugar, and a dollop of barely sweet whipped cream. One bite, and I was seven again (with a drip of strawberry juice trickling down my chin).
What You Need
Makes 10 heart-shaped shortcakes
For the Heart-Shaped Pound Cakes
- 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the Strawberry Shortcakes
- 1 quart ripe strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Set out butter, eggs, and cream to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 1-inch deep sheet pan with parchment paper, butter paper and sides liberally, and dust with flour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes more. Stop to scrape down sides frequently. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated, and then add vanilla and lemon zest.
- With mixer on low, fold in half the flour mixture, followed by all of the cream, and then the remaining flour. Set mixer at medium-high speed and beat for 5 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
- Spoon batter into prepared baking sheet. Spread batter to even out and tap on the counter several times to remove bubbles. Slide into oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 20 minutes. Then carefully slip or flip cake out onto on a cutting board to cool completely. Use a 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut heart cakes.
- Toss berries with 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon juice. Whip heavy cream to very soft peaks, add 1 teaspoon sugar, and whip a bit longer.
- To serve, top each cake with a spoonful of strawberries, including any accumulated juices, and a dollop of whipped cream.
- Pound cake will keep well covered at room temperature for 3 days.