Nothing is quintessentially summer like strawberry shortcake. There isn’t much better than fresh ripe berries and cream, combining it with cake? Yum! Usually the cake seems to be an after thought, its often bland and soggy, it’s the mess at the bottom of your plate. Although fresh fruit really is remarkable you want a cake that stands on its own and makes a statement. I find that in warm months especially having snacks made in advance is especially convenient. Summertime is the time of year where ready-made products are especially enticing. We have no AC and the oven is my absolute enemy. The perfect make ahead cake needs to be somewhat sturdy and pound cakes are the absolute best to freeze. This pound cake is rich and buttery with the delightful tang of cream cheese. Its perfectly dense, satisfying and perfectly sweet.
Bake it, stash it in the freezer, and you have a glorious dessert at a moments notice. (without turning on the oven!) It is absolutely perfect to freeze in chunks or even to cut into individual slices. I really do love pound cakes, they are remarkably easy to make and satisfying. Of course most of all, I especially appreciate that they can survive being “lost” in my freezer. Using cream cheese makes this cake absolutely ideal for pairing with fruit. Theres a slight cream cheesy taste and when mixed with fruit it’s almost too delicious. It’s reminiscent of cheesecake, without leaving you feel like you need to take a nap. When you find you want something with your fresh crisp fruit, and you’ve got no time? Pull out this cake, there is nothing like it. Forget ready-made packaged cakes. This is my go-to shortcut shortcake.
Perfectly sweet, buttery and dense. It is very, VERY easy to make. Its really no harder than a box cake and its a million times more delicious. You mix, you dump, you bake. You can fold 1 1/2 cups of blueberries or other fruit directly into the batter for a show stopping fruity pound cake. (It may not freeze as well with certain fruits) You can add chocolate chips, or even apple streusel filling. Its highly versatile, and the options are endless.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 sticks butter , softened (1 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2- 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla
- Pinch of cardamom (optional but I love it!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10 inch tube pan. (straight sided or bundt work well, alternatively you can use two loaf pans) Sprinkle with 1-2 Tablespoons of flour and distribute evenly around the pan. Pat out excess flour. In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese and butter. Beat (on medium speed or with a spoon) until combined and add sugar and vanilla, and beat until pale yellow and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, once eggs are combined add flour and stir together until its just mixed. Do not over mix.
Spread into prepared tube pan. Smack your pan against the counter lightly to remove any excess air. Bake for one hour, check after one hour. If it is done it should test clean with a sharp knife or toothpick. Bake up to 20 minutes longer if necessary. Allow the cake to cool before storing. (especially freezing, you don’t want it to be sweaty and wet)