Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Brown Sugar Strawberry Pound Cake

This cake has been a thorn in my behind!  It isn't difficult to make but apparently for me its difficult to hold onto and get out of the fluted pan at the same time.  My first attempt, it baked up so nicely and smelled so heavenly, rose beautifully and I was strutting around here like banty rooster...thinking, "oh yeah...whose the woman...who is THE woman."  I let it cool until the pan was touchable and then slid the cake tester down around the edges to loosen up the sides. 

Trusting that a non-stick pan (which I had buttered as insurance) actually MEANS its a non-stick pan, I just flipped that baby over on the cooling rack.  I waited expectantly...there was no plop!  I wanted to pick the wrack up, hold it aloft so that I could look up under it and see if the cake was still in the pan.  DUH...where else would it be right?  So I get it about chest high and then it suddenly plops out of the pan.  I thought...oh great...WHEW!  I go to set the rack back down and the cake pan slides, bringing the cake with it of course.  It jettison's off the rack, hits the side of the counter and falls to the floor.  It looks like a cake BOMB detonated in my kitchen!  That was when I also discovered that in fact only HALF the cake had released from the pan.  The other half was still stuck like glue to the bottom of the cake pan.

I learned a couple of invaluable lessons from this experience.  The first is...never trust a non-stick pan.  The second, don't attempt to lift the cake rack up above your head so you can peek underneath.  I was lucky that I had not gotten it up that high yet otherwise that steaming hot cake could have landed right on my FACE!  Number three...if you explode a cake on your kitchen floor you have to be quicker than the dog!  Rosie assumes that anything dropped on the floor is being GIVEN to her and she does not have to be asked twice!

The one lesson I did not learn was not to attempt baking this cake in a fluted pan again!  I was bound and determined to have that pretty decorative shape to my cake so this time I buttered AND floured the pan.  I let it cool in the pan much longer the second time.  Then I loosened the sides.  I gave the pan a little shake test and was fairly certain that the cake was going to stick.  So instead of carefully turning it over this time, I slid one hand up under the bottom of the pan, palming it like a basket ball and SLAM DUNKED that bad boy upside down onto my big wooden cutting board.  Drastic measures were called for.  It worked too.  It actually DID come out.

What advice do I have it you want to make this cake?  It's a fabulous cake and tastes even BETTER the second day after you have refrigerated it overnight.  Use a straight sided angel food or bundt cake pan instead of a fluted one.  I think I know why it sticks.  The strawberries are not pureed and mixed into the batter, they are just chopped and folded in.  As the cake bakes, I think the fresh berries release steam that compromises the butter/flour coat on the pan and allows the cake to stick.   I'm not a scientist but that would be my best guess.  I'm not saying it can't be done in a fluted pan but you'll have to go all Michael Jordon on it like I did.

Other than that...this is one heck of a delicious cake and that Rhubarb Butter glaze just MAKES it!

Brown Sugar Strawberry Pound Cake with Rhubarb Butter Glaze

  • 1 stick of unsalted organic butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar ( I use Florida's Crystals)
  • 1/2 cup Florida's Crystals organic brown sugar
  • 3 large organic cage free eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (organic preferred)
  • 1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup organic plain greek style yogurt
  • 2 cups organic strawberries, capped and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 or 10 inch angel food or bundt cake pan
  1. In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until light and fluffly.  You will want to add the sugars 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition so as not to "break" the butter.  Creaming process should not take LESS than 5 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.  Beat in vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine flours, wheat germ, soda and salt; whisk well.  Add the flour mixture and yogurt alternately (in thirds) to the butter mixture.  The batter will be very thick.
  4. Fold strawberries in by hand.  Spoon batter into prepared bundt or angel food pan and place on the center rack in preheated oven.  Bake cake for 1 hour.  Cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before attemting to remove the cake from the pan.  It is important to let this cake cool completely before cutting it.  Even better if you can chill it overnight first.
Rhubarb Butter

Place 2 cups of finely diced Rhubarb in a small sauce pan with 1 cup organic unbleached cane sugar and 1/2, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until temperature reaches 225 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Stir occasionally while cooking to prevent sticking.  You may add spices if you like but I prefer mine plain.  The rhubarb will basically be disintegrated by the time the mixture has come up to temp.  Pour into a clean jar and paint onto cake while Rhubarb butter is still warm (it will set up once it's cold).  You may served any leftover rhubarb butter with the cake.  This makes about one jelly jar of Rhubarb butter.

Notice the bits of berries throughout the cake and nice crumb?

The cook's piece!

(c) copyright Jill Anderson
The Homegrown Gourmet


  1. What a delicious treat! We have some beautiful strawberries available right now. I'll have to make this. My husband would be in heaven.

  2. Non stick pans do not make sense to me. Everytime I used them they got stuck and I had to redo the cake. EVERY TIME! Maybe I'm stupid. They are horrendous. The strawberry cake looks lovely. Rosie from the Jettson's was my favorite.

  3. Thanks Mother Rimmy...I think you'll enjoy it. My husband ate his share...believe me!

    Im right there with you Rick. I hate non-stick cookware but darn it...I wanted that fluted cake! My Rosie is a Golden Retriever that my oldest son found in a garbage dumpster 5 years ago.

  4. Yummerz. When is tea time, Jilly? Hmm, I suppose it's too hot here for that though...

  5. Oh, I think i would cry if half my cake got stuck in the pan! Great job w/ the perseverance (or is it stubbornness!? haha!) on this cake. It's beautiful!

  6. definately stubbornness cake ever got the best of me!

    Thanks tea here though unless it's on ICE! But you're welcome to stop by for a piece.

  7. I have the same problem with fluted and bundt pans even after greasing and flouring them. I just use a plain old cake pan. Your cake looks very moist and it is tea time over here...hint! hint!

  8. Oh love your trial and error. (Except for a face full of steam). love the idea of rhubarb butter - especially now that it is in season. hosemoist crumbs with pieces of berries is perfect!

  9. Oh good...Im glad Im not the only one Biren. I still think the steam in the fresh berries might be at fault.

    Thanks Claudia. This cake is very moist (as long as you don't cut it while it's hot and let all the steam out) and had a nice buttery crumb.

  10. Looks delicious.

    Yes, I've been let down by non-stick pans in the past.It sucks when you're waiting for the cake to slide out and nothing happens.

  11. thanks Ms Bibi! I don't think I'll be using that pan to make this cake again.

  12. looks so yummy, I really can't handle bundt pans, they disapppint me, but I might have to whip it out, this looks tempting

  13. thanks sweetlife! Me and that bundt pan went a couple rounds but I emerged victorious!

  14. Holey moley!!! Oh, I want a slice of that!!

    Nonstick bakeware is a farce! No matter what they say, if you don't grease your supposedly nonstick pan like any other pan, you are going to lose your cake! Bundt moulds are the worst! I grease mine like crazy then ease the cake out with a blunt knife, like I'm performing cake surgery :P

    Those non stick cake pan guys should be sued!


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Fort Myers, Florida, United States