Strawberry season just got sweeter.
When someone says “strawberry dessert,” they likely think of strawberry shortcake. Nothing wrong with that — I love strawberry shortcake. But allow me to make a case for this strawberry marble pound cake recipe. Buttery, tender, and ribboned with pink strawberry batter and jam, this easy spring cake, well, definitely takes the cake.
How to Make a Marble Pound Cake
Pound cakes are universally loved for their sweet simplicity. But a marble pound cake adds a little extra “wow” factor for almost no additional effort.
Here’s how you swirl this strawberry marble pound cake: Make the cake batter in full. Then, scoop one generous cup of batter into a small mixing bowl. Stir in the strawberry powder.
Now, smooth half of the vanilla cake batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Add the strawberry batter and spread it on top of the vanilla batter. Spoon the jam over the strawberry batter, if using. Finally, add the remaining cake batter, and smooth it over the strawberry.
The swirl magic starts now. Simply take a knife and swirl it around the batter, working from one end of the cake to the other. Bake.
Strawberry Marble Pound Cake: Recipe Notes
The only “chef-y” element of this pound cake is the freeze-dried strawberry powder. Otherwise, this is a very straightforward pound cake recipe.
Freeze-dried strawberries are actually quite easy to find in most grocery stores. The usually can be found near the dried fruits and nuts. Simply grind the freeze-dried strawberries in the food processor with a little sugar and proceed, reserving a small handful of strawberries unground for garnish. They look like little rose petals — absolutely gorgeous.
You can also buy pre-ground strawberry powder at some specialty stores online and on Amazon. This may not be worth it, though, for the price given how little is used here. On the other hand, you can add the extra into smoothies or make strawberry buttercream and so on.
Swirl the batter using a kitchen knife. Don’t be timid. Really swirl it up. And don’t forget to top your cake with fluffy buttercream, and serve with some fresh (what else?) strawberries.
Finally, you can also make swirl cupcakes! Follow the same layering procedure with the batter, swirl with a knife, and bake. Cupcakes should take around 25 minutes, give or take.
The overall strawberry flavor of this cake is fairly mild. And you will taste a little lemon as well. If you’d like to add more strawberry flavor, serve this with fresh strawberries macerated in a little sugar.
You’ll also love: Strawberry Shortcakes With Whipped Cream and Mixed Berry Pound Cake
Strawberry Marble Pound Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberry powder, from about 20 grams (3/4 oz.) freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 1/3 cups sugar plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup strawberry preserves, optional
- fresh strawberries to garnish, optional
- red food coloring, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment.
- Use a food processor to grind the freeze-dried strawberries into a powder with a tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Whip until fluffy and light.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and milk and stir on low just until fully combined.
- Scoop out one generous cup of batter and place it in a small mixing bowl. Stir in the strawberry powder with one more tablespoon of lemon juice. If you want a slightly more vibrant color, add a drop or two of food coloring.
- Spoon half of the plain vanilla cake batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly with a small spatula. Smooth the strawberry batter on top of the vanilla batter. Layer the strawberry jam, if using, on top of the strawberry batter, then add the remaining vanilla cake batter and spread evenly.
- To Swirl the Batter and Bake: Use a butter knife to drag big, loopy swirls from one end of the cake pan to the other. Bake for about one hour, or until the top springs back lightly and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool fully before topping with powdered sugar or vanilla buttercream. Serve with fresh or sugar-macerated sliced strawberries.