With no time for experimenting, I needed a reliable recipe. I simply added fresh lemon juice and zest to one of my favorite pound cakes...my versatile evaporated milk pound cake. This produced a wonderful moist, dense and lemony cake, which easily sliced into three layers. Using my trusted butter cream frosting as a basis, I developed a creamy strawberry frosting.
This cake actually improves with flavor after a couple of days. You can make it ahead and refrigerate or freeze, then decorate and garnish with strawberry slices the day you serve it.
Hey, Watch Those Fingers There...
I Haven't Even Served It Yet!
Approx. 12 large servings
- Non-stick baking spray with flour
- 3 c. plain, all-purpose, pre-sifted flour (I use White Lily)
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. ground mace spice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) room-temperature butter
- 3 c. granulated sugar
- 5 large room-temperature eggs
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 c. evaporated milk
- zest and juice from one large, cleaned lemon (one large lemon yields about 4 TB juice)
The Frosting (You will have a little extra)
- 2 lb. powdered sugar
- 1 c. (2 sticks) room-temperature butter
- approx. 1/2 c. plus 2 TB (or more) evaporated milk*
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- approx. 16 oz. fresh, cleaned strawberries with the leaves removed, divided (6 large chopped for the frosting itself and the remainder sliced lengthwise for decorating the top of the cake)
- approx. 16 oz. fresh, cleaned strawberries with the leaves removed and sliced lengthwise (for serving alongside each piece of cake)
- Thoroughly spray a 10" tube pan with the non-stick cooking spray. (If you are using a pan with a removable tube insert, see the directions under my Very Happy Birthday Pound Cake for lining the pan with wax paper before spraying.)
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, mace and salt. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar well, or until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 325º.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl again.
- Stir the vanilla into the milk and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk and vanilla mixture.
- Mix in the lemon zest and juice. Scrape the bowl and give the batter one last quick little mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for l hr. and approx. 35 minutes (check after 1 hr. and 25 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger.
- Cover the cake with a clean dish towel and cool on a rack away from drafts overnight.
- Invert the cake onto a serving platter and carefully release from the pan (along with the tube, if it is an insert, and remove the wax paper, if used.)
- Carefully slice the cake into three equal layers with a long serrated knife that extends beyond the sides of the cake (I used my bread knife): Place the first sliced layer from the top of the cake onto another plate and cover with wax paper. Slice the next layer and position on top of the first sliced layer. Leave the remaining layer on the serving platter.
- Beat the butter, powdered sugar and milk very well until glossy, adding the milk a little at a time, as needed, for spreading consistency. *Add a little more milk, as needed, if you would like the frosting to drizzle a little over the sides of the cake, as in the above photo.
- Add the vanilla and 6 large chopped strawberries, then mix until pale pink in color with flecks of the strawberries.
- Spread the frosting between the layers and on top of the cake: Begin with the layer left on the serving platter, then add the next layer from the extra plate and end with the remaining layer from the extra plate (which will be your top finished layer). Let the frosting drizzle a little over the sides of the cake, as in the above photo; or, for a more precise look, just carry the frosting not quite all the way to the edges of the layers.
- This cake actually improves with flavor after a couple of days, and it freezes very well. Keep it in the refrigerator or freezer (thaw in the refrigerator one day before you serve). Then the day you serve the cake, decorate the top with the sliced strawberries in an attractive pattern...use the above photo for a guide.
- Serve some sliced strawberries alongside each piece of cake.*
- Strawberries are served alongside each piece of cake (rather than placed between each layer), so the cake will last a little longer in the fridge...up to a week.
Enjoy a fresh start to spring with this irresistible cake!