Strawberry season is just around the corner. At least that’s what the calendar says, but I don’t think anyone filled Mother Nature in on that little tidbit because most days, I’m still sipping hot tea to get the chill out of my bones. Or it’s 90°F and I wanna sit in front of the air conditioner naked. Living in New England is like menopause.
When I think of strawberries, I think of hot, sunny days where you have to get to the farm early so the berries are still cool from the night temperatures. The later in the day you go, the warmer and mushier the berries will be and are definitely not as appetizing to nibble on while picking.
The season is so brief, you have to dive into it quick or it passes you by. We head out on Saturdays to a local Pick-Ur-Own farm with our big, cardboard berry box ready to find the good ones to load up on. We critique every single berry that hits the box. They need to be deep red, perfectly shaped and plump or they go to the birds. I do pick a few white ones for jam though because they are loaded with pectin and I don’t have to add so much sugar. Don’t worry, jam recipe coming!
Berry picking is great family time. It gets you outside in the fresh air and sunshine, away from monitors and lets you really engage with your kids. Grab your tween or teen and maybe a friend or two and you’ll be amazed at where the conversation can take you. We talk about what everything from what we are going to make with all the berries we pick, to boys, school, fashion, music, disgusting noises you can make with your armpits. Anything goes! But there is always a lot of laughing. Sometimes, it isn’t even about the berries, but the time together. Here’s a list of pick-your-own farms by state in the U.S.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake is anything but your average strawberry dessert
This is one of the tastiest strawberry recipes ever. For real. No Exaggeration. I saw it in my favorite magazine Bake From Scratch and after being mesmerized by the beautiful swirls of crimson strawberry ribbons and the moist, dense pound cake, I couldn’t resist it.
This is where being weak-minded really pays off because I’m so glad I did! It absolutely tastes as perfect as it looks. It is a bite of early summer bounty in a dense, rich, moist cake. The slight hint of sweet, tart berries and the luscious, buttery cake will make you want to close your eyes and savor every single bite, so you don’t miss a second of the brief berry season.
You absolutely need to add this to your list of favorite, delicious strawberry recipes. Now go find a farm, pick some berries, make some memories, then make this cake. Then call me and I’ll come over and help you eat it.
Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pound Cake Loaves
Buttery, rich, dense poundcake swirled with sweet strawberry sauce is a perfect summer treat to use all those freshly picked berries
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Strawberry Sauce recipe follows
- Strawberry preserves to serve
- ½ pound fresh strawberries, hulled
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 2 (8½x4½") loaf pans with baking spray with flour. Line pans with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan and spray pans again.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy approximately 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until combined after each addition. Transfer half of the batter to a medium bowl and set aside.
Spoon one-third of the remaining batter into 1 prepared pan. Spread ¼ cup Strawberry Sauce onto batter. Repeat layers once and top with remaining one-third batter. Using a wooden skewer, gently swirl batter. Repeat procedure with remaining batter and remaining Strawberry Sauce. Tap pans on counter to get rid of any air bubbles
Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Serve with strawberry preserves, if desired.
In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse strawberries until smooth, about 1 minute.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch until smooth.
In a medium saucepan, stir together puréed strawberries and sugar over medium-high heat. Whisk in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute.