Good news: this cake doesn't require the burdensome task of pulling out the mixer! All you need is two bowls, a whisk, ingredients you most likely already have, and an hour and a half.
Pound cake is one of my favorite types of dessert because of its versatility. You can pair it with a variety of fruit, drizzle a glaze over it, or just eat it with whipped cream and it pretty much always tastes divine. But this recipe is unique because I've swapped out the typical butter base for an olive oil one. This allows for a crumb that's very moist, tender, and rich, and also avoids the dreaded denseness associated with store-bought pound cakes. I promise it doesn't taste like olives.
And while it might seem strange, balsamic vinegar actually pairs incredibly well with tart fruit like strawberries.
Olive Oil Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries
Yield: 8 servings
- Butter: For greasing pan
- Lemons: 2
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Buttermilk: 1/2 cup
- Eggs (Large): 3
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 2/3 cup
- Flour: 1 3/4 cups
- Baking Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Baking Soda: 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
- Butter: 1 tablespoon
- Balsamic Vinegar: 1 tablespoon
- Light Brown Sugar: 1 tablespoon
- Black Pepper: 1/8 teaspoon
- Lemon Zest: 2 teaspoons
- Fresh Strawberries (Chopped): 1 1/2 cups
A Few Notes:
- Want to skip the strawberries? Sub them out for a dollop of whipped cream.
- Make sure to rub your zest into the sugar - it takes 10 seconds and will make your cake approximately 3 times more flavorful (this is a very accurate, scientific estimate).
- Don't be afraid of the black pepper in the strawberries. It won't make your cake taste like casserole, but it will accentuate the tartness of the strawberries.
- Try not to open the oven door to check on your cake ten times (like I'm always tempted to do). Leaving the door shut until the final doneness check will help make sure it bakes evenly.
Pairs Well With:
The How To (Pound Cake):
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x5 loaf pan and line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
Zest both lemons, reserve two teaspoons of the zest for later. In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips until evenly distributed and fragrant.
Juice one of the lemons (you should have about 1/4 cup of juice). Pour the juice into the bowl with the lemon-zested sugar along with the buttermilk. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and olive oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake cake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then run a knife around cake edges and turn out of pan to cool completely.
The How To (Balsamic Strawberries):
Start making your balsamic strawberries while the cake is baking. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and cook for 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Stir in strawberries, reserved lemon zest, and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until strawberries are softened (about 3 minutes).
Pour the balsamic strawberry mixture evenly over the cooled pound cake, or spoon directly onto cut slices (my preference).