pound cake with roasted strawberry fennel compote

A dense, moist, tender crumbed pound cake is dolloped with the perfect spring compote: ripe, juicy strawberries roasted with fennel and vanilla, and brightened with lemon. 

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


pound cake

  • 1 cup (16 tbsp) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto
  • 1 tsp almond extract

strawberry fennel compote

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, halved, cored and diced
  • 1/2 vanilla bean—split, seeds scraped and bean reserved
  • Salt
  • 1 pound small strawberries, diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • a few drops of almond extract


almond pound cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Optional, but always helpful, is to make a parchment paper sling for peace of mind that the cake will come out of the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until very light. This is a crucial stage for beating air into the butter and ensuring a light, fluffy cake.
  3. Beat in the sugar gradually and then the eggs, one by one. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk, Amaretto, and extract.
  5. Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Stir to combine after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  6. Bake the cake for 60 to 65 minutes, until it springs back when pressed lightly in on top, and a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with foil for the final 15 minutes of baking.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, and loosen its edges. Wait 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

strawberry fennel compote

  1. In a 9-by-13-inch nonreactive baking dish, combine the fennel, vanilla bean, a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Loosely with foil and roast until the fennel is tender, 30 minutes. Stir halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, vanilla seeds and a pinch of salt and let stand until juicy, 30 minutes.
  3. Add the strawberries and their juices to the fennel and roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to prevent the sides from burning. The compote is done once it has cooked down to a syrupy consistency, and will thicken further once cool.
  4. Discard the vanilla bean and transfer the compote to a bowl. Slice the cake and set a slice on each plate. Top with the compote, fresh whipped cream and serve.

whipped cream

  1. Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Place the sugar into the mixing bowl, then add the whipping cream and a few drops of almond extract. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks.


  • Store cake, wrapped in plastic, for a day or two before serving. Wrap well and freeze for longer storage.
  • Store compote for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Use cold or gently reheat in the microwave for a warm topping.
  • Store any unused whipped cream in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.

compote recipe adapted from pastry chef Bill Corbett via Food & Wine | pound cake recipe from King Arthur

Keywords: pound cake, strawberry, fennel, compote, roasted strawberries, spring cake recipe, spring dessert, roasted fennel, amaretto, almond extract, vanilla beans, whipped cream