The Lexingtonienne



I love May. Not only is it my birthday and Mother’s Day and our anniversary (poor Hubba Bubba – May is a tall order for him), but it’s also the peak season for two of my favorite things. Peonies…


… and strawberries. Double YAY!

more strawberries

I love strawberries plain, all by themselves.


I also love them other ways.



Such as dipped in chocolate.





Or swirled into a milkshake.




But not with spinach in a salad. No thank you.



When we had our friends Jenny & Shane and their super cute almost-4-year-old, Quinn, over for dinner last weekend, I baked a pound cake as a vehicle for two pints of sweet, juicy, gushy strawberries. It was my first time making pound cake — and no offense to Sara Lee, but homemade pound cake is the deal.


By the way, this is NOT “strawberry shortcake.” A true shortcake is crumbly and biscuit-like (and delicious). Being the bossy, oldest-child type who gets hung up on semantics and correctness, I just can’t call this dessert “strawberry shortcake,” even though a lot of lesser-informed people might.


Eleanora loved it and gobbled down a whole plate of it.


They say you are what you eat, and I guess Eleanora was awfully sweet after eating all that pound cake. Because our little friend Quinn kissed her.


And kissed her.


And kissed her.


I basically witnessed my daughter’s very first make-out session. And after being a mom for just 17 months, I learned why parents don’t let their daughters date older guys.

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

  • 2 C sifted cake flour (sift the flour, THEN measure out 2 Cups)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Have all ingredients at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.

Take your sifted flour and then sift it again – twice. (So to summarize everything – first you sift some cake flour, then you measure out 2 Cups. Then you sift that flour again, twice.)

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. This will take less than a minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and salt. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, beat on high speed for about 4 minutes or until the color and texture are both lightened.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Very gradually (about 1 tablespoon at a time) but constantly, beat the egg mixture into the butter mixture, until it’s light and fluffy. This will take about 4 minutes.

Beating on low speed, add the flour in 3 parts. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed and make sure the mixture is smooth.

Pour the batter into the greased, floured pan and smooth out on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Joy of Cooking said this would take 60-70 minutes. Mine took about 30 minutes longer than that. So just keep an eye on it, as everyone’s oven is different.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes. Carefully slide a knife around the edges to loosen the cake from the pan, invert the pan to remove the cake, and cool it right-side-up on a rack.

Once cooled, slice the cake and serve with fresh, sliced strawberries and whipped cream. (I sliced my strawberries ahead of time, sprinkled them with sugar, then let them “marinate” for a while in the fridge. That’s how they get a little syrupy. Yum.)



  • Comment by Hubba — May 17, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    Clearly Quinn and I need to have a little chat.

  • Comment by Maggie — May 17, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    Clearly, Mike…..

  • Comment by Laina — May 17, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    She’s going to hate you for that in about 15 years 😛

  • Comment by lori — May 18, 2012 @ 3:52 am

    Nip it!
    On a better note, I bought 3 gallons of strawberries in South Carolina last month. I froze two of them! So…this gives me something great to do with them!

  • Comment by Beth — May 18, 2012 @ 6:36 am

    Eleanora’s hair is getting so light! She’s adorable. I miss you guys.

  • Comment by Kelly Bradley — May 31, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    Wow! Quinn is quite the smoocher….I think he was determined to kiss her until she took her fingers out of her mouth!
    Peonies are one of my favorite things too, Hannah. I anxiously await for those little red stalks to emerge from the ground in spring, worry about them through the late frosts, plan but never get around to placing supports around them, thrill over those big round buds, and finally…celebrate the May blooms! Every vase, bowl, julep cup, and mason jar get filled over the next two weeks. Then sadly, they fade away all too soon. I thought maybe you California girls got a longer season?
    The strawberry pound cake looks as delicious as all your creations! I think it’s a good reason for me to finally buy a real stand mixer, don’t you?

  • Comment by Hannilou — June 2, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    Kelly, the season is pretty short here too! It feels like we can only find them for a couple of weeks. The fun thing is, though, peonies were my wedding flowers, so when they do come around, it’s always such a nice reminder of our wedding. 🙂

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