Peek-a-Boo Pound Cake

This easy vanilla loaf cake has a sweet surprise: A strawberry-flavored, heart-shaped center! Learn how to make this simple pound cake in a few easy steps below.

  • Author: Claire of The Simple, Sweet Life
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American



For the strawberry pound cake:

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp strawberry emulsion
  • 4-5 drops red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

For the vanilla pound cake:

  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

For the icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Strawberries, for garnishing


  1. In a bowl, cream the butter for the strawberry pound cake until smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs (both whole and yolks), 4-5 drops of red food coloring and strawberry emulsion.
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the eggs into the batter.
  5. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Return the mixer to low and add the flour 1/3 cup at a time.
  7. Once all of the flour is added, increase the speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined 9"x9" pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.
  9. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
  10. While the strawberry is still warm but cool enough to handle, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to punch out pieces of cake.
  11. In the bowl of a stand mixer, repeat steps 1-7 with the ingredients for the vanilla pound cake.
  12. Pour 1/2" of vanilla pound cake batter into the bottom of a parchment paper-lined loaf pan.
  13. Place the strawberry pound cake hearts in a line on top of the batter leaving about 1/2" of space on each end.
  14. Gently pour the remaining pound cake batter over the top of the hearts.
  15. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top of the cake.
  16. Bake at 350F for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  17. In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the icing.
  18. Microwave the icing for 15-20 seconds and allow to cool for approximately 1 minute.
  19. Stir the icing and pour over the top of the pound cake. Garnish with fresh cut strawberries.


  • What to do with the leftover strawberry pound cake: If you're looking for ways to use up all that leftover strawberry pound cake, it's great in homemade ice cream or for making cake pops. If you're not using it immediately, simply drop it in a ziploc bag and freezer it for later.
  • Testing for doneness: To keep this cake from being dry, it's important to not over-bake it. To test your cake for doneness, simply insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean when the cake is done.
  • Why we cook the glaze: If you're wondering why we cook the glaze, here’s why: cooking the glaze causes a chemical reaction that results in a glaze that hardens quickly and becomes a shell (rather than a soft glaze). It’s perfect for locking in moisture and keeping the icing from running down the side of the cake indefinitely.
  • Storage: You can store your pound cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. It can also be wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in an airtight bag and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Recipe adapted from Sugar Spun Run


Keywords: valentine cake, loaf cake, pound cake recipe