Lemon Pound Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

April 29, 2013

This past Sunday I took the kids to the farmers market for the first time in months. This being California the farmers markets are open year round, but the baby growing in my belly has left me exhausted. It takes quite a bit of energy  to navigate the farmers market with two small children, so it’s been a while. But now that spring is fully here I couldn’t resist going (I didn’t want to miss the oh so short and wonderful asparagus season) so I mustered all my energy, put the wagon in the car and off we went. The kids adore the farmers market as much as I do so it is always a treat to go. I love watching them sitting in their wagon munching on cucumbers and strawberries while I stock up on fruits and veggies for the week. The strawberries were so delicious that I bought a whole flat, I just couldn’t help myself. We shared some of the flat with my mom but that still left us with quite a lot of strawberries to eat and use. Which gave me the perfect excuse to get into the kitchen and start tinkering.

Strawberry and rhubarb are the natural spring paring. I absolutely adore rhubarb so I decided to make a strawberry rhubarb compote out of my bounty of strawberries. I love rhubarb sauce where the rhubarb is soft enough to fall apart but for this I wanted to match the rhubarb with the freshness of the berries. The rhubarb is cooked until just tender and then the fresh strawberries are mixed in. The end result yields a good balance of flavors but maintains the freshness of the strawberries because they are never cooked.

I needed something to serve the compote with and decided that a pound cake would be the perfect vehicle. I was planning on making a plain pound cake since the strawberry rhubarb compote had such great flavor but as I was making the cake my two year old (who was helping me bake) kept picking up a lemon from the fruit bowl and saying “we need dis, ema”. After putting him off a few times I decided to heed his advice and the pound cake became a lemon pound cake. It turns out he was right. The lemony pound cake deliciously compliments the strawberry rhubarb compote, making for the perfect spring dessert.

Cake recipe inspired by Alice Medrich’s Olive Oil Bundt Cake.

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Ingredients & Quantities

For Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (7.5 oz) sugar
  • ½ cup (4 oz) refined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) coconut or almond milk

For Compote

  • 1 pound fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup (7.5 oz) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) water
  • 2 cups (11 oz) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

Preparation Instructions

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with a parchment paper sling, leaving a two inch overhang of parchment on each side.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place the sugar and coconut oil in the bowl of an electric mixer and using the whisk attachment beat until combined. Beat in the egg whites then the eggs, one at a time. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and beat until combined.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add ½ of the coconut milk and mix to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and coconut milk, ending with the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle comes out with moist crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely on a rack before slicing.


To make the compote:

Bring the lemon zest, sugar and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rhubarb. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook for two minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let the mixture cool until just warm.

Combine 3/4 cup of the syrup with the strawberries and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to let the flavors blend. (The remaining syrup can be stored in the refrigerator and used to make la beautifully pink rhubarb lemonade)


Recipe Times


15 Minutes


1 Hour


1 Hour 15 Minutes

Recipe Yield

8 servings

Recipe Categories


  1. I need dis ema! One of my favorite favorite favorite things to eat: nothing like gobbling down fresh, local, spring strawberries, keeping enough to cook with new spring rhubarb and lemon pound cake! Oi! Wish I lived next door so I could run over and have some.

    • I avoided making a parve pound cake for a long time because, frankly, most pound cakes made with margarine are pretty yuck. But once I tried Alice Medrich’s recipe for an olive oil pound cake I knew that parve pound cakes are possible and delicious if using the right oils so I started experimenting. The key is to not over bake them or they come out dry and hard to swallow.

  2. Despite winter deciding to hang around (60 today and snow predicted for tomorrow!) we are also getting in some gorgeous strawberries. I’ll often use a bunch making a simple strawberry pie but this compote sounds great and I’ve got rhubarb in the freezer…yeah!

    • I have to admit it is hard for me to imagine the possibility of snow right now, but a fresh strawberry pie sounds like a great way to welcome spring no matter the weather! The next flat of strawberries is going into a pie for sure!

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