SUNDAE SUNDAY: Strawberry shortcake-inspired sundae, with roasted strawberries, rhubarb swirl pound cake, and fior di latte gelato


Sweet, sweet strawberries seized a narrow, 52% vs. 48% victory in its match up of strawberry shortcake against blueberry cheesecake for this week’s sundae, marking the second consecutive loss for blueberry cheesecake (sorry, Mom).

Now, I’m proactively disclosing that I’m not sharing a traditional strawberry shortcake.   Even after explaining my deviations and their deliciousness, some of you will protest the components anyway (ahem, Mr. Hayesinthefog).  If a purist recipe is what you seek, check out Two Peas and their Pod or NYT Cooking.


My deviations, and why:

  • Pound cake, not shortcake.  Okay, I love biscuits and biscuit derivations as much as anyone (with only a dozen posts on Hayes in the Fog thus far, two have featured biscuits).  However, I more often had pound cake underneath my strawberries and whipped cream growing up than shortcakes, so I’m sticking with my family tradition here.  Also, the shelf life on pound cake is longer than shortcake, meaning you can enjoy this dessert over several days.

  • Roasted strawberries with balsamic vinegar. I’ve made strawberry balsamic ice cream before and liked the flavor combination, so I’m bringing it here for a fun twist on the traditional raw strawberry component.


Strawberry shortcake-inspired sundae, with roasted strawberries, rhubarb swirl pound cake, and fior di latte gelato

By: Kathleen Hayes; component attributions and yields are listed below


Baker’s notes: The gelato was the perfect frozen substitute for whipped cream, but I wouldn’t make it as-is to eat by itself.  It also takes a few minutes to soften up to scoop out of the freezer and doesn't scoop as nicely as the other ice creams I've posted on this site before.

As a reminder, my Sundae Sunday posts are more spontaneous creations with known and new recipes, so they aren’t as thoroughly tested as my other blog posts.

Fior di latte gelato

Adapted from The Culinary Institute of America; yield = 1 quart


  • 465g heavy cream (~2 cups)

  • 480g whole milk (~2 cups)

  • 150g white sugar

  • 21g honey (~1 tablespoon)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 pinches of kosher salt


  • Create an ice bath for your final mixture to cool down in a large mixing bowl.

  • In a medium saucepan, combine cream, milk, and salt.  Heat over medium or medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, then add sugar and honey.  Heat until it’s just at a soft boil and sugars have dissolved, then remove from heat.  

  • Pour your mixture through a chinoise or fine-meshed strainer into a container over an ice bath. Add vanilla extract to the strained base.

  • Stir periodically and let mixture cool down to room temperature.  Then let mixture chill for at least an hour and up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

  • Before you spin your ice cream: place a baking dish and spatula in the freezer (I use the smaller of these two dishes) so your finished ice cream will go into a chilled container and not melt.

  • Follow the instructions for your ice cream machine and spin your ice cream.  If your machine’s bowl isn’t your final storage container, transfer your finished ice cream from the machine to the chilled baking dish and let it set for a few hours.

Rhubarb swirl pound cake

Adapted from Alice Medrich via California Olive Ranch; yield = 1 loaf cake


Wet ingredients

  • 100g extra virgin olive oil

  • 100g (organic) sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry ingredients

  • 200g all purpose flour, sifted with the baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted with the flour

Inclusion (optional)

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons jam (I used the rhubarb vanilla jam featured in my biscuits post)


  • Preheat oven to 338 degrees F or nearest interval.  You may want to lower temperature slightly and/or keep a close eye during the bake if you know you have a convection oven.

  • Line your loaf pan with parchment paper and give it a quick spray of cooking spray.

  • Combine wet ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed for several minutes.

  • While that’s mixing, sift your flour and baking powder. I do this onto a piece of parchment paper, which I find easier to use to dump into the mixing bowl later.

  • Measure out your milk and set aside.

  • Add eggs one a time on low speed and mix until incorporated.

  • Alternating between ⅓ of the flour and ½ of the milk, add ⅓ flour-½ milk-⅓ flour-½ milk-⅓ flour in stages, moving to the next step once the previous ingredient is (mostly) mixed in.

  • Pour into your parchment-lined loaf pan.

  • Top the cake batter with your jam and use a spoon to gently swirl it around the top.

  • Bake for 60 - 65 minutes; a toothpick will come out clean and the top of the cake will bounce back when you press on it.

  • Let cool in pan for ~3 minutes and then finish cooling entirely on a cooling rack.

Roasted balsamic strawberries

From Epicurious; yield = a little over 1 pint


  • 2 pints fresh, ripened, and washed strawberries

  • 35g (organic) sugar

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional - I skipped this)


  • Remove the leaves, hull, and cut strawberries in half.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cut strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes. (I was crunched for time and put these babies straight in the oven.)

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  • Spread strawberries out in a 9" x 13" baking dish (a baking sheet pan works as well) and roast for 10-15 minutes.

  • Let cool in pan slightly, serve warm, and store leftovers in a sealable container in the refrigerator.

Special equipment across all components



Option 1: on a plate - inspired from the olive oil cake on the menu at Che Fico in SF

  • Drizzle strawberries and syrup over the base of a plate or low-rimmed, wide bowl to form an even layer of sauce.

  • Place a slice of pound cake on top of the sauce and strawberries. (Optional: toast up your pound cake in a bit of butter first.)

  • Add a scoop of fior di latte gelato on top of the cake.

  • Optional: sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper or lavender sugar.

  • Optional: top with whipped cream.

Option 2: in a sundae dish

  • Alternate layers of cubed pound cake, strawberries+sauce, and gelato until your dish is filled.

  • Top with lavender salt or black pepper.


  • I toyed with many different potential ice cream/gelato flavors here: vanilla, ginger, lemon poppy seed, black pepper, and rhubarb, to name a few.

  • Leave out the black pepper garnish.

  • Swap out the pound cake for a more traditional shortcake.

  • Don’t feel like making ice cream? Whip up some mascarpone whipped cream instead!


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