Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream is an Italian twist on classic American shortcake. It's easy, elegant, crazy good and will make you look like a culinary genius!
This dessert is absolutely perfect for when we entertain. It’s perfect for any summer special occasion you’ve got coming up like a birthday party, graduation party, Father’s Day, Independence Day or any elegant, backyard soiree!
Best of all, you won’t need to turn the oven on for this show-stopping Italian twist on a classic American strawberry shortcake!
Strawberries hold a very special place in my heart. My father LOVES them and he loves to grow them. He’s going to be 91 years old this summer but you would never know it. I firmly believe that growing his fantastic garden every year is what keeps him young.
And shortcake. I swear he lives on strawberry shortcake the entire month of June. When we head up to Wisconsin to visit him this time of year, we take bags of strawberries home because he has such an abundance of them.
Except, my husband also loves strawberry shortcake but I don’t really like to bake. I can bake; I just don’t like to bake so I use purchased pound cake.
What is macerating?
Macerating sounds complicated but it’s like marinating--only for fruit. The fruit softens up in its own juices when combined with sugar or when helped along by a liquid such as the balsamic vinegar I used in this dish.
How to make Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream:
- Start by macerating the strawberries. You can macerate the strawberries for as little as 30 minutes at room temperature or they will keep in the refrigerator up to 12 hours.
- Add balsamic vinegar...
- ... And sugar and freshly ground black pepper. Freshly ground black pepper has the amazing ability to bring out the flavor of strawberries. You don’t need a lot--a quarter-teaspoon will do.
- Stir and refrigerate.
- Whip up the mascarpone cream while the berries are enjoying their nice little soak.
- Combine the mascarpone with powdered sugar and vanilla then whip the whipping cream until it’s fluffy and peaks easily form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture then place it in the refrigerator to keep it cold and whipped.
- Then grill the pound cake!
- Start with as clean of a grill as possible and preheat it to high. It doesn’t have to be perfectly new-ish clean, you just don’t want your pound cake tasting like the last hamburger you grilled.
- Lightly butter each side of the cake slices with softened unsalted butter then place on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet. This can be done ahead of time.
- Simply cover the baking sheet of prepared pound cake slices with plastic wrap. Lining the baking sheet with plastic wrap will help you remove the buttered slices from the baking sheet a little more easily.
- If you butter the slices as you’re placing them on the grill, you may want to have someone helping you because the grilling process goes quickly.
- Grill 1-2 minutes per side--just until they’re marked and heated through then transfer to an unlined baking sheet. If you place the hot, grilled slices back on the plastic wrap, the plastic wrap can melt onto your hot cake slices. (Voice of experience talking here.)
That’s it! I realize some readers may live in an apartment or condominium complex where grilling outdoors is not allowed. Or, if the weather is bad, you can also grill the pound cake on a stovetop grill pan making this dessert doable all year long!
Top with the balsamic macerated strawberries and mascarpone cream, garnish with fresh mint sprigs then sit back and enjoy the accolades of your guests.
For more easy dessert recipes, be sure to try my:
- Raspberry Ricotta Cake with Almonds
- How to Speed Bake an Apple Pie (Or Any Fruit Pie) Pie in Half the Time!
- Easy Raspberry Coffee Cake
- Spiced Red Wine Poached Pears with Vanilla Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- Chocolate Avocado Mousse
- Classic Creme Brulee for Two
- Summer Fruit Salad with Orange Vanilla Yogurt Dressing
Grilled Pound Cake with Balsamic Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries - (4 pints or 8 cups) trimmed and sliced thick
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ to ½ cup granulated sugar - as needed, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 container (8-ounce) Mascarpone cheese
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 boxes (10.75-ounce) pound cake - sliced ½-inch to 1-inch thick
- ½ stick unsalted butter - softened
- Mint sprigs - for garnish
- Combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar and black pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 12 hours refrigerated.
- Blend Mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl until combined and smooth. Set aside.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff and peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
- Preheat a grill to high. Coat each side of the pound cake slices with butter.
- Grill 1-2 minutes per side or until nicely marked.
- Serve the strawberries over the cake along with any accumulated juice. Top with a dollop of Mascarpone cream and garnish with mint sprigs.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
I totally understand, Carol. It's just Hubby and I so my blog is very light on desserts. We wait for family gatherings to make them. Your strawberry shortcake looks beautiful and your strawberries are perfection! I have some fantastic balsamic vinegar I've been saving to make something special -- this dessert would be perfect although I would bake a pound cake -- I love to bake. Of course, I don't have another job like you do -- I don't know when you find time to do what you do. I doubt if I'll find strawberries as gorgeous as yours but I'll try. Have a great weekend.
Michelle | The Last Food Blog says
This is such a lovely summery dessert. I love how quickly it comes together. And it looks delicious!
Thanks, Michelle! I made this for guests last night and they all raved. One of our guests had two helpings!