Hey guys! I’ve got a twist on the classic pound cake for you today, and it’s got all the flavs of your childhood ice cream parties. This is a simple pound cake recipe with chocolate mixed into part, and powdered freeze-dried strawberries mixed into another part.

Pound cake has always been a tough one at high-altitude. With such a long bake time, it’s easy for the top to get a little too brown, so don’t be afraid to cover it gently with foil if it starts getting too brown- that’s okay! This is a pretty simple cake, so let’s get to it!

How to Make Neapolitan Pound Cake

We’re starting by making the basic pound cake batter. First, prep your loaf pan. I like to generously spray it with baking spray, and then sprinkle all the inside surfaces with a bit of coarse sugar. This helps create a sugary, thick crust that I think is perfect for pound cake.

We’re using a typical mixing method, so you want to start by stirring together your dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, and salt- and setting those aside. Then, in a large bowl, we’re beating together the butter and sugar until fluffy, and then adding the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time, along with the milk. Finally, beat in the dry mixture until just combined.

Divide the batter into three fairly equal bowls. In one, stir in 1/4 cup of powdered freeze dried strawberries, and a couple drops of red food coloring if desired. In another, stir in a paste made from cocoa powder and boiling water. It’ll all look something like this:

Then, we’re dolloping around each flavor throughout the cake pan until all the batter has been added, and looks like this:

And finally, give it a big swirl with a butter knife, and sprinkle the top with more coarse sugar. Off to the oven for a bake!

Tips & Troubleshooting Your Pound Cake

Pound cake can be a bit tricky, so here’s some important and helpful tips and frequently asked questions!

  • Where can I get the freeze dried powdered strawberries? So I actually buy whole freeze dried strawberries and then blend them into a powder in a spice grinder or a small food processor. I find them in the snack section of my grocery store!
  • My cake is taking forever to bake! This is a common high-altitude issue, but not to worry! If your cake takes a bit longer than expected, or if the top starts to brown too much, tent it with foil and finish baking until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • This batter is really thick That’s common for pound cake recipes. So you’ll want two spoons to dollop in the batter as you layer it into the pan!
  • Don’t over-mix! I know this is a common thing for cakes, but with this one since we are mixing in other add-ins to the batter, you want to beat together the base batter until it is just combined, and no further.
  • I don’t have coarse sugar. That’s okay- you can switch to just regular granulated sugar here as well!

Hope you guys enjoy this recipe, it’s such a great combo of flavors!

Neapolitan Pound Cake

Servings 10 slices


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried strawberry powder
  • 3 tbs. dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs. boiling water
  • 1/4 cup coarse sugar


  1. Generous grease a loaf pan, and sprinkle all the inside edges with a little over half of the coarse sugar. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, and the eggs one at a time, along with the milk. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until combined, taking care to not over-mix.

  3. Divide the batter evenly into three bowls. Stir in the freeze dried strawberry powder* into one bowl of batter. Stir together the cocoa powder and boiling water until it forms a paste, and stir that into a second bowl of batter. Leave the third batter plain/vanilla.

  4. Dollop each of the three flavors of batter to your prepared pan, layering in alternating dollops. Then, use a butter knife to gently swirl the batter, being sure to reach all the way to the bottom of your pan. Generously sprinkle the remaining coarse sugar over the top.

  5. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. If the top of your loaf starts to get too brown, tent with foil and finish baking. Cool completely before slicing and serving!

Recipe Notes

*Make your freeze dried strawberry powder by blended freeze dried strawberries in a spice grinder or small food processor until they become a fine powder. Measure after blending. 

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