Allergy-Friendly Strawberry Pound Cake

Everyone knows and loves strawberry shortcake. Our twist is to swap out the butter- and gluten-filled biscuits for delicious allergy-friendly pound cake.

The pound cake is sliced and lightly grilled before serving.

Ladle on the strawberry sauce – and it’s perfection. Just watch this shortcake alternative disappear.

Makes: One 8-inch loaf
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend, such as King Arthur GF multi-purpose
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if using a flour blend with xanthan)
  • 1/2 cup fine or medium grind yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal (see Recipe Tips)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance buttery sticks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hemp milk
  • Dairy-free, soy-free margarine for grilling pound cake
  • Allergen-safe whipped topping

Strawberry Sauce

(Makes 3 cups)

  • 1 10-oz bag of frozen strawberries, thawed (See Recipe Tips)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 16 oz (1 lb) fresh strawberries

Recipe Tips

If your family can eat unsalted butter, it can be used instead of dairy-free margarine.

If egg allergy is not an issue, use 3 eggs in place of flaxseed meal and lukewarm water.

For sauce, the consistency is best with thawed frozen strawberries, but you can also use halved fresh berries.

If using a KitchenAid or similar mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream margarine and sugar.

Whipped margarine and sugar cannot absorb much liquid without separating. Beginning with dry ingredients and alternating with liquid ingredients will produce a better pound cake.


  1. For pound cake, preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat 8 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with dairy-free margarine. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flaxseed meal and water. Set aside.
  4. Cream dairy-free, soy-free margarine and sugar using a hand-held mixer (See Recipe Tips). Start on low speed and increase to medium. Blend until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Vigorously whisk flaxseed mixture; it will be gelatinous. Using low speed, gradually blend flaxseed mixture and vanilla into creamed margarine. The mixture may curdle slightly.
  6. In 3 stages, alternate adding flour mixture and hemp milk into creamed mixture on low speed. Be careful not to overmix (See Recipe Tips). Spread batter level into prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake on oven’s middle rack until done, about 50 minutes. (A toothpick in the center should come out clean.) Cool in pan on rack about 15 minutes, then invert cake onto cooling rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. If preparing ahead of time, wrap and store in refrigerator.
  8. For strawberry sauce: Process thawed strawberries with maple syrup in a blender or small food processor. Set aside.
  9. Rinse, hull, and slice fresh strawberries. You should have about 2 1/2 cups’ worth. Fold into pureed strawberries. The sauce may be prepared ahead and stored in refrigerator.
  10. To assemble dessert, heat a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Remove pound cake from refrigerator and cut into 6 slices. Spread both sides lightly with dairy-free, soy-free margarine. Grill until lightly browned, approximately 2 minutes per side.
  11. Place a slice of pound cake on a plate. Ladle 1/2 cup of strawberry sauce over grilled pound cake. Top with your favorite whipped topping. Serve immediately.

and Joel Schaefer are the husband-and-wife culinary team behind Chef Joel is the former Special Dietary Manager at Walt Disney World who developed the food allergy program used across the Disney properties and cruise line.