1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 cups castor sugar (superfine cane sugar)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup rosewater
1 teaspoon lemon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons rosewater
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
12 fresh strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup mango juice
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 6 mini loaf pans
• Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 6 mini loaf pans and place them on one large or two small rimmed baking sheets.
• To make the pound cake, in a large bowl cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until smooth and pale in color, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and rosewater. The mixture may look slightly curdled, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Stir in the lemon oil.
• Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix the flour mixture into the batter in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk: flour mix, buttermilk, flour mix, buttermilk, flour mix! Mix until completely smooth.
• Divide the batter evenly among the six pans. Transfer the baking sheet(s) to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove the cakes from the loaf pans and set them on a cooling rack.
• To make the glaze, whisk together the butter, sugar, rosewater, vanilla, and orange juice. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cakes. Let set before serving.
• To make the strawberry topping, bring the strawberries and mango juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries begin to soften and meld into the juice, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thickened. Let cool slightly.
• Slice the cakes and serve them with the topping. Spoon the strawberry topping over the cake slices.
• Cook’s Note: You can get four servings from 1 mini loaf, and the strawberry topping makes enough for 1 loaf. Serve the loaves as desired and share and give any extras as gifts during the holidays! Wrap them in plastic wrap and store them for up to 4 days at room temperature.