Jalapeno, Ginger, & Lime Strawberry Shortcake

I decided to bring something to a Cinco de Mayo party yesterday, and in perusing recipes found one for Dos Leches strawberry cake that I decided to adapt so I could use some jalapeno, ginger, and lime simple syrup that I just inherited from a friend who’s moving out of town.  Honestly, the result didn’t actually turn out quite like I’d hoped – it turns out that pound cake and whipped cream neutralized the spice almost entirely – but these little shortcake bites were beautiful and well-received nonetheless.

Although I used pre-made simple syrup, it’s not hard at all to make yourself.  Here’s a recipe for ginger habanero simple syrup that you could easily add lime to in order to replicate what I made.  I also used store bought pound cake, but it would probably be even better if you made it with a recipe like this one, for example.  Lastly, and most sadly, the grocery store didn’t have any fresh strawberries, so I had to use frozen.  If you have fresh strawberries available to you, definitely use those!

The original recipe called for a sandwich-style arrangement with pound cake, filling, pound cake, and more filling on top.  I made one like that, and while it was pretty, it looked like it would be really difficult and messy to eat:

Shortcake 1

Since I was taking these to a party, I ended up doing them open-faced for a bit more ease of snacking.  This is probably the last time I’ll use this many pre-made ingredients in one recipe, but I admit it was nice to assemble a dessert to take somewhere in less time than making everything would have taken.

Prep and cook time:  45 minutes

Yield: about 40 open-face mini strawberry shortcakes


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • Zest of 4 limes
  • 2 frozen, prepared pound cakes
  • 6 tablespoons jalapeno, ginger, & lime simple syrup
  • 2 pounds strawberries, 8 sliced and reserved for garnish, remaining cut into small dice


  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the zest of the limes into a food processor, then pulse until finely chopped.  Set aside half to put into the whipped cream and half for garnish.
  • Rough chop the strawberries into chunks.  Again, using fresh would have been way better than these frozen pretenders.

Shortcake 2

  • Whip the cream in a bowl using a Kitchenaid mixer (you can also do this with a whisk or hand mixer, it will just take longer).  Just before soft peaks are formed, add the confectioners’ sugar, lime zest, and 3 tbsp of simple syrup.  Whip to soft peaks.

Shortcake 3

  • Remove the pound cakes from the freezer and cut each in half, separating the top from the bottom of the cake, with a serrated knife.  Cut rounds out of each block of cake using a 3-inch cutter (or, if you’re me and you only have a heart-shaped cookie cutter on hand, use that).  Then cut each round in half horizontally so you have two rounds/hearts from each cut-out.
  • For building the cakes:  Set a round of pound cake down, pour over some simple syrup, spoon on a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle with lime zest, and layer on some diced strawberries.  Repeat for the remaining cakes.  Enjoy!

Shortcake 4

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