Basic Pound Cake

  • Serves: Makes one 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 325
  • Views: 13416
  • Comments: 27

Variations: Chocolate Pound Cake; Fresh Ginger Pound Cake; Ginger Honey Pound Cake; Honey Spice Pound Cake; Lemon or Lime Pound Cake; Orange Pound Cake; Toasted Pound Cake with Grapefruit and Vanilla Curd; Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

 A Pound Cake is such a basic cake. This one does not contain cream cheese as does my Cream Cheese Pound Cake, making it not as rich, a bit lighter (although it is still a dense cake), and more like traditional Pound Cake. The cake is so versatile, and can be adorned with fruit compotes, chocolate sauce or left plain. I love use this recipe with my Toasted Pound Cake with Grapefruit and Vanilla Curd Dessert.
CAKE RECIPE HELP


INGREDIENTS
2 cups cake flour; spoon into the dry measuring cup and level to rim
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground mace or nutmeg

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1/4 cup whole or 2% milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat it 325 degrees F.
Generously grease a 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pan and place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and grease again.



In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and mace or nutmeg. Set aside.
Note: Alternatively, to combine them, sift these measured ingredients into the bowl.


2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat the butter until softened.


With the mixer running, add the sugar at the side of the bowl. 


Beat the mixture until light and fluffy on medium speed for about 2 minutes
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3. On medium speed, beat in 3 of the eggs, one at a time until well combined.


4. Combine the remaining egg with milk and the vanilla and lemon extracts, and beat together lightly.





5. With the mixer on low, beat a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat in half of the milk mixture, then a third of the flour mixture again, followed by the remainder of the milk mixture, and ending with the last third of the flour mixture until everything is incorporated -- beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
SARAH SAYS: It's best to add the flour and liquid ingredients in increments quickly; do NOT wait in between additions too long as you don't want to overmix the batter.

At the end, let the mixer run for 30 seconds on LOW.








6. Stop the mixer.
With a large rubber spatula, give the batter ONE or TWO quick folds to incorporate any stray flour or milk left at the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then, STOP!


7. Fill the prepared pan about 2/3rds full and smooth the top. 


8. Bake for about 1 hour, or until it is well risen and colored, cracked in the surface and a thin knife or toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake emerges with a few moist crumbs but not batter.

Cool pan for 10 to 15 minutes on a wire cake rack.


9. To unmold, remove paper, set upright to cool completely which takes an hour or two.
SARAH SAYS: Pound cakes always seem to taste better the next day!

STORAGE
Pound cakes keep well for a few days, well-wrapped at room temperature. They also freeze well for a month or more.

VARIATIONS
Chocolate Pound Cake:

Instead of 2 cups cake flour, use 1 1/2 cups cake flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process (Or Hershey's Brand Special Dark) or Natural cocoa powder; See COCOA POWDER NOTE*
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder; See COCOA POWDER NOTE*
3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1/4 cup whole or 2% milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

*COCOA POWDER NOTE
If you use 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch-process, use 1/4 teaspoon baking soda instead of 1 teaspoon baking powder.
If you use Hershey's Special Dark, combine it with 1 teaspoon baking powder and NO baking soda.

Fresh Ginger Pound Cake: Substitute 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger for the spices in the Honey Spice Pound Cake, above. Prepare the recipe with honey (Honey Spice Pound Cake Recipe) or sugar (Pound Cake Recipe).
How to Ginger - Grate

Ginger Honey Pound Cake: Substitute 1 teaspoons ground ginger and 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped, for the spices in the Honey Spice Pound Cake, above. Prepare the recipe with honey (Honey Spice Pound Cake Recipe).

Honey Spice Pound Cake: Decrease sugar to 3/4 cup and add in 1/4 cup honey - any flavor. Beat the butter and sugar together, and then beat in the honey. Omit lemon extract. Stir in 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves into the flour mixture,

Lemon or Lime Pound Cake: Omit mace. Add the  2 teaspoons lemon or lime peel or 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime oil to the butter and egg mixture and increase the lemon extract to 1 teaspoon.

Orange Pound Cake: Omit mace. Add the finely grated peel of a medium orange (about 1 tablespoon or 1/2 teaspoon orange oil) to the butter and egg mixture and substitute orange extract for the lemon extract.
How to Citrus - Peel or Zesting Techniques


Vanilla Bean Pound Cake: Omit mace and reduce vanilla extract to one teaspoon. Split and scrape out the seeds of one large vanilla bean. Add seeds to the egg mixture.
How to Vanilla Bean - Extract Seeds Technique

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