March 4th was National Pound Cake Day. What better cake to make for this week’s post than a delicious, satisfying pound cake? Pound cake seems an unusual name for a cake. Does the cake weigh a pound when it’s baked? Does one gain a pound after having eaten this cake? Actually, pound cake refers to the ingredients used in making it. Original recipes, dating back to the 1700′s in Britain, require a pound each of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. These ratios would have produced a lot of cake – enough for a few families and the cake would have been quite heavy and dense.
Modern day pound cakes are much lighter due to the addition of ingredients such as baking powder and also the ratios of the original ingredients. Pound cake is still considered quite a dense, toothsome cake. The crumb is moist yet tighter than most cakes. Pound cakes are wonderful on their own, but are even better with some berries and a dollop of whipped cream or slathered with Nutella. Pound cakes are sometimes flavored with vanilla or almond extract, or citrus zest. There are various additions today, that produce different versions of pound cake. Sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, and whipped cream all can be such additions.
In my recipe, below, I am making a cream cheese pound cake. The cream cheese will add a velvety, plush quality to the pound cake’s crumb. Though I haven’t used it in the recipe below, a light citrus flavor is welcome with such a rich, dense pound cake. I do, however use a little heavy cream toward the end of the batter preparation. Cream helps the batter come together and makes the cake creamier.
I am also going to use the traditional creaming technique, rather than the reverse creaming technique. I am doing so, because I want to embrace all techniques in this blog. Since pound cakes are conventionally made using the traditional creaming method, it’s what I am using today.
While this cake will be lovely with a cup of coffee, alone, I am pairing it with a blueberry sauce and some whipped cream. These two adornments will bring an easy elegance to this dessert, making it an ideal final course for a dinner party as well as a delicious after-school snack.
Pound CakeRecipe by: Leelabean (Yield: 1 9″x5″ loaf pan OR 1 8″x4″ loaf pan and about 5-6 regular-sized cupcakes) 1 3/4 c all-purpose flour 1 t baking powder 1/2 t baking soda 2 sticks, unsalted butter, room temperature 1 1/2 c sugar 4 large eggs, room temperature 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature zest of 1/2 orange zest of 1/2 lemon 1 t vanilla extract 1/2 t almond extract 1/2 t salt 2 T heavy cream
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment using the sling method – cut a long piece of parchment that is the width of your loaf pan (8″ or 9″) and place it in your loaf pan like a sling with the long sides hanging out of the pan. Spray the pan and parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set this aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy (for about 3-4 minutes).
Next, add in the cream cheese and beat for another minute. The batter will look creamier.
If you are using zest, add it now. Add the eggs, one at a time until they are well incorporated.
Dump half of your flour into the egg mixture and mix well, making sure not to over-mix. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times to ensure a homogenous batter. Add 2 T heavy cream and mix to combine and then add the remaining flour and carefully mix in. You may want to fold in the last bit of flour to prevent over-mixing.
Pour the batter into your loaf pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes (for 9″ pan) and 40-45 minutes (for 8″ pan). Let the cake cool in the pan, then unmold by loosening the short ends of the cake with a knife and then using the sling to pull the cake out of the pan. This cake will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for about 4 days.
Sweetly ♥ Yours,