quest for the true pound cake

pound cakes

A few weeks ago I made my first pound cake.  It was not a success.

I’d gone to one of my standby baking websites, which stated their version of pound cake had a lighter and better texture than those in the days of yore.  I was instantly reminded of the horrid fruit cakes that are such a cliche:  dense as bricks and nearly as tasty.  I figured this was along those same lines.  So I made the cake.

What I found is when it comes to pound cake, the texture really should be heavy.  The dogs liked it and, with the help of some frozen-strawberries-and-brandy sauce, I liked it enough.  But true pound cake it was not.

So today I’m trying again.  And again, I’m going online to find a real pound cake recipe — a pound of this and a pound of that, should be easy enough.

Googling “real pound cake” and “old fashioned” pound cake pulled up a few winners, notably ehow’s Real Southern Pound Cake.  Since this recipe emphasized the “pound” of each ingredient, I used it as a guideline.  But, my next challenge:  how many cups is a pound of flour?  More googling, more ehow’s, and I finally settled on 3 cups…

ingredients:

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-1/4 cups white sugar
  • 9 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract {optional, 1 teaspoon almond extract}
  • 1 teaspoon salt

directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and flour two loaf pans and set aside
  • Cream together sugar and butter in your mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, until fluffy.  Try to scrape down sides of bowl at least twice during this time
  • Set mixer to low speed and gently add eggs one at a time, waiting until each egg is incorporated before adding the next.  Batter might look a bit curdled, just keep going and again try to scrape down sides of bowl a couple of times during this step
  • After all eggs are blended in, add extract
  • Add flour one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low and scraping down only at the end
  • Give the batter one last mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then pour/spoon into loaf pans
  • Bake for 1 hour until tops are golden brown and loaf has a crack down the center.  Crack should remain moist but top should spring back to touch
  • Cool on rack for 10 minutes then remove from pans and set on rack with tea towel covering to cool completely before serving

pound cakes

Yum!

I used salted butter and omitted the salt, so I can’t vouch for whether a teaspoon is too much or just enough.

Added note:  if you bake two different shaped pans like I did, keep tabs on each of them independently.  The brownie type pan was done sooner.

I also feel that 3 cups of flour made the cake a bit too dry… perhaps 2-3/4 cups will do next time.

Enjoy!

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