Food You Can Eat: Pound Cake

Both a blah dessert and a terrible Van Halen song.

The fresh blueberries made it palatable. But what it really needs is about a pound of chocolate.

First things first:  Pound cake is not my first choice for a dessert.  There’s no chocolate in it.  No peanut butter.  There isn’t even any frosting.  Why would I eat this?  But, it’s on the list of things to make for the family cookbook so here we are.

A caveat before we get started:  Having never made pound cake before, in either a personal or professional capacity, I’m not sure how close to a “typical” recipe this is, but I can tell you that it’s denser than other pound cakes I’ve had in the past and a little eggier.

Here’s what you’ll need:

¾ Lb. Butter

2 ½ Cups Sugar

8 Eggs (if using extra large eggs, separate one of the whites and omit)

1 tsp. Vanilla

3 Cups Flour

¾ tsp. Baking Powder

Cream butter and sugar, adding sugar in a steady stream.  Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, and beat until fluffy. 

Trust me. This is fluffy.

Add flour and baking powder and beat for 20 minutes.

Remember to scrape down the bowl after the initial mixing to get everything incorporated.

Pour batter into two greased and floured loaf pans or a large tube pan.  I’ve made it clear how much Bundt cakes are bullshit and I stand by that statement.

Bake in a 300-degree oven for 1 – 1 ½ hours. 

I’m shocked that I didn’t actually have to bake this for three hours.

Serve with fresh fruit, or some kind of fruit or chocolate sauce, or frosting or, Christ, anything because pound cakes on their own are B-O-R-I-N-G.

Shockingly, the bake time here was just about right.  I mentioned my problem with baking times to Mrs. Butcher the other day and she suggested it might be the difference between baking with a gas oven (like my grandmother used) and an electric oven, like we have.  It’s an interesting theory, so if anyone out there has a gas oven I want you to first know that I envy you to the point of blind hatred, and it would be nice if you’d try some of these recipes and let me know if you have the same problem with baking times.

avataravataravataravataravataravataravataravataravatar
About butcherbakertoiletrymaker 568 Articles
When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

13 Comments

  1. Pound cake is better than no cake. I make it in the summer now and then, grill thick slices, and top with berries or peaches and whipped cream.

     

  2. Pound cake is dull, but fine if covered in berries or dipped in chocolate fondue. I certainly wouldn’t expend effort making it though.

     

    I’ve had both gas and electric ovens, and found no difference. I mean, individual ovens vary, but I haven’t found one type to be significantly better. I’m currently looking at switching my old gas oven out for electric with an induction cooktop. Gas cooking is bad for the planet and your health.

      • With ovens I’ve seen no difference, but stoves are definitely different. My first apartment had a gas stove, so I learned to cook on a gas stove, and I will say I’ve always found electric trickier. But I assume it’s at least in part because I’ve cooked with it way less.

        • Electric is definitely trickier because you don’t have the kind of control over the heat that you do with gas.  Plus, gas is pretty instant, whereas electric takes some time to ramp up.  So, it’s not just you.

          • In Anne Byrn’s American Cake, she talks about the appeal of pound cake being that it doesn’t need refrigeration and originally was very easy – lb of butter, lb of eggs, lb of flour, lb of sugar. They’ve been around since the 1700s and they also were considered a very impressive cake because of the fuckton of time manually creaming the butter and sugar.

             

            Obviously the invention of baking powder was a game changer for cakes in general, but this is a classic nonetheless!

            She also says older recipes call for more eggs because eggs used to be smaller, so maybe that’s why you felt it was very eggy?

            edited to add – sorry I didn’t mean to reply on this comment thread

Leave a Reply