Pound cake is a classic. Topped with fruit, chocolate, or cream it can make a simple yet satisfying dessert. It can accompany a cup of tea as an afternoon snack or even work as a breakfast on the go. Done right it isn’t overly sweet.
This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen has been repeatedly tested to get it right. There are flavored versions that add lemon, orange, ginger, or even chocolate but my favorite is the version made with the fewest ingredients. Butter, sugar, and milk combined with flour is all it takes. Because there are so few ingredients, make sure the ones you use are of the best quality you can find. Here in Europe butter has a higher fat content than butter in the United States resulting in a rich cake. If you are stateside try to find a European butter (President is a brand sold in some U.S. markets). The results will be worth it.
CLASSIC POUND CAKE
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and hot
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Process the sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a food processor until combined, about 10 seconds.
- With the machine running, pour the melted butter through the feed tube in a steady stream. The process should take about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and whisk in. Repeat twice more with the remaining flour mixture and continue to whisk the batter gently until most lumps are gone (do not over mix).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs attached.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then flip it onto a wire rack. Turn the cake right side up and let cool to room temperature, about 3 hours.