This is such an excitement to be writing about such classic traditional cakes. Pound cakes were the kind of cakes that were baked two to three generations older, In the Western households, every one definitely have a go to pound cake recipe that their mothers and grandmothers or great grandmothers have left them !!
For me coming from India, and loving to bake, it gives me immense pleasure to be going back in time to try out the traditional old fashioned pound cake. And how just basic ingredients gives a world of flavour.
The Pound Cake
Why is it called the pound cake.. Simple … All its ingredients were measured by the pound. These cakes date bake to the 16th and 17 century. And were a welcome shift from yeast based cakes like stollen & panettone. The original and traditional pound cake just had butter, flour, sugar and eggs no leavening agent. 1 pound of flour, sugar and butter.
Today the recipe has been tweaked in to suit tastes, leavening agents have been added to lighten up the cake. Flavours such as chocolate, lime zest, spices have been added. But the classic still remains traditional and nothing beats that.
Before getting into ingredients and the batter,
A quick run through the tools and equipment required
- a kitchen scale
- an electric mixer or a stand mixer is what I strongly recommend, as it involves a lot of beating and with hand whisk it will take a lot of effort.
- a spatula
- bundt pan or loaf pans or tube pans.
THE POUND CAKE BATTER
Generally a cake is categorised on the basis of ingredients and the mixing method. The Pound cake is the parent of all butter cakes and uses the creaming method. A perfect well baked pound cake is sweet, buttery, fine crumb, topped with the golden outer crumb. It cannot get divine than this. Read on, to bake this simple classic flavourful bake 🙂
The taste of the pound cake depends completely on the quality of the butter.
- BUTTER – Room temperature unsalted butter. Get your hands on the best quality of butter at your disposal.
- FLOUR – nothing but all purpose flour or equal parts of all purpose flour and cake flour. Regular all purpose flour is absolutely good.
- SUGAR – fine granulated sugar.
- EGGS – Room temperature large eggs, either lightly beaten. or adding one by one into the batter does the trick
- VANILLA – vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract. I have used both in this recipe
But with time and to suit convenience, the recipe has been tweaked using lesser amount of the ingredients.
MIXING THE BATTER
- The butter and sugar are creamed until it is smooth and fluffy. and then the dry ingredients are sifted into the creamed mixture.
- Eggs, vanilla are next added and then the flour. Once the flour is added, it needs to be lightly mixed. The milk goes in the last
This cake is moist and flavourful because of the butter used. This recipe here, I have added a little milk to give a little extra moistness and an extra flavour.
Heres the recipe. Read The Tips that follow
CLASSIC POUND CAKE
- 250 grams unsalted butter room temperature
- 200 grams granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1.5 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 300 grams all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 100 ml whole full fat milk
- Preheat the oven at 190ºc, Grease a 9” or 10” bundt or an equivalent tube pan or a 9×5 loaf pan
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour baking powder and salt. Keep aside
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with an electric mixer. Beat butter until soft and creamy, for about 2 mins on medium speed. Then add the granulated sugar, continue creaming until the batter is smooth. Now at this stage, you beat until sugar is dissolved. But if there are granules of sugar it is fine. It will dissolve completely as we add the eggs.
- now add the eggs one after the other. mixing well at each addition on low speed. Add vanilla extract.
- Using a spatula fold in the flour. This helps in getting to the bottom of the bowl and makes sure that the batter is not over mixed and no flour is left off
- Add milk in the last and give one final mix with the beater or the mixer on low speed.
- Pour the batter in the prepared tin. Bake for 60 to 75mins. Mine took about 60 mins
- Remove from the oven, let it sit in the pan for 10 mins. Before tranfering to the wire rack. Any longer in the pan, will make the crumbs stick on to the pan
BAKING THE PERFECT POUND CAKE
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO BAKE A PERFECT POUND CAKE
Use good quality ingredients
– and use ONLY BUTTER, no substitute for butter here, especially in a pound cake. No margarine, low fat spreadables or shortenings. Flour – All purpose flour good quality. bleached flour is best. Eggs – do not use freshly laid eggs. One week old eggs should do good. Sugar – fine granulated one.
Room Temperature Ingredients –
-every ingredient should be at room temperature. This ensures that the batter whips up well and holds up the air that is incorporated. which means not colder than 19º c or warmer than 24ºc – this helps in uniform mixing and resulting in a well creamed batter
Weigh your ingredients
weighing the ingredients give accurate results than measuring by volume. I weigh the ingredients.
Best pans for pound cakes are tube pans, bundt pans and loaf pans. However every pan has its own baking times, and each pan will hold a different measure of batter.
Grease your pans well, in every nook and corner. I suggest using a baking spray which is a mixture of flour, shortening. (gives an even spread of grease and no blobs of fat or flour is there) As a result, gives an even golden crumb.
Patience is the key, creaming while making pound cake, first beat the butter and sugar until creamy, pale and lightly fluffy It takes about 4 to 5 mins on medium speed . At this stage, even if the sugar is not dissolved its fine, because after this we add egg one by one and beat on low medium until its well corporated. Now the mixture needs to resemble a creamy consistency. Add the flour fold in using a spatula, being careful of not over mixing. You will then put the batter to mix
Bake until done. Do not be in a hurry to demould. Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 – 15mins before taking it out of the pan. Leaving it too long in the pan will make it the cake sticky, and the shiny crumb will stick to the pan.
Transfer to a cooling rack, letting it completely cool, before slicing.
STORAGE AND SHELF LIFE
- A baked pound cake can be stored in air tight container, in room temperature for 4 to 5 days.
- It can be refrigerated upto a week
- Frozen for about a month or more.
Thats a wrap with vanilla pound cake. now if you are not into a buttery treat, and want something different, here it is
I would love to hear back from you, Im just a comment away. So you know what to do.
See you all with loads of classic and simple bake recipes
Much Love and Good Day