Classic Pound cake is got to be one of the most recognized cakes in the world and has been in existence since the 1700s. It was the first “butter cake”. It got its name ‘pound’ cake because traditionally the recipe consisted of 1 pound of each ingredient – butter, sugar, flour and eggs. The pound cake is rich, moist, tender, buttery with a golden brown crust. All the right words I must say!
Over the years, chefs have come up with their own variations of the traditional recipe. The ‘Perfect Pound Cake’ by Rose Levy Beranbaum from her book ‘Cake Bible’ uses cake flour and reverse-creaming method to get a tender crumb and texture. She also modified the traditional recipe to add little baking powder for leavening & also added milk for more moisture and strengthening the structure to be able to take in more butter. More butter = more flavour and tender crumb 🙂
What is the reverse-creaming method you may ask? Creaming method means beating your butter and sugar for few minutes until light and fluffy before adding other ingredients. This helps them to bond together to hold air and when baked, the steam from the water content of butter helps those air pockets expand. In reverse creaming method, butter is added into the dry ingredients and mixed till it resembles sand. Adding fats into dry ingredients ensures that flour particles are well coated with fat to minimise gluten formation.
This recipe for classic pound cake works best for an 8″x4″ loaf pan. You can serve it as is with a light dusting of icing sugar or with ice cream and fruits.
These pictures are of a half recipe made in an 8″x4″ loaf pan to get small bite-size slices. Also, did you notice the small vanilla specks! I used my homemade vanilla extract in this recipe.
Classic Pound Cake
- 45 g milk
- 3 large eggs - 150g without shells
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 150 g cake flour - sifted (you can make your own, check notes)
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 185 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Prepare your loaf pan either with butter or cooking spray or with parchment paper that slightly hangs outside for easy removal later.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- Add the softened butter and mix on low speed till you reach crumbly sand-like texture.
- Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix on medium speed till well combined. Scrape down the bowl in between to make sure everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and smoothen the top with a spoon or offset spatula.
- Bake the cake at 180C for 55-65 minutes till a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. If you feel your cake is over-browning, cover it with aluminium foil after 30 min of baking.
- Remove from oven and let it cool inside the pan for about 10 minutes before removing. Cool it completely over a wire rack.
- The cake stores well at room temperature for 3 days and 1 week refrigerated. I would suggest keeping the cake in the refrigerator for few hours to let the taste and texture develop
Recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum from her book ‘Cake Bible’