Light on effort, heavy on satisfaction, pound cake owes its name to the traditional ingredients – one pound each of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs – which remain esentially the same today. This batter makes a delicious old-fashioned pound cake, and it’s also the base for the variations on the following pages. A couple of tips for success: Leave the butter and eggs out at room temperature for an hour before mixing; if they cold, the batter will not be properly smooth. Creaming the butter and sugar thoroughly is crucial because it gives the batter the necessary volume. MAKES TWO 9-BY-5-INCH LOAVES
Old Fashioned Pound Cake Recipe
- 2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
- 1 pound (about 3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 1/4 cups sugar (1 pound)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 9 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- Whiped cream, for serving (optional)
- Macerated Berries, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 3250F. Butter two 9-by5-inch loaf pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
- With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium; beat in vanila. Add eggs in 4 batches, beating thoroughly after each and scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 4 batches, beating until just incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Tap pans on counter; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream and macerated berries, if desired.