Easy Peasy Pound Cake

This week marks the beginning of the official holiday season.  Like many of you, my calendar is filled with holiday commitments, most of which require a carry-in dish or baked treat to bring along to the party.  I really enjoy this time of year and I do my best to take advantage of a few stress-free tips that can really simplify things.  One such tip would be to choose recipes that are easy yet flavorful.  The recipe below includes ingredients that are nearly always on-hand in my kitchen. It’s adapted from a recipe that I found in an old community cookbook many years ago.  This one’s a no brainer for me… It always turns out perfect.  A few simple ingredients bake up a moist and flavorful, good ole’ fashioned, pound cake.  

Easy Peasy Pound Cake

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups butter

6 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract

3/4 cup milk

Grease and flour a Bundt pan (take your time with this step, getting all of the softened butter and flour into all the nooks and crannies). DON’T PREHEAT THE OVEN.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla/almond extract and continue mixing well.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Place cake into the oven, set the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Advertisements

Lemon Christmas Cake

A couple of years ago, I was invited to an afternoon luncheon where a gathering of friends would celebrate the coming of Christmas. When I arrived, several women were happily chatting as they placed holiday favors at each place setting.  An assortment of Christmas chocolates, candy canes, and holiday ornaments were individually wrapped for each guest.  One woman had made at least 3 dozen mini-quick bread loaves, each beautifully bundled in festive cellophane wrap. She had baked lots of different flavored loaves; pumpkin nut, cranberry orange, banana, and lemon pound cake.  I was tickled to receive the lemon flavored loaf for the glaze glistened through the cellophane and looked absolutely delicious.
Arriving home, I promptly put on the kettle and sliced the loaf to share with the family. A quick bite had me rummaging through my recipe files as the taste reminded me of an old recipe I had tucked away years before.  The lemony flavor is perfect and the texture is incredibly moist.   This recipe makes a beautiful bundt cake that is baked for about 1 hour.  (I often pour the batter in two 8X4″ loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes.) The zesty glaze adds a boost of flavor that soaks into the cake and makes it a wonderful addition to the holiday dessert table.

Lemon Christmas Cake

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

4 eggs

3 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

1 teaspoon lemon extract

For the glaze:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest

For the cake: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.

Beat sugar and butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy, nearly 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, thoroughly beating after each addition into the butter and sugar mixture. Stir in lemon extract.  In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking soda together. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture; mix well. Pour in half the buttermilk and beat until combined. Continue adding the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, beating well after each addition, and ending with the flour mixture. Evenly pour batter into prepared pan. Before baking, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 60 to 75 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

For the glaze:

Beat confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons butter, and lemon zest together in a bowl until glaze is smooth. Pour about half the glaze over the cake; let cool. Pour remaining glaze over the cake.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Pound Cake

20140416-212050.jpg
You probably recognize this cake shape from an earlier post. Yup, it’s the Mickey Mouse cake mold that we purchased in Disney World a couple of weeks ago. My twins, M and P just celebrated a birthday and M requested this delicious vanilla pound cake with cream cheese icing and strawberry topping. I usually use this recipe to make my Easter Lamb Cake. I use a special two-piece mold for a three dimensional cake. I am happy to say that this flat mold worked out just as well. Follow the recipe below for instructions to fill a more traditional pan size. A good rule of thumb when using a pan other than suggested in the recipe is to make sure that you don’t fill the pan too high or you’ll have a real mess on your hands! The pan will often overflow or you’ll end up with a lopsided, domed cake that often needs to be shaved down for a uniform shape. For a moist, dense cake, try to set your kitchen timer a few minutes less than the suggested time so that you can check out the cake before it becomes too well done. Ovens vary in temperature so get to know your oven. This way, you can avoid an over-baked cake that will most likely end up dry and crumbly. I must admit, this is a great pound cake recipe. I hope you have a chance to try this old fashioned favorite. It’s certainly isn’t a figure friendly recipe but it’s sure to please when baking for a special occasion.

Old Fashioned Vanilla Pound Cake

2 2/3 cups sugar
2 cups butter
8 eggs
8 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 cups cake flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Reserve the yokes. In a stainless steel bowl, beat the whites to form stiff peaks.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter thoroughly. Beat in egg yolks. Stir in milk, vanilla and almond extract. Add flour, 1 cup at a time. Carefully, fold in egg whites. Pour batter into well greased 10″ tube pan and bake for 90 minutes. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Optional: Top with fresh fruit before serving.