If you know how to make pound cake, you know how to provide a delicious dessert on the fly.
What's a pound cake? Despite what you may have heard, it's not a cake that will add a pound to your figure if you eat it. Nor is it a cake that weighs exactly one pound. Originally, pound cakes
were quick-to-measure cakes in which the baker combined a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of flour and a pound of eggs. This was an extremely easy cake to make, and this guide will explain some of the techniques involved, as well as ways you can get fancy with this old, classic standby.
Sweet & Creamy
While all four ingredients are equally important, the butter and the sugar offer a role that you may not expect. When beaten together properly, the butter and the sugar can actually make a pound cake rise without the aid of chemical leaveners.
How do you help your butter and sugar? Grab your favorite stand- or hand-mixer and cream the (room temperature) butter and sugar together for five minutes on medium speed. Don't worry about mixing in your other ingredients just yet, or you'll ruin the texture you're going for.
How will you know when it's done? When properly whipped together, you'll end up with a large fluffy mass of butter and sugar that looks very similar to thick whipped cream.
How many eggs are in a pound of eggs? Roughly nine. But what eggs do you use? In baking, it's fairly rare for the recipe to define what size of egg you're looking for, but here's a little tip. Any time you're baking, reach for your standard large chicken egg, and your recipe will come out perfect every time—at least egg-wise.
When it comes to flour, the important thing to remember is that you don't want something that is going to result in a tough cake. Your standard all-purpose flour, which is great for light baking, pastries and certain breads produces an excess amount of gluten when mixed into batters and doughs. While this is good for a biscuit or a pie crust, all-purpose flours will leave you with a tough and chewy pound cake. So go ahead and spend the money on a pound of cake flour, which produces far less gluten when mixed into your batter. You'll be glad that you did, because it'll leave you with a soft and fluffy pound cake.
You don't have to add any additional flavors to your pound cake for it to be a delicious treat. However, you can add a little extra jazz with these simple tricks.
Want it a little sweeter? Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a half teaspoon of salt, which will help the sweetness of the cake shine through.
Looking for a floral, citrus kick? Add half a tablespoon of orange or lemon zest to your cake batter.
Glazes are also an option when it comes to flavoring a pound cake. Simply take two and a half tablespoons of orange juice and six ounces of powdered sugar. Mix them together until thick and creamy, and pour over the top of your cake. Delicious!
Now that you know what makes this classic cake such a fantastic standby, as well as how you can customize the flavors to easily impress your crew, go ahead…make that cake! If you're looking for even more super easy cakes to bake on the fly, check out our Easy Cake recipes!
Have a special pound cake secret? Please share!