The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Classic Pound Cake

January 7th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Posted in Recipes


With 27 laying hens, we’ve got more eggs than we know what to do with. We sell some of them off the farm, but we’re looking for value-added products we can make as a more lucrative sideline. Could pound cake fit the bill?

Plain Jane of the baking universe, pound cake supposedly got its name because the original recipe called for a pound each of butter, flour, sugar and eggs. It’s an underappreciated cake that’s wonderful as is, or smothered with berries and ice cream. I got this recipe from one of my wife’s favorite cookbooks, The New Best Recipe. If you’re not familiar, this is a big book put out by Cook’s Illustrated magazine, wherein the editors test multiple versions of each recipe and select the one they consider the best. In the case of pound cake, they tested 31 different versions.

This one is designated “classic” because it contains no chemical rising agent, such as baking powder. The lift and lightness owe entirely to the eggs and lots of beating. I used a standing electric blender and recommend you do as well. You will need:

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, plus more for greasing a loaf pan

1 1/3 cups (9 1/3 ounces) sugar

3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) plain cake flour

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degree with a rack set in the middle.

Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper, placing one piece along the length and up the sides, and a second piece along the width and up the sides. Set aside.

Meanwhile, beat the butter at medium speed in a blender until it is light and shiny, about 15 seconds. With the blender running, gradually add the sugar, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl until the sugar is completely incorporated. Continue beating another 4 or 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light, fluffy and almost white in color, stopping the mixer once or twice in the process to scrape down the sides.

In a 2-cup measurer, beat together the eggs, yolks, vanilla and water. With the blender running, add this to the butter mixture in a slow drizzle until completely incorporated. To this, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time by shaking it through a fine sieve. Gently fold the flour into the mix after each addition.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool about 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Invert again onto a second wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

You’ll be lucky if you have any of this cake left by the time dessert rolls around. In our house, people cut off a slice and eat it by hand just the way it is. It doesn’t last long.

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