This recipe has been bookmarked for a long time. I am an absolute advocate of what comfort a delicious, perfect pound cake brings is unfathomable. Its a household favorite and needs no frosting or glaze, perfect with a cup of tea for tea lovers. My love for it is twofold as its my family’s favorite as well. When (and if) there is a request to be fulfilled, its usually this. Today what I am going to share is a little different and is tweaked with a secret ingredient.
But before that, lets try to understand the chemistry of cakes. Vanilla or pound cakes or plain cakes are a little tricky because they have no other flavor that will take care of the taste. It has to be absolutely flawless to standout and no other ingredients like coffee, chocolate, fruits or nuts are there to define the flavor. Its so fascinating to read how each ingredient plays its role in developing a cake structure that Rose Levy Beranbaum has beautifully explained in her book called Cake Bible.
Pound Cakes name come from the fact that during 18th century, in Europe it was made using a pound of each butter, eggs, sugar and flour hence the name pound cake. Its an equivalent of Madeira Cake in England. It does’nt typically has any leavening agent and the tenderness comes from mixing and ingredients themselves. In this particular recipe, cream cheese is used as which not only adds moistness and subtle flavor to the cake as well as cuts the sweetness of sugar. I also reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup and the cake turned out nearly perfect.
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cup butter*
- 2 3/4 cup sugar**
- 3 cups flour
- 6 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
- Grease and flour 1 10" tube pan or 2 loaf tins measuring 8x4" each.
- Beat butter and cream cheese.
- Add sugar and beat well till light and creamy.
- Add one egg at a time while scraping the bowl every time.
- Add in vanilla.
- Lastly add sifted dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just mixed.
- Give it a good mix with spatula as well to make sure there are no lumps.
- Spoon it in a prepared pan.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 F for 45-60 minutes until golden brown.
- * room temperature butter that is not too soft or hard
- ** ground sugar is better
- This recipe can be easily halved