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RECIPES

The Secret to Perfect Pound Cake

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The Secret to Perfect Pound Cake

 

 

Pound cake, with its rich, buttery flavor and dense, moist texture, is a beloved classic in the baking

world. While it seems simple, achieving the perfect pound cake requires attention to detail and some

key techniques. Here, we’ll explore the secrets to making a pound cake that is both delicious and

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foolproof.

Ingredients

 

To make a classic pound cake, you’ll need:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

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4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

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1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Secret to Perfect Pound Cake

 

The Secret to Perfect Pound Cake new york times recipes

Method

 Prepare Your Ingredients

 

Before you start, ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This is crucial for achieving a

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smooth batter and an even bake. Take the butter, eggs, and milk out of the fridge at least an hour

before you begin.

 Preheat the Oven

 

Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). This lower temperature helps the cake to bake slowly, ensuring a

moist and tender crumb. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan or line it with parchment paper for easy

removal.

 Cream the Butter and Sugar

 

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This should take

about 3-5 minutes. This step is essential as it incorporates air into the batter, which helps the cake rise

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and gives it a light texture.

 Add the Eggs

 

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. This helps to emulsify the mixture and

ensures that the batter remains smooth. Beating the eggs in gradually also helps to incorporate more

air, which is important for the cake’s texture.

 Mix the Dry Ingredients

 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. This ensures that the baking

powder and salt are evenly distributed throughout the flour, which helps the cake to rise evenly.

 Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

 

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating

with the milk. Start and end with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined after each addition.

Overmixing can result in a dense cake.

 Add the Vanilla

 

Finally, stir in the vanilla extract. This adds a subtle flavor that complements the buttery richness of the

cake.

 Bake

 

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated

oven for about 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out

clean. Avoid opening the oven door too often as this can cause the cake to sink.

 Cool and Serve

 

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool

completely. Once cooled, you can serve it plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or with a glaze of your

choice.

Tips for Success

 

Room Temperature Ingredients: This cannot be overstated. Room temperature ingredients blend

more easily, resulting in a smoother batter.

Creaming: Take your time to properly cream the butter and sugar. This step is crucial for

incorporating air into the batter, which affects the cake’s texture.

Do Not Overmix: Overmixing the batter can develop the gluten in the flour too much, leading to a

dense, tough cake.

Baking Time: Baking times can vary depending on your oven. Check the cake a few minutes before

the recommended time to avoid overbaking.

Conclusion

 

Mastering the art of pound cake is all about technique. By paying attention to the details and

following these tips, you can create a pound cake that is moist, tender, and full of rich, buttery flavor.

Whether enjoyed plain or with a variety of toppings, this classic cake is sure to delight.

Feel free to experiment with different flavors and add-ins, such as lemon zest, almond extract, or

chocolate chips, to make this recipe your own. Happy baking!

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