Pound cake is so named because it contains a pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Although, in practicality, it’s just a ratio by weight of the main ingredients, so it can be quantities that are more or less than a pound. As well, small amounts of vanilla are usually added.
For ease of use, it seems that bakers would usually weigh the eggs first, then make the rest of the ingredients match the egg weight. Seems practical. 🙂
There are also variations on the theme – lemon pound cake, chocolate pound cake, pound cake with fruit added, and so on. Other variations include the addition of vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and so on. Oil or sour cream might be substituted for a portion of the butter.
At first, I thought I’d never made pound cake. Turns out, I’ve made plenty of cakes called pound cakes (yes, I do have that bad of a memory), as evidenced by the recipes I’ve got kicking around, but none were true pound cakes in the original proportions.
To that end, I decided that, at least once in my life, I had to have a true pound cake. Well, except I didn’t make it with one pound of each ingredient, but rather, 250 grams, or slightly more than half a pound… 😀 </nitpicking>
- 250 grams butter, at room temperature
- 250 grams sugar, superfine if you can
- 250 grams eggs, at room temperature
- 250 grams flour
- Preheat oven to 177C/350F/gas mark 4.
- Beat butter until smooth and creamy.
- Add sugar (superfine works best) and beat until fully incorporated and light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and fully incorporate before adding the next. Don’t worry if the batter looks curdled.
- Add the flour and mix until just incorporated.
- Pour into a greased 9x3x5″ loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the baking pan and cool completely.
- Serve plain, with a dusting of icing sugar, with ice cream or whipping cream, fruit, or anything else your heart desires. Enjoy!
Because superfine sugar doesn’t exist here, I put the sugar into my whir whir and beat it into submission…er, whipped it until it was very fine. Butter and eggs need to be at room temperature to maximize the amount of air that can be whipped into them. And, as with all cakes, cookies, muffins, and so on, you mix the batter just until the flour is incorporated since you do not want to develop the gluten in the flour, which would make the cake/cookie/muffin tough and chewie, and not in a good way. 🙂
I contemplated serving this with lemon curd and whipped cream, but I must admit that laziness got to me. We ate it plain and enjoyed it very much that way. 🙂