My Go-To Pound Cake

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The pound cake arose, sometime in the 18th century, as a cake of simplicity—originally one pound of each ingredient, flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. As recipes do, of course this one evolved, using modern ingredients like leaveners and glazes and adjusted to more manageable sizes for a household. Bakers have also tinkered with the proportions to maximize flavor and create luscious texture.

Today, we can find all manner of pound cakes, even Nutella and funfetti. But that’s not where I’m at here. I wanted a “go-to,” trusty, all-purpose recipe, one that came together without fuss and turned out something that was straightforward, moist, and rich with butter and vanilla flavor.

I turned to recipe developers Mark Bittman and Rose Levy Beranbaum for ideas on what makes a good basic cake, and I’m thrilled with how this adaptation turns out. As a bonus, I start getting excited about this cake as soon as the batter comes together—it is simply beautiful, so thick and creamy it looks delicious enough to eat right out of the mixing bowl.

Although nibbling still warm slices (which almost melt in your mouth) is pretty delightful, this cake is one that you can put into service as an accompaniment to everything from pastry creams to ice cream to fresh seasonal fruit.




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