Quick Recipes and Easy

The Humble Pound Cake Surprises Us Again!

How long has it been since you’ve made a fantastic pound cake? This has got to be one of my all-time favorite cakes – especially with a nice lemon glaze, although it’s pleasingly satisfying plain too.

While the pound cake is often associated with Southwestern desserts, this dense, tender cake has become a confectionery institution for picnics, potlucks, family get-togethers, and social functions everywhere.

The pound cake is quite versatile in its uses, and it is this incredible versatility that has so many bakers and chefs cheerfully dubbing the traditional confection as “The World’s Greatest Cake.”

Yet, no matter how many picnics, potlucks, family get-togethers and social events we attend, we don’t see many homemade pound cakes. Ever notice how most pound cakes served at these functions come from supermarket bakeries?

And, unless the function is a formal luncheon or tea, the pound cakes are often served right from their supermarket pans – with price tags still intact!

Baking a Perfect Pound Cake

It’s no wonder everyone lines up quickly at the dessert table when Aunt Linda or Uncle George brings in the tender pound cake made from scratch. Of course this recipe is always a secret and an anticipated tradition at the annual picnic.

Ever wonder where these relatives find these recipes and how they consistently make such pleasing pound cakes year after year?

Some are passed down from generation to generation, others are found in really excellent books or cake sites on the Internet. “Cake Decorating Made Simple!” Vol. 1, for example, has a scrumptious cream cheese pound cake recipe. By the way, here’s what one reader has to say about our Video Books:

“Hi Sam,

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOUR TIPS!!! I am a Wilton Instructor, and at the end of each course I give each student a Certificate of Completion, and a list of some helpful website. Yours is on the top of the list with ** and underlined. I tell them that I have been doing this for years, and I have yet to come across a website, book, or DVD that clarifies the basics so simply. And I clarify that I still learn new things and tips that are simpler then the way that I do them.

Please keep up the GREAT JOB!!”

Andrea S.

Silverdale, WA

Just reckon – you can be the one bringing the next crowd-pleasing pound cake that has folks jumping up from their seats and scrambling to the buffet line!

The fact that most pound cakes brought to luncheons, family events, etc. are store-bought is kind of ironic when you consider how simple it is to make a fantastic pound cake (with a excellent recipe and basic skills) and where it got its name.

Many reckon the pound cake got the “pound” in its name because it is a weighty cake, dense and satisfying, with lots of eggs and butter for packin’ on the pounds.

Well, that’s all right, but that’s not where the name originated. In 18th century Britain, a very well loved cake was made with a very simple recipe to remember: one pound each of eggs, sugar, flour, and butter.

In these days, learning to read and write was relegated mostly to the upper classes, that is to those who had access to education. The pound cake recipe was so simple to remember it was quickly passed on by word of mouth.

While today’s pound cake recipes are slightly lighter, the pound cake has retained its simplicity and denseness that sets it apart all others. In fact, the pound cake is so satisfying, it is rarely smothered in sweet icing.

The versatility of the pound cake that chefs and bakers like so much is seen in the many desserts that spring from this simple cake. It’s the most well loved cake for English trifle, and pound cake is even used in bread pudding and French toast.

Flavor extracts such as lemon, orange or almond and additions such as chopped nuts or fruit are often used. The firmness of the pound cake also makes it a favorite among the increasing amount of cake sculptures we’re seeing.

Here’s a suggestion that will delightfully surprise your dinner guests. Lightly toast individual slices of pound cake. Then top with fresh fruit and ice cream.

Samantha Mitchell, Co-Author Cake Decorating Made Simple! Vol. 1 & 2 The World’s First Cake Decorating Video Books For more cake decorating tips and recipes along with step by step videos, sign up for our free newsletter at CakeAnswers.com CakeAnswers.com

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