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Classic Pound Cake

This rich, moist pound cake can be served with seasonal fruit and ice cream, used to line a pan for an old-fashioned icebox cake, cut into chunks for a creamy trifle or ice cream parfaits, or split into layers for a cream-filled cake (see related recipes at left).

Storage tip: You may wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw the wrapped cake at room temperature before using.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pans and parchment paper
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

Sift the dry ingredients
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans and line with buttered parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Make the batter
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the 2 cups butter and the granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the beaten eggs in quarters, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low, add half the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in the cream until blended. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat just until a smooth batter forms. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake the cakes
Bake until the top of each cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for about 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely.

Dust the top of 1 cake with confectioners’ sugar and slice to serve. Reserve the second cake for another dessert (see note above). Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaf cakes.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).