If there is any goodness, kindness, love, sacrifice and service in me, it comes from my mother. I stand in awe of all that she is and everything she has done to give me a better life at the expense of hers. She is my first and most influential culinary mentor and I look forward to sharing her story through the bakes I have learned at her side, from my first childhood memories to today. This is one of the first things I remember her baking, a rich, buttery, moist and comforting pound cake. It’s neither glamorous nor flashy, but it’s delectable old fashion charm will never go out of style. Every baker should have a perfect pound cake recipe in their arsenal and I hope this one becomes yours.
3 cups (285 grams) unbleached cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
6 large eggs at room temperature, preferably organic
3/4 cup (178 milliliters) whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, preferably Nielsen-Massey
Zest of 1 orange, organic
How to Use Them:
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a Bundt pan by generously buttering or spraying it with oil, making certain to cover the entire surface and crevice of the pan. Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set it aside. Beat the butter using a paddle attachment if using a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Using the creaming method, begin incorporating the sugar. Scrape your bowl and add the sugar one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed after each addition until each cup is incorporated. Beat for another 3 minutes until completely smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed until well blended after each addition. You always want to crack your eggs into a separate bowl so that you can see any stray shells pieces or if you end up with a bad egg, you don’t have to through out your entire batter. I usually crack my eggs into a measuring cup so that they will be easier to pour in.After the eggs have been incorporated, begin adding the dry ingredients in three additions, beginning and ending with flour. Alternated between 1/3 of the flour and 1/2 of the milk. Beat on low speed until just mixed. Do not over mix!Add in the fragarent orange zest. The addition of the orange zest is my twist on mom’s recipe. I love adding citrus zest to this as it balances the richness of this cake perfectly and adds a welcomed brightness.And finally the vanilla. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.Evenly spoon the cake batter into your prepare pan. Smooth the batter lightly with the back of a spoon.Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake until a tester inserted close to the center comes out clean, about 60-90 minutes. You will notice a ring around your cake that seems to have burst open with delicious goodness. Don’t worry about that, it is exactly how it’s supposed to be!Allow the cake to settle and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn the cake onto a cooling rack or serving dish and cool completely.Once completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar. Slice, serve, savor.