How to Make Pound Cake
I remember the first time I read about pound cake in a book called Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. I couldn’t believe its simplicity. Equal pounds butter, sugar, eggs, and flour? That was it? It seemed magical.
With all the super elaborate cake creations these days, pound cake can feel like one of those less cool old-school cakes from the past. But I have always loved a good pound cake. And I feel like everyone actually loves pound cake, it’s just that sometimes people forget about it. I brought a few loaves of this cake to a baby shower a month ago and everyone kept going back for more slices, especially the momma-to-be!
Pound cake feels like a cross between a cake and a quick bread, and has a satisfying, dense bite to it. Beyond the standard butter, sugar, eggs, and flour in this cake, I add a little bit of salt, vanilla bean paste, and orange zest. Because pound cake is so simple, I think it’s important to use a good-quality butter with a distinct sweet cream flavor, and also to include vanilla and some sort of citrus zest. Orange is my favorite, but you could also do lemon or even lime. It adds a nice aroma and flavor to the cake without distracting from the delicate flavor.