VANILLA POUND CAKE
- 150 g (1+1/4 cups) all purpose flour
- 20 g (3 tbsp) cornstarch you can skip it if you have cake flour: use 170 g of cake flour instead of 150 g all purpose flour + 20 g cornstarch.
- 5 g (1 tsp) baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 165 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter room temperature
- 165 g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 vanilla bean seeds or 2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 45 g (3 tbsp) water
- 25 g (2 tbsp) sugar
- 1/4 vanilla bean seeds or 1/2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- In a medium size bowl, sift together flour, cornsatrch, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix butter with an hand mixer for about 2 minutes at medium speed until creamy and smooth.
- Add gradually sugar and keep on mixing for about 4 minutes at high speed: you have to incorporate air to get soft pound cake. Remember to scrape the bowl often with your spatula. You'll get very pale and fluffy butter mix.
- Add the eggs one at a time: mix every egg for about 60 seconds until well incorporated.
- Incorporate vanilla.
- Sift the dry ingredients in 2-3 times into the butter mix and gently fold with a spatula: don't overmix the flour mix and don't use the hand mixer, be gentle!
- Place the batter into a greased, floured and bottom lined Pound Cake loaf pan (25cm-10inch long).
- Grease a knife with melted butter and score a straight line in the center of pound cake: this will help your cake to crack in the middle.
- Bake in preheated no-fan electric oven at 165°C-330°F for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean: be careful to not overbake your cake! If your cake burnt on top or you get a tought crust, lower the temperature of your oven and bake for longer.
- Cool down the cake in its pan, so you'll get a moist pound cake (cool it down for at least 40 minutes before unmold it).
- Place water, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for about 3 minutes until thicken but still clear.
- Unmold your pound cake when just slightly warm.
- Brush the top (the sides too if you want) of pound cake with vanilla syrup.
- Let the sugar syrup to slightly dry a bit before serve it.
Cornstarch helps your Pound Cake turning out soft and moist. If you don’t have it, you can substitute it with the same amount of all purpose flour, but I suggest you to don’t skip it!
Cake flour is a perfect mix of all purpose flour and cornstarch: if you have it, you can use 170 g of cake flour instead of 150 g all purpose flour + 20 g cornstarch. But pay attention that your cake flour should only be made by cornstarch and all purpose flour, without baking powder! For this recipe I don’t suggest to use self rising flour.
Pound Cake batter is thick because it features a generous amount of butter. for this reason is very important to mix a lot the butter with sugar using a hand mixer to incorporate a lot of air and get a creamy and airy butter mix; but mix as little as possible when you incorporate flour! I always prefer to use a spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. If you don’t overmix it, flour doesnt’ develop gluten: your cake will turn out soft and not heavy or gummy.
It’s also important to not overmix the eggs, so mix just until every egg is well combined.
To get a perfect pound cake shape with a symmetrical classic dome on top, I use a simple trick that always works!
To get a perfect pound cake shape with a symmetrical classic dome on top, I use a simple trick that always works! Dip a knife blade into melted butter and use it to score a straight line at the center on top of your raw batter.
In this way your Pound Cake will rise in the oven just following the line scored on top and you’ll get a perfect symmetrical dome on top!
Use good quality vanilla for flavoring your Pound Cake. I used a Madagascar vanilla bean, I love seeing all those true black vanilla bean seeds into the crumbs!
If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you can also use a very good quality vanilla paste or true vanilla extract.