Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dana's Delicious Pound Cake

My new neighbor, Dana (whom I just LOVE), shared her family's pound cake recipe with me yesterday. I just had to make it right away and I'm so glad I did! This cake is a snap to make! But, you do need a couple of kitchen tools to get it just right. Tool #1. A standing mixer. The batter mixes for a total of 55 minutes (yep, that's right, I said 55 minutes, not a typo!). But, that's the beauty of it- you can throw the ingredients into the mixer and then go vacuum the house, clean the bathrooms, dust the bookshelves and come back and it's ready for the oven! Tool #2. An extra long loaf pan (Click here to buy on Amazon). Dana let me borrow hers. But, I have to tell you, I'm going to get one for myself- I can see a lot of great uses for this pan (doubling up my banana bread recipe, for example, because I can't ever seem to keep enough of it in the house with all these hungry children).

Now, you do not have to have tool #2- you can use two regular size loaf pans- just split the batter. Bake for 60-ish minutes if you use two loaf pans.  Dana tells me she also makes cupcakes with this recipe- bake for 20-ish minutes. Of course, with all quick breads, test for done-ness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread- if it comes out clean, it's ready!

This cake is delicious for breakfast or great for dessert. I made the almond extract version and decided to sprinkle half the cake with sliced almonds before cooking. They made a super yummy, crunchy crust! Also, try it with fresh berries and whipped cream! You just can't go wrong!

3/4 c. butter (12 tablespoons), room temperature
2 1/2 c. white sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
2/3 c. milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325F. 

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a standing mixer for 25 minutes (yes, that really does say 25 minutes).  Add the flour and baking powder. Mix for another 30 minutes more (yep, said that, too!). The batter should be rich and creamy and have zero lumps.  

Bake in a greased long loaf pan for 70 to 75 min at 325F.

After cake as cooled, turn it out onto a plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. ENJOY!

Substitute 2 tsp of almond extract for the vanilla extract; add 1/3 c. sliced almonds to the top of batter before baking.
Add grated rind of two lemons to the batter at the same time as vanilla extract.

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