This might just be the best pound cake EVER.
I’ve made pound cakes over the years, but usually as a sort of default/fall back if I need a basic cake, or I know someone is allergic to nuts, or chocolate or another ingredient, or just to try out a new recipe. And, I’ve baked with buttermilk from time to time.
Recently a friend lent me some of the books in the “Savor the South” cookbook series. These are published by the University of North Carolina Press and are available here. After looking over many in the series I would recommend the Buttermilk and Pecans as the best…or maybe the most quintessential South.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 cups (regular) flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- For the Glaze:
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- Juice of 1 lime or lemon
- Grated zest
- Prepare a 10" tube pan by coating the inside with cooking spray or oil and dusting with flour. Preheat oven to 325°.
- Place butter and sugar in bowl. Beat on high speed until creamy and pale, about 5 minutes. Break eggs into a small bowl and whisk gently to break the yolks. Add the eggs to the butter mixture in two additions, beating well after each and scraping the sides of the bowl.
- In medium bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, and flour.
- On medium speed, beat ⅓ of the flour mixture into the buttermilk. Turn mixer on low to prevent spatters and beat for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 1 minute.
- Add another ⅓ of flour mixture, the rest of the buttermilk, the vanilla, and then rest of flour mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl periodically. Batter will be thick.
- Scrape the batter into prepared tube pan and rap the bottom of the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake in lower third of oven for 1 hour or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cake may crack on top, but that's ok.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to continue cooling.
- To make glaze, combine the powdered sugar and lemon/lime juice until smooth, then stir in the zest. Brush, or drizzle, on cake.
I managed to save half the cake for a tea party I hosted a few days later. Here it is, on the tray, with my Spode “Summer Palace.”
Yes, it was delicious!
Try the recipe when you have time, and let us know what you think.