Published January 1, 2007.
Don't be fooled by its short ingredient list—pound cake is far from simple. More often than not, it bakes up heavy, squat, and dense.
A perfect recipe for pound cake is hard to find. Good-looking pound cakes tend to resemble yellow layer cakes: fluffy, bouncy, and open-textured. Those that taste good often bake up as flat and firm as bricks.
We wanted to retool this classic recipe to make it great-tasting and ultra-plush, every time.
Our first big discovery was to start with chilly 60-degree butter. Room-temperature butter became too warm after all the creaming that was needed to combine the substantial quantities of butter and sugar in the cake. We found the eggs also needed to be at 60 degrees in order to not deflate the batter as they were added. Finally, we chose cake flour (all-purpose flour was too protein-rich and delivered dry, tough cakes), but the flour's softness required that we not overwork the batter when adding the flour. Sifting the flour over the batter and folding it in by hand worked.list of recipes