Life is Great

The Delicious Appreciations of Pick Yin

Not exactly predictable.
Has enough brains for codes
(but can be completely clueless on other more important matters).
Likes her Joe (and her man?) black, her chocolate dark and her food spicy.
“Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu.” — Seneca

Total Posts   191      Last Updated   23 November 2015 12:00 PM (GMT +8)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Plainly Perfect Pound Cake

tish boyle perfectly plain butter pound cake

Anyone who bakes (well, I bet almost anyone) would have their pound cake stories to tell. You know, the search for the perfect pound cake - with the perfect crumb yet buttery and so fulfilling you'd feel like you've committed a crime to your waistline after eating just half a piece. My mother used to bake pound cakes once in a while, not as often as this cake, but I didn't remember loving it as much as the green stuff.

tish boyle perfectly plain butter pound cake tish boyle perfectly plain butter pound cake

My pound cake story actually went untold about two years ago, when I first steered the blog towards food while being stuck at my childhood home with a broken leg. I baked this after discovering my new found affection for anything-baked-by-Deb. Foolishly I tried to cram a full pound cake batter into one loaf large tin, filling it to the brim. Ten minutes later, my mother's counter top oven floor was filled with vanilla cake batter, grilling into smoked ashes. After some rescue work, the cake was edible but overcooked around the edges and slightly wet in the middle. Luckily for me, my brother finished most it, grateful for any cake at all.

tish boyle perfectly plain butter pound cake

Ever since then, pound cake recipes were bookmarked and put aside, while I moved on to bake cakes requiring much more skills and finicky mucking around compared to the plain old pound cake. One Friday night after Vijay left for the weekend though, I had the sudden urge to bake. (If you're a baker you'll know what I'm talking about.) It was almost 8 at night and all I had in my pantry were ingredients to make a basic pound cake. (Cocoa and chocolate were strangely not considered at that time, how strange.) So I remembered ogling at this beauty at Shirley's and proceeded to preheat the oven.

tish boyle perfectly plain butter pound cake

An hour later, I was rewarded with pound cake heaven, and wished I baked a full pound recipe instead of one half. When Vijay returned on Sunday night, I told him I'd eat one piece, he could have his share and bring the rest to work. The cake never left the house. Over the next couple of days, we fought over it till I got the last piece.
Tish Boyle's Plainly Perfect Pound Cake

Adapted barely from Shirley's @Kokken, original recipe from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book.
Yield: A 5x9" loaf.

  • 200 grams/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 227 grams/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 250 grams castor sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 80 millilitres full fat milk

Preheat oven to 170°C. Prepare and line a 5x9" loaf tin. Sift flour with baking powder and salt, set aside.

Cream butter in a mixer at medium high speed until cream, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue beating for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixing speed of the mixer to low and add eggs one at a time mixing until well mixed. Add the citrus zests and vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with the milk (added in 2 additions). Pour into prepared tin and bake for 60-70 minutes or until the cake turns brown and a testing skewer comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.

10 Comments on Plainly Perfect Pound Cake

Will remember this for the next time I want to bake a simple pound cake!!

Posted by Anonymous Mrs Ergül, at May 16, 2012, 11:31:00 AM  

I was actually "researching" for a pound cake recipe. I will now make it, just because you said it's GOOD :)

Posted by Blogger Anh, at May 16, 2012, 11:55:00 AM  

I love baking, but weirdly I don't have a favourite classic pound cake recipe (I think I might be too obsessed with chocolate). I'm saving this one now though, so that in years to come maybe this can be mine :-)

Posted by Anonymous thelittleloaf, at May 16, 2012, 8:28:00 PM  

i've never made pound cake before. this is lovely.

i know what you mean about that hankering to bake, regardless of the time of night it is...

Posted by Blogger Angry Asian, at May 16, 2012, 11:55:00 PM  

I've baked this previously and this is my keeper!!

Posted by Blogger Mel, at May 17, 2012, 2:58:00 PM  

I can't possibly imagine anyone not liking this cake. Your cake looks great! Thanks for the shout out, Pickyin.

Posted by Blogger Shirley @ Kokken69, at May 18, 2012, 8:22:00 AM  

Your pound cake looks fantastic! Can you share your tip that made the top of your cake flat and not be domed/split like other pound cakes?

Many thanks! Amy

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous, at Apr 23, 2014, 6:36:00 AM  

Hi Amy, it's natural for pound cakes to dome and split a little when baking. This recipe just happens to dome less, and the split was not visible from this angle. You can bake at a lower temperature for longer but otherwise I wouldn't let this bother me. :)

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at Apr 24, 2014, 9:19:00 AM  

Thanks!! Love your blog (both the stories and the photos) and read 2 years worth of posts last weekend. Will look forward to additional posts in the future! Best, Amy

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous, at Apr 26, 2014, 10:38:00 AM  

Thanks Amy, I will try to blog more often! Life just gets in the way currently. :D

Posted by Blogger PickYin, at May 16, 2014, 2:56:00 PM  

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