Vanilla pound cake is a classic dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. Its simple yet indulgent flavor makes it a popular choice for any occasion, whether it’s a family gathering or a formal event. This delicious cake is made with a few basic ingredients, including flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and of course, vanilla extract.
What Is Pound Cake?
Pound cake is a dense and rich type of cake that originated in Northern Europe, particularly in England. The name “pound” comes from the traditional recipe that used a pound each of four main ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. This straightforward ratio made it easy to remember and adapt.
The resulting cake is known for its buttery flavor and moist, tender crumb. It’s versatile and can be flavored with various additions like vanilla, lemon, or almond extract. Pound cake can be enjoyed plain or with added toppings like glazes, fruits, or whipped cream.
Over time, variations of pound cake have evolved, incorporating different ingredients and flavors, but the essence of a pound cake remains its dense and rich texture. It’s a classic dessert that has remained popular for centuries.
Ingredients for Vanilla Pound Cake
The ingredients needed to make a classic vanilla pound cake are:
- 2 Teaspoons baking powder
- 225 g or 1 ¾ cups Plain / All purpose flour (sieved)
- 2 Large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 & ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 175 g or ¾ cup softened butter
- ¼ Teaspoon salt
- 150 g or ¾ cups regular sugar
- ⅔ Cup or 150 ml Milk
- Heat oven to 170c, 325F. Grease and line your baking tin.
- Get all your ingredients ready, i.e sieve the flour, and add the salt and baking powder to the flour etc.
- Start with making the cake batter by creaming the butter and sugar until a pale light colour.
- Slowly add the beaten eggs to the mixer, on a low speed setting, a bit at a time. If the mixture starts to curdle or split, add a spoonful of your sieved flour, keep on adding the eggs, and a bit of flour if necessary, until all the eggs are added. Add the Vanilla Extract.
- Add half the milk with half of the flour, keeping the mixer on a slow speed. Once combined, add the remaining milk and gently fold in the remaining flour until combined.
- Transfer the cake mixture to the greased and lined loaf tin. Then place in the oven for 1 hr to 1 hr and 5 minutes.
- Please do test if the cake is done by using a skewer and poke it in the middle to see that it comes out clean. Every oven is different and cook times may vary a little.
- Have a cup of tea!
- When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and leave in the cake tin until cool enough to transfer to a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Variations on Vanilla Pound Cake Recipes
Vanilla pound cake is a classic recipe that can be adapted and varied in many ways to suit your tastes and preferences. Here are some variations on vanilla pound cake recipes that you can try:
- Lemon Pound Cake: Add the zest of one or two lemons to the batter, and substitute lemon juice for some of the milk in the recipe for a tangy and refreshing twist on classic pound cake.
- Chocolate Chip Pound Cake: Fold in some chocolate chips to the batter for a delicious and indulgent treat.
- Almond Pound Cake: Add some almond extract to the batter, and top the finished cake with sliced almonds for a nutty and delicious twist on the classic recipe.
- Marble Pound Cake: Divide the batter in half and add cocoa powder to one half. Layer the two batters in the baking pan for a beautiful and delicious marbled effect.
- Citrus Pound Cake: Experiment with different citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit, or lime by adding their zest and juice to the batter for a bright and refreshing twist.
- Coconut Pound Cake: Add some shredded coconut to the batter for a tropical and flavorful twist on classic pound cake.