“And now for something completely different.” Unlike many of my previous recipes and probably many more to follow, this cake is not gluten-free nor is it Paleo or Primal. It’s a lovely treat we enjoyed on a holiday weekend. If your diet allows it, I hope you enjoy it as well.
Why pound cake? Quite honestly, I’ve never been a real fan. “Pound cake” conjures up thoughts of some icky sweet cake-like substance you buy at the gas station. That pound cake comes in a crinkly plastic wrapper with an ingredient list you can’t pronounce.
So, when I found myself with some leftover buttermilk from making Ranch dressing I decided to do some baking. I wanted something easy that wouldn’t require hours in the kitchen, and I wasn’t really in the mood for making biscuits.
I came across this recipe and decided to give it a go. I’ve had really good luck with Alton Brown’s baking recipes. I never really cared for his show, Good Eats, but then I’m like that. I tend to like the material that comes in print, but then find it doesn’t translate to my taste in television. Okay, I guess I’m weird that way. Anyway, this recipe is from one of Alton’s first cookbooks, I’m Just Here for More Food. It was the book that I turned to for a refresher course in baking when I was hired as a baker for a catering company and needed to become a maestro baker overnight. A quick perusal of each chapter’s techniques was enough for me to get through my first day of baking what seemed like hundreds of wedding cakes and keep me employed.
My husband absolutely loves this cake. The first slice disappeared in seconds. I think he had told me in the past that he loved pound cake, but I had no idea how much.
I like this cake too. The buttermilk really gives it a nice depth of flavor that’s not too cloying. It has infinite possibilities. I’m imagining it as a base for any kind of summer fruit with piles of whipped cream on top, or maybe with a pile of blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. We tried it toasted with jam this morning. It was nice, but I believe the best way to eat this cake is just plain, with a cup of tea.
Happy Independence Day everyone!
Buttermilk Pound Cake
Yield: One large cake
I greased the pan with shortening and floured it. That’s a little difficult to do with a tube pan, so I recommend using Baker’s Joy spray. I ended up baking this pound cake at 325 convection bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. I started testing it at 1 hour, at which time it was still pretty jiggly. If you don’t use convection bake, it might only take an hour.
Baker’s Joy spray or shortening and flour for preparing pan
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 325. Prepare a 12-cup tube or Bundt pan with Baker’s Joy spray or by greasing and flouring.
Mix flour, baking soda and salt by whisking in a bowl.
Place the eggs and the vanilla extract in a small bowl.
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat at medium speed with a paddle attachment for one minute to spread fat in bowl. Add the sugar and cream with the butter, scraping down with a spatula as necessary, until the mixture is lightened and fluffy.
Reduce the speed on the mixture and add the eggs one at a time, scraping down between each addition. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in three installments, beginning with dry ingredients and ending with buttermilk.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a tester comes out clean.
Allow the cake to stand in the pan for 15 minutes then carefully turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
This cake will keep tightly wrapped at room temperature for 1 week.
Adapted from I’m Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown