My Beautiful Pound Cake

I have learned a few things about myself and baking:

1) I might over-mix batter because I am afraid of lumps and under-mixing
2) I might over-bake things because I am afraid of under-baking
3) I break a spoon every time

Let’s see if I can avoid doing these things while making…. POUND CAKE!!!

I had leftover buttermilk from making blue velvet cookies¬†and googled recipes using buttermilk. There were 3 possibilities: pancakes, fried chicken, pound cake. I don’t ever cook meat and I wasn’t feeling the pancakes, so … pound cake! I have a lot of fond memories of pound cake. My mom would buy the frozen Sara Lee ones. I always thought they were called pound cakes because they were heavy like bricks that weighed a million pounds, but it turns out they are called that because in the old days you used a pound every ingredient: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of eggs, a pound of sugar. These days, we don’t make such humongous pound cakes, but that’s a pretty cool recipe if you ask me.

Screen shot 2013-01-26 at 7.51.53 PM

The Sarah Lee pound cakes were dense but soft and delicious and just kind of perfect-looking. This was my goal.

I used Ina Garten’s recipe.

pound 14

Here we go! Here are most of my ingredients.

pound 1

I didn’t have a loaf pan, so I greased and floured up my bundt pan. I hunted around on the internets, and it seemed to tell me that my bundt would have the same cooking time and temp. as the loaf, so I was set!

pound 13

And, bearing in mind #3 on my list of Bad Baking Habits, I decided to use a giant metal spoon for all my spoon-related needs. No spoon-breaking this time!

poind 9

The magic begins when you cream together the butter and the sugar. I want to smell like butter and sugar all day.

pound 12

I have tried to purchase various cake/vanilla/buttercream fragrances, but I have yet to find one that I think actually smells good.

After mixing up all the ingredients, I found another great use for my giant spoon: EATING BATTER.

pound 6

I had to stop eating the batter so I’d have enough to put in the bundt.

pound 8

And then, I crossed my fingers. I set the timer for an hour and started eating Cheez-Its cuz I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Yes, it was about 9:20 pm, but I was waiting for Hairy to get home from the art gallery, since I didn’t know if were going to eat dinner or not before seeing “Mama” that night. As it turned out, we didn’t have time to eat dinner, and we ate hot dogs at the movie theater….

Anyway, I checked in on my pound cake when it was close to one hour, and I was a little scared to see LIQUID batter bubbling at the surface, cracking through the cake, seeping out like hot delicious buttery lava. There were still about 5 minutes left on the timer, so I figured that would settle the geological rumble inside my pound cake.

When the timer went off, I took the bundt out of the oven and let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes. The house SMELLED SO GOOOOD!

pound 5

Then I popped a plate over it and flipped the whole thing upside down. I could feel the cake slide out easily with a satisfying THUD. And then I sifted powdered sugar all over the top.

pound 3 pound 4

It was so beautiful, I almost cried. My baby. My beautiful. My pound cake.

But we didn’t have time to taste it because it was movie time!

Unfortunately, this pound cake was a lesson in “don’t judge a book by its cover.” My pound cake was dry as a bone :(. I probably should have taken it out of the oven while it was still oozing or something. I don’t know! Sigh. I kept trying to eat a few pieces, but it just wasn’t the Sara Lee experience. Oh, Sara Lee, tell me your secrets!!!

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21 Responses to My Beautiful Pound Cake

  1. Denise says:

    And that is why I make baked goods out of yarn :) I’m too impatient and impulsive to bake. Things turn out weird. But hey, at least the house smells nice!

  2. Katie says:

    Frying buttermilk chicken is a nightmare, I have no idea how to do it because my family is not from the south, and should only be left up to lil old southern grannies with really slow accents in flower moo-moos.

    Mmmmm buttermilk. Its also a wonderful sub in mashed potatoes instead of using just regular milk, but I live in the south so it used liberally in almost everything.

    • TwinkieChan says:

      This is the very first time I have ever purchased buttermilk!!! hehhehe. Putting in mashed potatoes sounds good!

  3. lisa says:

    try the vanilla bean body cream from 100% pure. it is the most delicious smelling vanilla lotion ever. is not perfumey like others! it’s my absolute favorite!!!

    http://www.100percentpure.com/VANILLA-BEAN-NOURISHING-BODY-CREAM-s/364.htm

  4. Carly says:

    Hey Twinkie Chan! I’ve been reading your blog for years but I am fairly certain I’ve never commented before. When I read about your cake being dry as a bone, I thought I’d give you some tips. I used to work at a local bakery and I learned a lot there. First, you can take things out of the oven a few minutes before the recommended time to prevent overcooking. You can always put a cake back in the oven if it’s undercooked, but you can’t go back once it’s overcooked! You can insert a toothpick or a knife vertically into the cake and make sure it comes out of the cake clean– this way you know if it’s cooked inside. Also test the top of the cake, if it’s springy (meaning if you push on it with your finger, it springs back up), you can take it out. Remember the pan is hot and even after you take it out of the oven, the cake will continue cooking in the hot pan. You can even keep the cake out for a minute or two if the inserted knife doesn’t come out clean because the cake will continue to cook, and just check again in a few minutes to see if another inserted knife comes out clean. Anyway, I learned a lot from these tips from my bakery boss and I hope they help you! Good luck!

    • TwinkieChan says:

      Hi!!! Thank so much for sharing your tips with me!!!!! I will try to be less afraid of the dreaded-uncercooked cake!!!! :)

  5. Cait says:

    When I worked at a bakery we would check to see if a cake was ready to come out by poking the top. If it causes an indent, the cake needs more time, if it springs back up, the cake is done. Maybe that can help! Baking just takes some practice, you’ll be an expert in no time.

  6. Roxy says:

    It may sound a little strange but I always use an old recipe from GDR (remember East-Berlin in Germany?).. Therefor you need the typical cake stuff (like sugar, flour, eggs,…) AND fizzy water and oil (not butter, OIL!). This makes the cake less dry and very tasty.

  7. Kathryn says:

    Twinkie, try the Vanilliary solid perfume from Lush. Whenever I wear it people come up to me and say I smell like cookies. It’s made with cocoa butter and natural ingredients. So good!

  8. liz says:

    Oooh, that “Mama” movie looks good! Was it? I’m a sucker for a scary horror movie. I love how you ate hot dogs at the theater! :)

    • TwinkieChan says:

      I think we all had our little nitpicks about the movie, but if you enjoy horror movies, I think there are some good creepy parts you’ll like :)

  9. Kimmi says:

    Oh Ina Garten, maybe it turned out bad because you didn’t use “GOOD VANILLA EXTRACT” or flour milled straight from your very own wheat field. Try this one next time
    http://www.food.com/recipe/sara-lee-pound-cake-copycat-123117

  10. You know – Ive made Ina’s poundcake before and it was dry when I made it….and I bake succesfully all the time. I sliced it and put her lemon glaze over each slice to help it out and it tasted good. Yours turned out exceptionally beautifully WOW!

  11. Vanessa says:

    Your pound cake is beautiful, and I’m so sad it was dry. However, it reminds me of a few things. My grandma asked me a couple months ago for a Pineapple Chiffon Cake. It sounded good so I found a recipe that I though would work. I’m usually pretty amazing at baking, so I went for it. I iced it and took it to my grandma’s house. We all had a piece, and it sank like a rock in my stomach while tasting pretty good otherwise. My grandma deemed it a “bitter disappointment”. Sad Days! Also, the pound cake recipe always reminds me of cuppa cuppa cuppa from Steel Magnolias: a cuppa fruit cocktail, a cuppa flour, and a cuppa sugar baked until gold and bubbly served over ice cream. Also, I really enjoy Aquolina Pink Sugar as a sugar-smelling fragrance. It smells like strawberry cotton candy!

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