Is there any cake that’s more of a summer staple than the classic pound cake? It’s one of those no muss, no fuss, go-to cakes that can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. It’s equally wonderful plain, cubed and dipped in chocolate fondue, with layers of jam and buttercream, with freshly whipped cream and berries, glazed, or with a drizzle of coulis. Mmmmm….
I’ve been meaning to try out this pound cake recipe for ages and I finally decided to give it a go while strawberries and blueberries were still in season. Pound cake with freshly whipped cream and berries is one of my favorite things at this time of year because it’s simple and uncomplicated, yet still fresh and summery. And those colors… how can you argue with those colors?
The cream cheese in this recipe not only adds a subtle level of interest and a little extra moistness, but it also adds a beautiful… gorgeous… crackly texture to the top. It’s absolutely irresistible. This recipe makes one healthy loaf, but you might want to consider doubling it to make either two loaves or one bundt cake. If not, be advised that the single loaf will be gone before you know it because it’s impossible to stay away from.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces (1/2 block) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour one standard loaf pan.
Place butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and increase the mixer speed to high. Beat for approximately five minutes until light and airy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl after every other egg. Add the vanilla and almond extract and mix until incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, approximately 70 minutes.
Place the pan on a cake rack and cool in the pan for 20 minutes Remove the cake from the pan cool completely. Serve at room temperature. Makes 8 generous servings. Recipe doubles easily to make two loaves or one (12 cup) bundt cake.