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helenjp

The Best Pound Cake

201 posts in this topic

I would think that using flavored cream cheese would make the flavored part kind of muted. I think you'd probably get much better results with folding in a fruit puree into your final batter.

Mayhaw Man mentioned something about a Peach Pound Cake in an eG thread, and it sounded so wonderful I asked him to post it to Recipe Gullet. I haven't tried it yet as peaches aren't in season yet, but here it is: Peach Pound Cake.

To do the quote thing, just click on the "Quote" button at the top left hand side of the person you want to quote.

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To do the quote thing, just click on the "Quote" button at the top left hand side of the person you want to quote.

I meant the multiple quotes within a post. Not the multiple 'quotes within a quote' quote.

I digresss ....

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Last week I made what to my taste was the perfect pound cake: moist, buttery with a hint of lemon, easy to slice, and yellow inside. Here is the recipe: Cook's Illustrated Lemon Pound Cake. This morning I made it again and the cake inside is a toasty brown color (like toasted bread). Does anyone know what happened?

I did the recipe the same way both times, following the recipe almost to the letter. The only thing I did different from the recipe was that I sifted in the flour directly into the food processor and then pulsed it 4-5 times, until the flour almost disappeared and then whisked the batter in the processor bowl a few times to make sure everything was invcorporated. I did this exactly the same both times (I've made many cakes in the food processor). The color of the batter was the same both times. Also, both times I used half the glaze amount.

The only minor thing I did different was that I used store brand butter the first (perfect) time and the second time used 1/3 store brand butter and 2/3 Keller's butter (a premium brand).

And the recipe I have, from a freebie Cook's Illustrated, specifies 1 teaspoon vanilla, so that's what I used, both times.

I used the same oven, the same pan and the same baking time. The second one looked absolutely beautiful and I made it to bring to work to welcome a good friend who had been on leave. Then I saw it inside. Yikes! :blink: It was the color of toasted bread. It was moist and tasted pretty good, but not as good as the first one. This second one tasted a tad less sweet. People at work ate it, but I'm mistified.

Now, obviously, I messed up somewhere, but in my mind I did everything correctly both times. Does anyone have any idea what mistake I could have made? For example, too much of something? I searched on baking911.com but it didn't talk about this poundcake problem. My only guess is that the oven went off kilter this week and it was too hot, but why would it be brown AND still moist? I have overbaked before, a long, long time ago, thank goodness, but the inside color never changed.

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I'm sorry I can't answer your question although I had the same thing happen to me once when making Pannetone (?). Anyways, I am also looking for a killer lemon pound cake. I have already set that recipe aside to try although I haven't yet. I was wondering if the glaze stayed gooey or did it dry and get crisp on top? I saw some lemon loaves at a market whose glaze was dry and it gave a really nice look. Just wondering. :)


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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The glaze dries up crisp. The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar, but that made a lot of glaze. It also calls for poking holes so it soaks in. I did poke the holes, but for me half the glaze amount was sufficient.

I also wanted to add my own tip for this recipe: after the cake bakes for the first 15 minutes make a slit with a sharp knife on the top of the cake, the long way, so that it splits evenly as it rises. The first time I didn't do this and it formed a weird shape on its own. With the slit it looks very professional.

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I didn't know what happened to your toasty pound cake for sure. My first reaction was that obviously it got browned off inside. But I was flumuxed y'know how in the world could you do that??? (How hot was your oven???)

I always thought the extra cream had something to do with it. But how could that have attracted the extra heat??? So the extra cream in the special butta and the slit after 15 minutes in the oven, toasted out your baby. Doncha, think???

You opened up it's little belly to the heat.

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I also wanted to add my own tip for this recipe: after the cake bakes for the first 15 minutes make a slit with a sharp knife on the top of the cake, the long way, so that it splits evenly as it rises. The first time I didn't do this and it formed a weird shape on its own. With the slit it looks very professional.

Here's a little tip to prevent the weirdly shaped split on top: after spreading the batter in the loaf pan, brush a thin line of melted butter lengthwise down the middle of the top. The cake will split where you brushed the butter when it bakes up.

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I clicked onto the website but could not find the pound cake recipe, so I am just guessing or wondering out loud.....does the cake have chemical leavening? I have seen products that were made using the wrong leavener or made with a scaling error that caused catastrophic repercussions, specifically using too much baking soda or powder or mistakenly using one of them in place of the other. I have seen a greenish tint and a brownish orange tint due to this Just thinking out loud.................I myself prefer pound cake with no chemical leavening, but I know it's out there.


Edited by boulak (log)

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This has me baffled........I've never come across a similar reaction.

In my head I've tried to think of things that would cause a chemical reation to turn an item brown inside. So far the only thing I can think of is using brown sugar in place of white sugar....possibly using a different flour (as in- you can see a difference between bleached and unbleached flours). Even an over baked item doesn't make the interior change colors, unless it was noteable burnt.

I keep thinking that your acid (lemon) could have had a funny reaction to another ingredient- but I can't think of what that might be. Could your eggs have gotten burned by the sugar and lemon?........but I'm not sure I think that would account for that drastic of a color change. I have had a lemon pound cake not bake right because I under incorporated the lemon juice (under mixed the whole batter), could you have done that? Were you overly gentle?

I can't log onto the link you posted because I'm not a member there. I think it would help to see the whole recipe. Can you post it here for us? You CAN post the recipes ingredients and quanities as published with-out violating copyright. Just don't post the written description of their method.

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Wendy, here's the ingredients list for you:

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon, softened, for greasing pan

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) cake flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting pan

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cups (8 ¾ ounces) sugar

2 tablespoons grated zest plus 2 teaspoons juice from 2 medium lemons

4 large eggs

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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If you accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder, the cake would turn brown. Is it possible this could have happened? Make the cake again...........

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Thanks for posting the ingredients...............nothing looks strange to me. Boulak has that happened to you or are you speculating? Why would the soda turn it brown?

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Thanks for posting the ingredients...............nothing looks strange to me. Boulak has that happened to you or are you speculating? Why would the soda turn it brown?

Unfortunately, I have seen it more than once. Baking soda has a rotting or weakening effect on gluten which is part of the reason cookies spread. The Carbon dioxide gas given off as well as tenderizing ingredients assist in the spread, or leavening in quickbreads/cakes. In cakes, soda used in the absence of an acid can turn a product greenish and give a metallic taste. I am not exactly certain (but you can bet I will research tonight after work) why soda (usually in excess) can cause a brownish or pumpkin bread like looking product. One of my first jobs used teaspoons and Tablespoons for chemicals even though we weighed everything else. Some one (not me, I promise) used Tb. one day instead of tsp. on a sour cream coffee cake leavened with soda (sour cream being the acid) -- It looked like pumpkin bread and had a metallic and soapy taste. In the recipe that CanadianBakin' posted, an acid (lemon juice) is present, but the recipe calls for Baking Powder. Quite often when there is an acid in a recipe with BP, some soda may be added to adjust the pH. I know that if a cake was baked twice, and one time it was good and one time it was not, that a third, closely monitored bake is in order. Based on experience and studies, I thinking that it is definitely something to do with pH.

CanadianBakin': Do you have the time to conduct some controlled experiments with the variables mentioned above?

Yours for a more yellow pound cake.


Edited by boulak (log)

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Thanks everyone for your comments. First, let me say that someone at work asked for the recipe, so it was good enough.

The baking soda/powder mixup is a possibility since I keep the 2 chemicals in similiar tins, but would it have risen so well with baking soda?

The Keller's butter is like regular Land 0 Lakes, not like Plugra.

I'll definitely make it again.

Here is the link to the America's Test Kitchen show which has the recipe for the lemon pound cake and glaze. You have to register with the site, but it is free, so no excuses. BTW, they only keep 3 seasons in the "free" section, this season's and the two previous, so if you want to save recipes from season #2, don't delay.

America's Test Kitchen: Teatime

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achevres - what was the texture of your cake? I tried this recipe the other night and it had a very poor rise and is VERY dense. Is that the way it's supposed to be or should I try again?


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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achevres - what was the texture of your cake? I tried this recipe the other night and it had a very poor rise and is VERY dense. Is that the way it's supposed to be or should I try again?

This poundcake is one of the best cakes I have ever made and everyone that tried it thought it was great, so do try it again. I'm going to make it again this weekend.

Both my cakes rose above the poundcake pan (standard metal pan-the bottom measures 7.5 x 3.5 inches and 2.5 inches high). The texture was denser than a butter cake, and to me, exactly what a pound cake should be, similar to a Sara Lee Poundcake. Even when I messed up, the rise and texture weren't affected. But there can be different ways of messing up.

I didn't write about the very first time I made this cake. I was in a hurry and I read the recipe wrong and put the juice of 2 lemons, instead of 2 teaspoons juice. That cake was very heavy and too moist but the intense sourness made me re-read the recipe and realize that mistake. IMO, the lemon ingredients should be in 2 separate lines: one line for the zest of 2 lemons and one line for the 2 ts juice.

Two other things come to mind. First, check that your baking powder is the standard double-acting kind and that it is fresh--less than a year old. Second, make sure you don't overbeat the flour into the batter.

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i'm no baking expert, but wasn't the biggest difference in the butter?

i bet if you try again and you use the same butter it will come out different again.

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i'm no baking expert, but wasn't the biggest difference in the butter?

i bet if you try again and you use the same butter it will come out different again.

I don't think the mistake was using different butter, because the butters were not basically different (store brand vs brand name-but same butterfat content). Never, ever have I experienced different results from using branded vs non-branded butter. I buy whichever is on sale or cheaper, with no problems.

I have the strong suspicion that I used baking soda instead of baking powder, like boulak suggested. The baking soda can wasn't totally closed last I checked :blink: . I looked up baking soda on Baking911.com (good resource) and I quote:

If the level of baking soda is too high in the recipe, it creates soapy off-notes. If the level is too low, it will allow the acidic flavors to come through. Excess levels also result in over-browning. 
Since the cake batter does have some lemon juice, the baking soda could act as leavener. And, since 1 teaspoon is a lot of baking soda for a small cake, it could also cause the brown color I was complaining about.

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Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

ISO.....I am looking for a chocolate pound cake, a dark, rich, dense pound cake.

Preferably using cocoa powder, rather than melted chocolate in the batter.

Any good formulas out there that you swear by.

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too add to this I'd like to request if I may. lemon pound cake recipe..hate to admit, but I love Entenmens....I'm on a baking spree..so help a youngster out! :biggrin:


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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<<My favourite recipe has cocoa and bittersweet chocolate...>>

That sounds really good.

Do you feel like sharing the recipe?

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My favourite Chocolate Pound Cake recipe has cocoa and bittersweet chocolate in the recipe.

Thank you for that link, I have left over (lovely, lovely) bittersweet and some awesome coco powder. ws has some nice recipes, I particularly like Marilyn cunninghams ginger muffins, a must try. I recently tried a bananna chocolate bread that was pretty good too, if anyone is interested.

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too add to this I'd like to request if I may. lemon pound cake recipe..hate to admit, but I love Entenmens....I'm on a baking spree..so help a youngster out! :biggrin:

The Lemon Poundcake in the "Tea Time" episode of America's Test Kitchen (season 4) is delicious and easy. It is the poundcake recipe I had been wishing for all my life. We couldn't stop eating it in my house. You need to register on the site, but it's free.

Tea Time (Lemon Poundcake)

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