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pullmanloafpan_t.jpgThe “Let’s Eat” section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured an article by Shirley Corriher about pound cake, which drew a lot of attention.

She calls for baking the cake in a pullman bread pan, because the right-angle sides (most bread pans have slanted sides) produce a pretty dessert when the slices are cut on the diagonal. The pullman bread pan is traditionally used for making sandwich bread with a tight crumb structure. The pan features a lid (which she does not use for the cake recipe) which forces a yeast bread to fill in the corners so that each slice is perfectly square. Yes, you can bake pound cake without a pullman pan, but I do love the heavy-weight and stick-resistant carbon steel construction of this pan.

The recipe gets its wonderful flavor from vanilla bean paste. I have replaced vanilla extract with vanilla bean paste in all of my recipes because the intense flavor of the paste is so delicious. The paste has ground vanilla beans for a more potent extract.

Corriher’s other suggestions for making pound cake are:

  • use a food processor to smoothly and effectively blend the sugar, butter, and eggs (Yes!)
  • use cake flour for a softer, more delicate crumb (Yes!)
  • melt the butter (not necessary; the food processor well blends the butter without breaking the butter emulsion)
  • use baking powder (not traditional; pound cake should get its leavening from lots of eggs)
  • toast the sliced cake (good for leftover cake, but I like the soft texture of the freshly-baked cake)

Here is my version of pound cake. Double the recipe to bake in a 10-12 cup bundt cake pan.

Pound Cake

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour

Mix together the butter and sugar in a food processor until creamy and well-blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend well. Mix together the salt and flour. Fold into the butter mixture. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees until set in the middle, about 60-70 minutes. Serve with my favorite chocolate sauce.

Want to see how to bake a pound cake? Join us for cooking class on February 19 or April 14 for delicious menus that include homemade pound cake.