I'm sure you can fairly easily guess what the next cake will feature. For those who don't know what it is, I'll give you a hint: it used to be a key ingredient in Dr. Pepper. Stay tuned for the cake featuring the mystery ingredient; it will be here soon.
But for now you'll have to be satisfied with perhaps the most pedestrian of all cakes, and probably the grandaddy of them as well: pound cake. However, this isn't just any old pound cake, it's a cream cheese pound cake.
Substituting cream cheese for some of the butter in pound cake adds a subtle flavor that is divine. My husband and I couldn't stop cutting off piece after piece today - not a healthy snack, but one that is oh-so-delicious.
Traditional pound cakes are named such because they had one pound each of eggs, sugar, flour, and butter. More modern pound cakes vary the ratio to make a cake that is slightly less dense, but still extremely rich. This recipe in particular is very buttery, and I think it would still be a good cake if you cut the butter back by a third (heck, even Paula Deen is eating less butter these days!)
I'm not sure the South can claim pound cake as its own, but it certainly is a staple of the afternoon tea set in fine Southern drawing rooms. This recipe again comes from the Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook. (I'm using this tome frequently, but others are on the horizon.)
If you are not much of a baker but still want to make a cake, pound cake is for you. It's easy, you can make it in a loaf pan, and it's so rich it doesn't need a frosting. You can double this recipe and bake it in a greased 10-inch tube pan. Increase baking time by approximately 20 minutes.
Makes 1 -9x5 inch loaf
3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (I also like to line the bottom with parchment).
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and cream cheese and beat until combined. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in vanilla.
Scrape batter into greased loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few loose crumbs.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.