Showing posts with label pound cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pound cake. Show all posts

Friday, February 24, 2017

Almond Cheesecake Pound Cake

All right, I’ve been throwing a lot of weird vegetables at you lately (but I have to grab them when I see them at the store), so let’s go back to more familiar territory: cake (we here at MLK seem to be doing a lot of baking lately!). In this case, this is a recipe based on one I saw recently in our local paper, for a pound cake with a twist—it has cream cheese in it.

While the original recipe called for lemon flavoring, I decided to change it up a bit by substituting almond extract (Krista and I have to have a pound cake duel!).

Almond Cheesecake Pound Cake
(really needs a better name, doesn’t it?)


3-1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter,
at room temperature

1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room

2-3/4 cups granulated sugar

5 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan (Note: you really need a pan that holds about ten cups. While there’s not a lot of baking powder/soda in this recipe, it does rise a bit, and if you try to squeeze into a smaller pan, it may overflow. Or don’t fill your pan to the top.)

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

This is a vintage sifter I bought
at a flea market. Big enough for
just about any recipe!
In a stand mixer set on medium-high, cream the softened butter for 2 minutes. Add the softened cream cheese and beat for 2 minutes more.

Lots of butter!
Add the sugar in 3 additions, beating for after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl. When all the sugar is added, beat for 1 minute more.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing enough to blend (do not overbeat). Add the vanilla and almond extracts blend.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions.

All in
Scrape down the bowl and spoon the mixture into the baking pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

BTW, I weighed the batter--
it's more like five pounds!
Bake for 65-70 minutes in the middle of the oven (this is important: because it is a dense cake, the outside may begin to brown before the interior is cooked. If you’re concerned, cover the top loosely with a piece of foil and/or reduce the heat to 325 degrees). The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean and the cake shrinks a bit away from the sides of the pan.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn out on a wire rack and cool completely. (If you want to dress it up, you could add an almond glaze using butter, confectioner’s sugar and almond extract.)

This cake slices neatly and keeps well (good thing, too, because it’s big!)

Still counting the days until the release of Cruel Winter (County Cork Mystery #5). 

Here's what the NY Journal of Books had to say about it:

"A crafty and marvelous twist to the classic whodunit... A totally captivating page-turner of a book, perfect for winter nights with a storm beating against the windows."

Available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and still on sale at both).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Cranberry Pound Cake

by Sheila Connolly

Recently I wrote here about searching for a recipe to use with my vintage Swans Down hexagonal cake pans. I tracked down the corporate headquarters and asked if they could find a vintage recipe to match. They couldn’t, but they were quick to answer and kindly sent me a big batch of their recipes. I applaud their customer service!

Among their Thanksgiving recipes was one for Cranberry Pound Cake. Since I live in the home of Ocean Spray, I have a moral obligation to use our native cranberries, so I thought I’d share this recipe, in case you want something that isn’t apple or pumpkin pie with your holiday meal.

Swans Down Cranberry Pound Cake

3 cups sifts Swans Down cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries (chop first, then measure)
Optional: 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Sift the flour and measure. Then add the baking powder and salt, and sift again to mix.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and the extra yolk one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.

Mix the vanilla and the milk. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternative with the milk, and beating on low after each addition.

Fold in the cranberries (and nuts if you’re using them).

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and finish cooling on the rack.

Glaze (if you want it)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 Tblsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl combine the sugar and butter, then stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick, add more cream, one tablespoon at a time. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

I'm giving away a copy of Picked to Die to someone who leaves a comment here (random drawing!) about the first Thanksgiving dish you ever cooked yourself. (I roasted my first Turkey when I was 16 because I really wanted to go with my family to my high school's Thanksgiving Day football game.) The drawing will be held on Thanksgiving Day.

Meg, Seth, Bree, Max and Lolly, and all the citizens of Granford, wish you a bountiful harvest and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Pound Cake with Peaches @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  I had the delightful assignment of making a birthday cake for an 80th birthday party a couple of weeks ago. When I asked what flavor the birthday boy would like, here's what he said: fruity, juicy, chocolate-y, any or all!


That leaves the door wide open, right?  I wanted something that would leave leftovers and provide a foil for the last of our stunning fall peaches. But special enough for a wonderful man. Company pound cake came to mind...

You can find a recipe for a pound cake in just about any general or dessert cookbook. They all have lots of butter, eggs, and sugar in common. But a few things make this one different.

I borrowed the sour cream idea from Southern Living, and then added my favorite flavoring combination--vanilla and almond. The eggs I used were extra-large and that made for a very fluffy cake. Be sure to butter the bunt pan liberally. And consider using the sprinkled sugar technique that Krista (?) introduced a couple of months ago. I didn't remember until too late and so the cake came out a little patchy. In the good news department, that allowed me some little pieces to sample:).


    •    1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    •    3 cups sugar
    •    6 large eggs
    •    3 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt
    •    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    •    1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
    •    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    •    6-8 ripe peaches, peeled, sliced and mixed with a teaspoon or so of sugar


Prepare the peaches and let them sit at room temperature while you make the cake. Beat the butter until soft, either with a hand or stand mixer. Slowly add the sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy. 

Beat the extracts and the eggs in, one by one, mixing after each until yolks disappear.


Sift the dry ingredients together, and then add this mixture to the batter, alternating with sour cream. Begin and end with the dry.


Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup tube pan.


I know, it's kind of ugly:)

Bake at 325 for about an hour and ten minutes. Check the doneness with a wooden skewer. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then turn the cake out onto a plate. 

but who cares once the peaches are loaded on!

Serve with sliced peaches.

The birthday boy still has what it takes--we love you Joe!

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

 Follow Lucy on Facebook

And Twitter

And Pinterest.

And don't forget, DEADLY ADVICE, the first advice column mystery (written as Roberta Isleib) is finally available as an ebook.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rain or Shine Desserts

If there's one holiday that screams for cooking on the grill, it's the Fourth of July. For many, that means easy cooking. For a lucky few, it means hubby does most of the cooking. When I'm faced with a dinner from the grill, I like to grill everything, or as much as I can.

I throw veggies on the grill. I butter and salt potatoes, wrap them in foil, and let them bake on the grill. I posted ages ago about how I make garlic bread on the grill. But what about dessert?

This year, the fourth falls on Thursday and that means a lot of us will have spent the week working. The fourth is usually a day of fun. Picnics, fireworks, boating, swimming, hiking. Who wants to miss out on all that fun to stay home and bake pies and cupcakes? Well, okay, so a few of us will do that but others would prefer to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.

As luck had it, I saw two grilled dessert ideas in a Kroger flyer that were very easy. They utilize some, shhh, store bought goodies but still make for great desserts.

Grilling fruit isn't the most original idea. I do that every time I light up the grill. If you have never eaten grilled pineapple, you'll be blown away by the delicious caramelized sweetness. I usually serve that as a side dish with dinner. Not your cuppa? Grill peaches! And serve them over vanilla ice cream. How easy is that? Yummy warm peaches over ice cream? Not many people would turn that down. And your time in the kitchen is limited to scooping ice cream.

Now I admit that I baked a cake for the second idea. Two cakes, actually. After all, you guys expect a recipe, right? But if you buy a pound cake from the deli or Sara Lee (whose frozen pound cake is pretty good!), I'll never tell.

Who has baked a pound cake recently? It's been years for me. When I saw recipes with one pound of butter, seven eggs, and three cups of sugar, my arteries started hardening. I was certain someone must have found a way to bake a lower fat pound cake.

My first attempt omitted butter entirely. I used vegetable oil and 2% Greek yogurt instead. While it baked up with a decent crumb, it just wasn't pound cake. It was obvious to me immediately that pound cake really does need butter. As it happens, while I didn't care for the first cake, my mother loved it!

But I kept going. Apparently, I'm not the only person who has thought about this. Lisa Schumacher, a recipe tester and stylist for the Chicago Tribune put her talents to work and modified something called a Dutch pound cake recipe. Apparently, her tasters liked the lower fat version even better than the original. Now this isn't going to win any health or diet awards, but it might make you feel a little bit better about enjoying it.

While it wasn't mentioned in the recipe I read, I brought the butter and eggs to room temperature. I also skipped the cake flour and used with regular flour. The results are terrific. If you chose to bake it in small Bundt pans, check to see if they're done in 45 - 50 minutes. It turned out of the pans perfectly, slices beautifully, and has the dense texture and buttery flavor of pound cake. This recipe is a keeper for me.

Lisa Schumacher's Lower Fat Pound Cake

1 1/2 sticks butter (room temperature) plus extra for greasing the pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two loaf pans. Cream the butter with the sugar. Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside. Beat in the four eggs. Add the flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the milk. Add vanilla and beat. Pour into pans. Bake about 1 hour.

But that's not all! The Kroger flyer suggested an grown-up version of S'mores using pound cake. How clever is that? Unfortunately, just as I was ready to put my peaches and pound cake S'mores on the grill, I noticed two of my dogs acting scared. Sure enough, thunder rolled through the air and rain came down. Not just rain. A deluge with lightning and sound effects that sent poor Queenie into hiding.

If that happens to you, all is not lost. Preheat the oven to 350. Place the peach halves in a oven safe baking dish, sprinkle with sugar and cover. Bake 20 minutes. Serve hot on vanilla ice cream.

Slice the pound cake about1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and marshmallows and cover with another slice. Bake at 350 about 7 minutes. Serve warm.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Little Cake Molds

by Sheila Connolly

I'm sure I've said before that I love antiques fairs and yard sales and tag sales and all their ilk, because that's where I seem to get all my bakeware.  This month I went to the Brimfield Antique Show, the largest open-air event of its kind in the world, and it didn't disappoint. I came home with several treasures.  And for the first time, I actually haggled! (After learning from a cable TV show that I was supposed to, and that vendors expected it—I'm a slow learner.)

Remember those adorable little tartlet pans (also vintage) that I wrote about a while back?  Well, I discovered at Brimfield that they have big sisters, and of course I had to have them.  It's a mismatched set, all in good condition.  Now, what to do with them?

I believe that once upon a time, ladies who lunched made cute little cakes and served them as individual desserts, perhaps with some sliced fruit, a dab of whipped cream, and a mint leaf for garnish.  I decided that's what I'm going for—a basic pound-cake type recipe that's easy to make, and can be baked ahead and prettied up for serving.

Plain pound cake can be pretty blah (more vanilla!), so I added some ginger.  You might serve these with some fresh pears, in season now—there's a vendor at the Plymouth Farmers' Market who makes a Ginger Pear Jelly that I am addicted to.  It's a good combination.



½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened

½ cup sugar

1¼ cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

(if you feel daring, you can add some candied ginger, chopped fine and dusted with flour so the bits don't sink during baking)


Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually.

Beat the eggs until thick and lemon-colored. Sift together the dry ingredients.  Add the eggs and the dry ingredients alternately to the butter-sugar mixture.

Grease your molds (a cooking spray works well for this).  Fill each mold with about a quarter-cup each (this will depend on the size of your mold; you don't need to smooth them out).  Place the filled molds on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden.

Let sit in the molds for a few minutes until they come out easily. Unmold and let cool on a rack. Once cool, place them in an sealed container to keep them moist.

When the ladies are assembled for lunch, garnish and serve!

My first standalone ebook, Once
She Knew, has been in the Nook
Mystery Top Ten most of this
week, and in the top 100 among all
Nook books.  It will be released in
other e-formats on October 3 (no,
there are no recipes--my protagonists
barely have time to eat!)