Friday, March 15, 2013

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Pound cakes are classic.  A cake recipe that has been a staple in kitchens for many generations.  Growing up theres not a church event that comes to mind that didn't have at least half a dozen different types of pound cake there.  I believe pound cakes were ever so popular in our grandparents and great grandparents generation.  They were a "go to" dessert anytime something sweet was needed; and I think one of the main reasons they were so popular is because when pound cakes initially came around the measurments were easy...a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and so on.  There was no need for a written recipe because the measurements were so simple. 
The popularity of the pound cake faded away for a brief period but I believe over the past few years it's been making a comeback.  The measurements have changed slightly, but the pound cake is making a return.  With it's return it's not only bringing back the classic, buttery flavor, it's also bringing an abundance of new flavors and twists.      
This particular pound cake recipe does not stray too much from the more traditional cake and flavors.  Pretty much the only difference this particular recipe has is the addition of cream cheese.  The flavor of the cream cheese is subtle but the flavor is evidient.  This cake has that rich buttery flavor that we all associate with pound cakes, but it also has a slight tang from the cream cheese.  The tang and the rich buttery goodness compliment one another so well. 
I adore the flavor of pound cakes and I could enjoy slice after slice, warmed slightly with nothing on it.  But if you are looking to add a little more flavor to this already delicious cake fresh strawberries go perfectly with it, as well as vanilla ice cream or even a dollop of fresh whipped cream.  I've got a little strawberry lover in my house, so we chopped up some strawberries for him to enjoy with his cake.  As you can tell, he couldn't fight it any longer...he had to help himself to a slice or 3 of strawberries!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp salt
1 1/2 Cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temerpature
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
3 Cups sugar
6 Large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla
Zest of a lemon


Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and coat with flour.  Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

Place butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat on high until creamy and smooth.  Add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  After all of the sugar is added increase mixing spead to medium-high and beat mixture until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to mix well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and zest and mix to incorporate. 

Gradually add the flour and mix until incorporated, being sure not to over mix.  Once all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Place the cake on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan.  Using a knife, carefully scrape the sides of the cake pan to help release the cake from the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. 

*Allowing the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes will preven the cake from caving in.

Recipe source:  Joy of Baking

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