Cold Oven Pound Cake

By • November 6, 2011 • 18 Comments

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Author Notes: This is my grandmother’s pound cake. Like any good Southern cook, she had all her recipes on much-used and splotched index cards. I used to have the index card on which she scratched this recipe, but in several moves it has been lost. This cake is my go-to cake for food gifts; funeral food; breakfast toast; or dessert with macerated strawberries, lemon curd, or ice cream -- the variations are endless. Friends swear by it for curing whatever illness they have at the moment. There is no leavener, no whipping cream, no sour cream, no salt other than the salted butter, no fancy extracts -- just simple ingredients. It makes a crunchy, crusty top and the inside is dense and almost creamy. The contrast is delightful.

Tips: Do not use whole milk; 2% is best but skim works as well. Whole milk is too heavy and will keep the cake from rising. Make sure your oven is COLD. Do not preheat it. If you do not want to eat it all at once, this cake freezes beautifully. It also travels well and does not dry out quickly.
Muffinj

Food52 Review: A go-to cake for all occasions? With ingredients I always have on hand? This I had to try. I was intrigued by the unusual mixing and baking techniques. The fairly stiff batter needed some coaxing to get it distributed evenly in the pan, but once it was in, it baked up beautifully with a wonderful caramelized exterior and a moist, non-crumbly interior that has just the right amount of sweetness. Cut into chunks, it was a fabulous and sturdy dipper for chocolate fondue; when toasted, it browned without drying out and took cake to a whole new level.tanager

Makes 1 cake

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk, 2% or less (do not use whole)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. Set aside.
  2. Separate the eggs; the yolks go in a small bowl. The whites go into a medium bowl. Set both aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat until incorporated.
  5. Pour the vanilla into the milk.
  6. Pour 1/3 cup of the milk mixture into the butter, sugar, and egg mixture along with 1 cup of flour. Beat only until incorporated -- do not overmix. Repeat the milk and flour additions twice more until all is used and beaten until just incorporated.
  7. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold gently into the cake mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into the greased and floured tube pan and place the pan into the cold oven.
  9. Turn the oven on to 300° F. Bake the cake for 45 minutes.
  10. Raise the temperature to 325° F and bake another 45 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edge and invert the cake onto the rack and then back onto a plate.
  12. Serve right then, or toasted in the morning for breakfast, or with macerated fruit and ice cream for dessert.
Jump to Comments (18)

Comments (18) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago Reeb

Have made a cold oven pound cake before, but have just read about this one. Looking forward to baking it just like its listed then if I disagree with anything I'll change it on the next baking time. Doubt there'll be any changes though.

Open-uri20130723-7368-16oscry

about 1 month ago Angelique M Kenefick

LOVE LOVE LOVE :)

Open-uri20130723-7368-16oscry

about 1 month ago Angelique M Kenefick

Cake is in the oven now :)

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2 months ago emilyos

Has anyone tried using a non-dairy milk? I don't usually keep cow's milk in the house and I am interested to hear how it has turned out for others.

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4 months ago Luvtocook

I love pound cake and can't wait to try this. Only use whole milk in my kitchen so plan to use less milk well mixed with water for correct amount. I use Crisco shortening (sticks) for pastry so expect I'll use butter-flavored Crisco for this cake. I have high hopes for this recipe.

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4 months ago Muffinj

Please let me know ho wit came out with the butter flavored Crisco - for me that would be too much butter taste - but it might work just fine. Thanks

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4 months ago Muffinj

"how it" came out - sorry - bad typist

Stringio

4 months ago Moema Bentley

Thank you Pam, I will give it a try and keep you posted! I don't like to use shortening at all when I bake.

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4 months ago Pam

Moema Bentley: you can buy transfat free shortening at Whole Foods. A bit pricey as you'd expect but worth it for me since I don't use shortening that often.

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4 months ago Heather

Followed the exact recipe and it was delicious!

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4 months ago Pam

How would I adjust the recipe to bake it in a 9x5x3 loaf pan instead of a tube pan, including baking times?

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4 months ago Muffinj

Pam - I have done it in loaf pans. It more than fills two pans - try not to overfill each, maybe about ¾ of the way up and if you have any small pans you can use up the rest int hose. As far as cooking time - if my memory serves I cut the time about 5 - 8 minutes - but it really depends on the heat of your oven - so you may need to just watch it carefully - not much help, I know.

Stringio

4 months ago Moema Bentley

Can you use something other then solid shortening instead?

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4 months ago Muffinj

I have never used anything else - you could try 4 sticks of butter but it mightnot hold together as well.

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4 months ago Betty Santos

I have made this cake and it is delicious.

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6 months ago wills

It came out ok, a little heavy. Ended up baking it 15 extra minutes.

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4 months ago Muffinj

Will - it is supposed to be heavy! It is a dense cake - a "pound" cake.
and as far as cooking more - my oven is HOT and I actually cook it about 4-5 minutes less on each cycle - so whatever works!

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almost 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So interesting! I've never seen the technique of adding the liquid and dry ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar, and beating at the same time. Nor have I ever seen, read or heard about putting the cake into a cold oven. I am simply going to have to try this. We love pound cakes here, so I was planning to make one over the T-Day holiday weekend. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! ;o)