Yossy Arefi's Brown Sugar Pound Cake is good enough—tender and buttery, a tiny bit molasses-y from the brown sugar—to serve on its own, with no adornment at all besides a fork (and even that is a matter of preference).
But that doesn't mean you must eat it plain. It's good on its own, sure, but it also welcomes just about any topping you can throw at/on it.
Bake the cake—even a few days before you plan to serve it! (As Yossy writes, "Pound cake... tastes best a day or two after you bake it.") Then, pick a couple of ways ways to gild the lily:
- Spoon fresh fruit macerated with a spoonful of sugar (or sprinkled with a tiny bit of rosewater or orange blossom water, as Alice Medrich does with oranges) over the top.
- No fresh fruit? Frozen's okay, too—flavor as above (or even add a few healthy dashes of aromatic bitters!) and stir in a small pot over medium heat until saucy and warm.
- Or just dollop a spoonful of jam (or lemon curd, or applesauce) onto a slice.
- Smother a slice in whipped cream—regular whipped cream, chocolatey, or infused with herbs, tea, or coffee. (You can even make the whipped cream ahead of time, too.)
- Serve the slices toasted or griddled or waffled.
- Chop up the cake (or any cake you have left after you've sampled a few pieces) and layer the chunks in a trifle.
- Break up a piece of the cake, toast it in a pan until golden and crisp on the edges, and drop the pieces over a bowl of ice cream. (This cake might be simple, but it's not about restraint.)
- Or go ahead and put it directly in the ice cream (or ice pops, as in these Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Pops—your choice).
- Slice the cake thinly, smush some slightly softened ice cream on top, then seal with a second thin slice of cake, and freeze—ice cream sandwiches!
- Cake + ice cream + milk = cake milkshake!
- Pour a shot of espresso over a slice, saturating it. (Tip: Serve with whipped cream on top. Faux tiramisu.)
- If it's been some time and your slices are stale, turn them into French toast or bread pudding.
How else do you serve pound cake? Share your ideas in the comments.