Baking Club

Ricotta! Orange Zest! Plus 9 More Ways to Punch Up Your Pound Cake

March 16, 2018

All this month, the Baking Club is baking its way through our own Erin McDowell’s cookbook, The Fearless Baker, and her many pound cakes have proved to be very popular. It’s not all that surprising, given that pound cakes are buttery, moist, and pretty easy to justify as breakfast given that they’re often baked in loaf pans (it’s bread, not cake, right?) and served sans frosting (an icing drizzle is entirely different, obviously).

Vanilla, almond (with a raspberry swirl), and honey pound cakes—we’ll take one of each, please! Photo by Debbi Smirnoff
Photo by Catarina Castruccio-Prince
Photo by Chris Hoelck

Club member Chris Hoelck made McDowell’s Vanilla Pound Cake (above left) and loved it, saying:

I have come to believe that pound cake appreciation is an adult thing. When I was a kid and my mom made a Bundt cake with a glaze or—even worse, no coating at all—I felt totally ripped off. How could any self-respecting cake have no frosting?! Now, while I still love frosted cakes, I also truly love a buttery, moist pound cake. This one is a keeper; it’s especially nice baked with a coating of turbinado sugar on top.

Ready for a slice? Us, too. Of course, if you don’t have a copy of her book yet, we wouldn’t want you to miss out on pound cakes with personality, so here are 11 to get you started:

Give your pound cake a citrusy twist with orange or clementine zest.

It doesn’t get much more striking than a pound cake in Bundt form with tricolored swirls.

Go super sweet with a pound cake that’s like a dessert version of corn bread, or try one with a deep caramelized sweetness from brown sugar.

This pound cake requires patience to deal with the lengthy rise time, but McDowell assures us it’s worth it.

Try adding sour cream or ricotta for incredibly moist pound cakes.

Who wants to mess around with preheating an oven? Not this cake!

Whether you want to swap in a little alternative flour for a different flavor profile or make an entirely gluten-free pound cake, these recipes have you covered.

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Tell us about your ideal pound cake (toppings, too!) in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.

1 Comment

onyia F. October 3, 2018
Thanks for sharing