Eclair Pound Cake

By Posie (Harwood) Brien
August 8, 2018
32 Comments


Author Notes: Inspired by the flavors of a chocolate eclair, this pound cake is made with condensed milk and custard powder, and topped off with a silky chocolate ganache glaze.Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: one cake
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hrs

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan (you can also line it with parchment paper and then grease the parchment).
  2. Whisk together the flour, custard powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric handheld mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until pale in color and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, alternating with the dry ingredients, in two parts, and mix until the batter just comes together.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes before turning it out of the pan to finish cooling completely before glazing.
  7. To make the glaze: Heat the chocolate with the cream in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each until smooth and melted. Add the espresso powder, if using. Pour over the cooled cake.

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Cake|French|American|Chocolate|Bake|Dessert

Reviews (32) Questions (0)

32 Comments

Amy September 18, 2018
I baked for 60 min and the edges were quite dry. I didn't get much custard flavor (used Bird's), but maybe because it was overcooked...?? I'm willing to try it again, though. I will bake for less time. The ganache is tasty!
 
Luciana September 17, 2018
I really want to try this with an actual tunnel of custard, adding it post-bake. My son will love!
 
melly B. September 4, 2018
Why do you only post recipes with American measurements ? Surely Food 52 is a global site ?
 
Heather L. October 1, 2018
They are based out of New York. So they are an american company with global reach. I hope this helps.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. October 15, 2018
Hi Melly! I appreciate the feedback and will try to always include metric measurements as well in my recipes! That's actually how I prefer to bake :)
 
Mitsuyo R. August 21, 2018
I just me one today. It was very easy and tasted very good. Will be my one of favorite cake recipe. I used Bird's custard powder.
 
Mindy August 19, 2018
I made this but subbed three tablespoons of instant jello vanilla pudding instead of the custard powder. I wasn't hopeful about it turning out well. What a fantastic pound cake! It was moist and fluffy and so flavorful that I skipped the chocolate ganache.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 19, 2018
Love it!! Clever substitution.
 
Julie August 19, 2018
Wanted to love this, followed the directions exactly but it went into the garbage after one piece - very dry
 
carleen August 17, 2018
I just made the pound cake but had a problem with baking. At 55 minutes the edges were quite dark but the middle of the cake, which had risen to a substantial dome, was uncooked. My oven temps seem ok and all directions were followed. Any suggestions?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 19, 2018
Hmm, I'm not sure what could have happened! The top will get quite golden, but still the cake should bake through. Honestly, depending on the pan (metal v glass), the bake time can vary quite a bit. Next time I'd tent the top with foil to prevent it from overbrowning and would just keep baking until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
 
cindy September 24, 2018
Posie did you use a metal pan or a glass loaf pan to cook this in?<br /><br />
 
Author Comment
Posie (. September 25, 2018
Metal!
 
cindy September 25, 2018
Thanks!
 
Lorraine F. August 13, 2018
Posie, what exactly is the purpose of the custard powder? It is not an American ingredient and I am not familiar with it. Can you leave it out? I am always ready to learn something new about baking and ingredients. Thanks for your information and great recipes.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 13, 2018
You can definitely leave it out — it’s there for flavor, to replicate that delicious pastry cream flavor of an eclair filling which is just a fun riff on a classic pound cake. If you leave it out, I’d add a bit more vanilla for flavor. Enjoy!
 
MelissaH August 12, 2018
Posie, could you please do me and the other bakers who prefer to bake by mass a favor, and measure a cup of flour the way you usually do into a bowl on a scale, and report back? Bonus points for repeating a few times and giving us the average. This will help to make your recipe easily repeated by people who aren't you. :-)
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 12, 2018
I always bake by weight and I use 4 1/4 ounces for 1 cup of flour in all my recipes :)
 
Penny August 12, 2018
World Market carries Bird's Custard Powder.<br />Possibly Cost Plus also.
 
Kathleen M. September 23, 2018
Does your big chain grocery stores not carry Bird's Eye Custard Powder? Check for other brands, it doesn't have to be Bird's Eye.
 
Ruth August 11, 2018
This recipe looks so good. I have to try it. Thanks so much.
 
beenz August 10, 2018
Posie, is this the same cake as Pichet Ong's Condensed Milk Pound Cake that was doing the rounds of the Asian blogs a couple of years ago? That recipe recommended using a vanilla bean for the best flavour.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 10, 2018
I haven’t seen that recipe! I’ll have to take a look. Normally I’d say vanilla bean is ALWAYS ideal for flavor over extract but in this case I wouldn’t splurge on it as the custard powder and chocolate are the real stars here and you wouldn’t get as much out of the bean. Extract will work just as nicely!
 
Ruth A. August 10, 2018
Would cornstarch work as a substitute for custard powder in Naniamo Bars too? I've wanted to make them, but couldn't find custard powder.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 19, 2018
So if you need to, you could substitute cornstarch + vanilla extract (or a scraped vanilla bean would be even better). I've not tried this is Nanaimo bars but I don't see why it wouldn't work just fine!
 
Pegeen August 10, 2018
Posie, one more note... I had to go look up "custard powder" and learned that Bird's Custard Powder is more or less the U.K. standard. It's basically cornstarch, so to substitute, just use the same number of tablespoons of regular cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (if the recipe doesn't already include extract). You can't use instant pudding mix as a substitute - not at all the same thing.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 10, 2018
Yes that’s exactly right! If you can find the birds custard powder, get it—it’s great! I even add it to cookie dough and ice cream bases sometimes too. Been considering tinkering more with this cake recipe and trying to add some malted milk powder — stay tuned on that. It’s quite a forgiving cake so I think it is rather foolproof. I often add a 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs to the batter too for a nutty flavor!
 
Pegeen August 10, 2018
This looks lovely. Can't wait to try it. If you wanted to insert a layer of custard or creme, what are your thoughts on how to do that? Just slice horizontally and spread it on as a layer? Or somehow pipe it into the middle of the pound cake?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 10, 2018
I thought about doing the same thing! My only worry was that the cake is rather dense so I was concerned it would be too heavy (and the cream layer would squish out for lack of a better verb) but I think it would work to split it horizontally and spread on a pastry cream layer provided you stabilized the cream somehow so it was thicker than a classic pastry cream. Alternatively you could make a classic pastry cream and then serve slices of the chocolate-glazed cake with dollops of the cream.
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 10, 2018
I thought about doing the same thing! My only worry was that the cake is rather dense so I was concerned it would be too heavy (and the cream layer would squish out for lack of a better verb) but I think it would work to split it horizontally and spread on a pastry cream layer provided you stabilized the cream somehow so it was thicker than a classic pastry cream. Alternatively you could make a classic pastry cream and then serve slices of the chocolate-glazed cake with dollops of the cream.
 
Pegeen August 10, 2018
All good points Posie! It looks wonderful as is, so I think I'll stick with the instructions the first time around. Thank you!
 
Kathleen M. September 23, 2018
Sorry for being such a "stick in the mud" but I don't understand why so many are trying to change this beautiful and very easy to make cake into something else. Look around for the custard powder, try the asian (East Indian) stores, they cook a lot of cooking using custard powder. I personally don't think corn starch is anywhere near custard powder and if using it as a substitute | would definitely be very careful about the amount as it takes a lot less.