Friday, June 4, 2010

Buttermilk Pound Cake

I love dessert. I have quite a sweet tooth. But I've never really gotten into cake. So many cakes are too fluffy, and I like dense desserts. So when I make cakes, I opt for molten cakes, quick breads, and pound cakes. Those...those are right up my alley. Desserts you can really sink your teeth into. Desserts that are substantial.

I love them. But I still don't make them very often. I guess that's partly because they're just not good for you. But mostly because it's just me and Jeff...eating the entire thing ourselves...which is fun, don't get me wrong, Having cake for a week is nice. But then you realize you consumed half a pound of butter and a whole cup of sugar by yourself...well, it starts to make you feel gross.

Sometimes I give in to temptation. Like last week. The problem is, Elissa of 17andbaking makes it Impossible not to! Her photography is delicious. Thus far, I've resisted.

But then, she made Buttermilk Pound Cake. Buttermilk, I thought. Ha! I never have buttermilk (even though she says you can make your own with the lemon juice trick). But then my in-laws visited. And I decided, since I needed to feed my sourdough starter anyway, I would make sourdough waffles. Which need buttermilk, apparently. So, I bought a quart and what do you know? I had 2 cups left. Perfect for making pound cake.

I didn't make it for my in-laws. I waited a couple of weeks and made it shortly after Jeff's birthday. I couldn't wait the two days Elissa suggests; we enjoyed it that night. And it was delicious. And heavy. And slightly sweet. The perfect end. Some desserts are far too rich. This one was perfect.

Resist. I dare you.

Buttermilk Pound CakeAdapted from
printable recipe

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted room temperature butter, reserve the wrappers for greasing the pan
3 1⁄2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 300 and grease and flour a bundt pan. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, then slowly pour in the sugar. (I have never added the sugar like this, but am impressed with it. I'll be doing it like this in the future.) Cream the butter and sugar well, until light and fluffy and sugar is almost dissolved. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each is well blended until adding the next. Scrape down the sides as necessary. Add the vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low and add in 1/3 of the flour mixture (about a heaping cup). When it is just blended in, add in 1/3 of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk, just waiting until the previous ingredient is blended before adding in the next. When the last of the buttermilk is mixed in, add in the lemon juice and zest, and blend just until well mixed.

Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. The top will be nice and brown and the edges should start to pull away from the edges of the pan; this should take about 70-80 minutes, although I left mine in for probably about 85-90.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then flip the cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for another several hours. Elissa recommends letting the cake rest for a few days to develop the flavors. I couldn't wait. It was still delicious.


  1. I know just what you mean about substantial, dense desserts! Pound cake sure fits that bill. I also know what you mean about being hesitant to have a cake like this around for days. It's both delicious and appallingly fattening at the same time. What's a girl to do?

    I love "17andbaking" also! I can't believe that girl is still a teenager! Incredible.

    As one blogging English major who loves to bake to another, I love your blog!

    :) Jane

  2. wow I will fall for this cake, why? I love cake laced with buttemilk!:)

  3. Thanks, Jane! I'm glad to find another English major out there. I'm also continually floored that Elissa is so young. She's so talented.

    Big Boys Oven--can you believe this is my first go around? My mom never baked with buttermilk. Now I see I was missing out all those years.