Monday, April 18, 2011

Buttermilk Pound Cake

You just can't beat a homemade pound cake!  It's so tender, buttery and versatile--eat it plain, serve it  with ice cream and hot fudge, top it with fresh fruit and whipped cream, make it into a trifle (that's for another post!), et cetera.

The success of the recipe depends on two things:  1)  Use room temperature butter and cream it well with the sugar and 2) use only pure extracts in your baking.

Enjoy this taste of old-fashioned deliciousness.

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon high-quality vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pure lemon extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the interior of a large tube pan (preferably one with a removable bottom) with Pam for Baking or Baker's Joy.

Cream together the butter and sugar at high speed of an electric mixer until very light and fluffy.  I use my stand mixer and let it go for at least five minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine flour and salt; set aside.  In a measuring cup, combine buttermilk with baking soda.  Stir to dissolve the soda.

Turn mixer to low.  Add one-third of the flour;  mix just until combined.  Add half of the buttermilk; mix just until combined.  Repeat procedure, ending with flour.  Stir in extracts.

Scoop the batter into the pan and smooth out the top.  Bake in the center of the oven for one hour to 75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.
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