Keen on cooking: Poundcake brings a taste of home on cold days

Poundcake made by Chelsea Keenan, photographed at the home of Liz Martin in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Poundcake made by Chelsea Keenan, photographed at the home of Liz Martin in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

I know, I know — it’s a new year and y’all are all making resolutions to eat less sugar and more vegetables. If you’re trying to shed those holiday pounds, tuck this recipe away for a party, a birthday, or even a cheat day.

Because I promise you, this pound cake is worth every buttery bite.

It’s my favorite cake, ever. I love it so much that I would ask my mother — who lives in Florida — to bake me one, freeze it and ship it to me for my birthday each year. It finally dawned on me that I should probably learn to make it myself — that way I could not only have one whenever I want but I could also bring a taste of the south up to Iowa.

I grew up in Florida before moving to Iowa in 2011. And I have a big, loud Southern family who likes to eat. Cakes and pies always pile up every Thanksgiving but Mrs. Hunter’s pound cake (named after my uncle’s mom) is what I pick to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

Over the years, I’ve learned to perfect this family recipe and it’s really nice to have something that reminds me on home, especially on a cold, dark night in Iowa with lots of snow on the ground. I take a bite and think of jacket-less days sitting on my aunt’s back patio and chatting with my family.

Now, you’re going to look at the ingredients list and think to yourself — this has got to be the heaviest cake ever. But it’s not. It’s full of flavor and surprisingly light.

The key with this recipe is patience. You want all of your butter and cream cheese to be really soft — so let them sit out for a while. It doesn’t hurt for the eggs to be room temperature either. You’re also going to cook it on a low oven temperature for a long time and then once it comes out of the oven, let it cool for a full hour.

Be sure to liberally butter and flour your Bundt pan because the cake can be a little hard to get out sometimes. I also find it helpful to cut a piece of parchment paper and place it in the pan.

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You can frost it (I’m partial to lemon cream cheese frosting) or eat it frosting free — it’s good with coffee or ice cream. Honestly, it’s delicious any way, so cut yourself a slice, sit back and think about the warmer days ahead.

Cream Cheese Pound cake with lemon Cream cheese frosting

Cake

1 1/2 cups of butter

8 ounces of cream cheese

3 cups of sugar

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of self-rising flour

7 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Mix in the flours, eggs (one by one) and vanilla. Cook for an hour and 45 minutes to two hours. Let it cool for at least one hour.

Lemon cream cheese frosting

8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Half cup butter (room temperature)

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar for about five minutes. Beat in lemon zest and juice.

Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart

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