Aug 16, 2012

Cold oven pound cake with buttercream icing

In June of last year -- that would be 2011 -- blog reader Kay asked me to post the recipe for my pound cake, which I'd made at the beach a week or so before.

Does Kay even read my blog anymore? I have no idea. I may have pissed her off by not posting this recipe in a timely manner. There is A Kay who reads this blog, because she comments. But I have no idea if it's the same one. If it IS the same Kay, then yea! It's your lucky day!

This recipe came from my grandmother's friend Sara Scott, and Sara always kept the recipe a secret. She finally gave it to me about a year before she died, because as Grandmother said, "You live out of town, so she knows you won't be competing with her at the church bazaar." Ha!

I'll give you the recipe, and then I'll tell you the tricks that make it so amazing:


3 sticks butter
3 c. sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. plain flour
¾ c. milk
Pinch of salt

DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one. Add milk, salt, flour and vanilla. Mix at medium speed. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes (see Tip 1 below), starting in a COLD OVEN. (When inserting a knife, a little bit of batter should come out on the knife.)

Tip #1
I bake the cake for 82 minutes in my oven, then start checking it with a knife. I don't want the knife to come out clean. I want it to come out like this:

That's not raw batter on the knife. The cake is baked, but it's not QUITE done. But you don't want it done. It will continue to bake a little after you pull it out of the oven, and it will be perfection if you pull it out a little "early." See?

It's not jiggly on the inside, but you want your knife to come out with some cakey stuff on it. I guarantee you that a lot of people who say they don't like pound cake say that because they've had really DRY pound cake. You don't want yours to be dry.

You want it to be golden on top and what I would call "humid" inside. Only time in my entire life that I ever want anything to be humid.

Tip #2
The icing is what really puts this cake over the top. While you could certainly serve this cake with fresh berries or even plain, the icing is magical. MAGICAL, I tell you. It only contains four ingredients:

Please enjoy how terrific my photography is at 11:30 at night in low light.


½ c. margarine
1 lb. 10x Confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 tbsp. or more cream (half-and-half is OK)

Thoroughly cream softened margarine and sugar. Add vanilla. Add cream as needed until you reach a consistency for spreading on cake. Be sure the cake has cooled completely before icing.

This recipe makes a lot of icing. I usually scoop out the extra and put it on the cake plate with the cake. Everyone always wants more, so they can take a spoon and heap it on if they want to.

If you ice the cake while it's still a little bit warm, the icing will drape down over the cake like so:

Reminds me of that dude's pink hair on Fat Albert.

If you wait until the cake is completely cool, it spreads normally. It tastes delicious either way; it just looks different depending on when you ice the cake.

Let me know if you bake this one, and pass along your feedback!

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