Pound cake is one of those old fashioned recipes I can’t get enough of. This recipe is one of the most simple, yet fantastic recipes in my personal baking book. This basic cake got its name from the frontier women who affectionately named the it after the weights of the ingredients used to create the cake. A pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs and a pound of flour. This recipe is for a pound cake loaf, which is the perfect size for our family and the slices off of a loaf are much prettier and more even than those of a bundt cake. My favorite way to serve this cake is with macerated berries (berries + sugar) and freshly whipped cream. Check out the notes section in the recipe for more ideas for serving this brilliantly simple cake.
The best tip I have for you? Use fresh, quality ingredients. (aka: no butter that has been in your freezer for 3 years and counting.) Oh, and an 8×4 inch loaf pan makes a prettier (taller better shaped) cake than a 9×5 inch loaf pan. See here:
And… make sure you use a butter knife to clear the edges of the loaf pan after you bake, prior to cooling on a rack. Just to make sure nothing gets, well, STUCK. Store cake in an airtight container, once cooled.
This week happens to be spring break week for our oldest. It is great to have her out of school and we’ve been filling up the week with fun things to do. Monday, we set off to Minneapolis to an indoor waterpark with my husband’s family. We had a great time, and in true ‘farm fashion’ we had some pretty important gilts (mama pigs that haven’t had their babies yet) that had to farrow (have their babies). Cookie Dough, our infamous swimming-show-pig, was one of them. My husband headed for home halfway through our vacation adventure (on Tuesday) to sort out affairs there. We had a good friend named Joe, take care of the pigs in the 24 hours that my husband was gone, (bless his soul) and nothing really happened. His last check was at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and all was calm, and Cookie Dough was comfy, as was Gray, the other gilt to farrow within a day or two.
Fast forward to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. My husband arrives at the barn, cleaned up and ready to check everyone and let Cookie Dough out for a big walk because he had a feeling she wouldn’t be in labor yet. (Such as luck has provided us this year thus far.) Well… for the biggest surprise of the year, she had 4 clean dry pigs nursing on her. She’d really been working on the 5th one, a big guy, a little cock-eyed, that my husband had to pull. She had 5 more live pigs on her own for a total of 10, and within minutes after she’d ‘cleaned’ (the after-birth came out), Gray was having her own pigs too. Talk about great timing and a great outcome. My husband was going to be sick if he had come home and no one had their pigs and he could have stayed on our vacation longer. These are situations that cannot be ‘planned’. However, his 6th sense proved him right and things worked out perfectly. If you know show pigs, you know this situation is remarkably unusual. AKA: when things actually somewhat go according to plan.
Cookie Dough was bred to Lone Star at Schaffer’s Gold Rush. (Photo courtesy of Shaffer’s Gold Rush and Mapes Photography)
Here we were at ISF 2014 with Cookie Dough and my daughter who I’m seeing has grown tremendously since this picture! (And her two missing teeth… ahhh, I cry!)
I’m thankful for that this week, and that Cookie Dough has earned her spot on the farm by being a sow that can be productive and lay down and have babies on her own. Regardless of how much we love and care for the show pigs we raise, they still have to be productive, good tempered (OINK, you’re pushing it), and able to survive the outdoors. It is never easy to send them to ‘town’.
Even though she’s bossy, obsessed with Strawberry Cake mix and difficult to photograph. Oiy.
FIVE BUCKS: Well, amongst family, we made a wager about how many pigs Cookie Dough would have. I fronted $5 for the guess of live pigs (as we all stood in the farrowing house together and looked ‘Cookie’ over to make our guesses. It was neat because you could see and feel her pigs kicking inside her belly.) No surprises: my daughter won. I’ll be paying up tomorrow. After I hit up the bank, or her toy cash register where she hoards the cash from my husband’s wallet and my purse. For the record, my niece guessed 7 live pigs, I guessed 8, my cousin guessed 9, my daughter guessed 10 and my husband guessed 11.
The rest of the week, we’ll just be enjoying time together and getting our fill of the new babies in the barn. Spring is full of surprises and new beginnings. It is quite a refreshing time of the year. (Minus all of the spring cleaning, which slowly kills me inside.) Enjoy your week!
- 1 cups Butter at room temperature
- 1 cups Granulated Sugar
- 4 large Eggs at room temperature
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups Flour all-purpose
- 4 cups strawberries, sliced or other seasonal berries like blueberries or raspberries
- 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tbsp water or orange juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing until incorporated, 30 seconds each. Add vanilla, baking powder and half of flour. Mix until combined and add remaining flour. Mix until combined. Do not overmix.
- Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan and spoon batter into pan, smoothing top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean after inserted into center of cake, or when the internal temperature is 200 degrees.
- Combine berries, sugar and water/orange juice. Let stand for 30 minutes. When pound cake is cooled, serve with berries and sweetened, freshly whipped cream. Makes 12 generous slices or 16 average slices.
Add zest of 1 lemon to batter by rubbing into sugar to release oils and perfume the batter.
After cake is baked, toast and serve with chocolate hazelnut spread.
Serve a slice as the base of an open faced egg-bacon breakfast sandwich.
Serve a slice with yogurt, sliced peaches, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
My Dad's favorite: Place slice of pound cake in a bowl, drizzle on fresh cream (unwhipped) top with fresh sliced strawberries. (Sort of like strawberry short cake, if you will, but much more plain.)
Dunk in chocolate milk. Oh yes.
Make French toast out of the slices.
I could go on, and on!