Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This is the cake that I make most often and is probably my favorite recipe. Whenever I make this cake, I think of my mother and sisters. I almost always make it when they visit, as it keeps well over a few days and is just perfect for breakfast or a mid-day snack.
It is charming in an Anne Shirley-y sort of way. To me it is the perfect pound cake as the cream cheese helps keep it dense without being dry (a crime too many pound cakes commit). It is vanilla scented heaven and brilliant with any variety of berry sauce (raspberry coulis, fresh sliced strawberries, stewed blueberries etc...). If the need to dress it up arises, one can certainly add a glaze but mostly I think it is swell the way it is.
The recipe is from a friend who taught me all kinds of things about entertaining, hosting, and being gracious. She served this cake at afternoon tea parties. I believe it is originally from a cookbook that was a collection of bed and breakfast recipes.

Cream Cheese Poundcake

1 8 ounce package cream cheese (room temperature)
3 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Note: do not preheat the oven. This recipe calls for placing the cake in a cold oven.

1) Butter and flour a standard size bundt cake pan.

2) Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Beat in sugar.

3) Alternately add 2 eggs, 1 cup flour until all are added. Blend in the vanilla. The batter will be a lovely pale yellow and rather thick. Pour and spoon the batter into the pre-greased bundt pan. Take care to level the batter out.

4) Place in a cold oven. Bake at 300 degrees for 90 minutes.

5) When it is finished baking it may still look a little stick on top. It's fine. The bottom (or top in this case) will always be a little sticky and my husband swears it's the best part of the cake.

6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. Then run a butter knife around the edges and pay special attention to the center as the cake seems to rise and get a bit stuck around it. After 30 minutes, flip out on to a wire rack to cool.

This cake will keep for several days if wrapped well and left at room temperature.