Battle of the Pound Cakes: A Birthday Feast

 Pound Cake #2

Pound Cake #2

This is not the first time pound cake has appeared on this site. It's not even the first time this exact recipe for pound cake has appeared on this site, due to having a duplicate recipe in the box that I didn't know about and didn't check against the existing version until... just now. There are about a billion more pound cakes in the box to make, but I'm still including this duplicate version because I was able to improve it this time around (probably because I didn't realise I had already made it), so I think it's worth giving you the new and improved version (hint: MIX MIX MIX).

We've discussed how the taste of pound cake is the taste of my childhood, and there's not a lot of breakfasts I like more (other than croissants of any variety). So in honour of my mom, who taught me the joys of pound cake and whose birthday was last weekend, here are two recipes for pound cake for you to choose from. If you decide, like me, to make both within a week of each other you should probably first buy stock in the flour company, because this will run down your supplies faster than you can say 'gluten-ful, please'. On the bright side, you don't have to worry about dirtying very many dishes because both of these come together in no time with one bowl each.

 Pound Cake #1

Pound Cake #1

 Pound Cake #1

Pound Cake #1

 Pound cake #2

Pound cake #2

Now, on to the secret for Pound Cake 2 below: As mentioned, I previously made this recipe (from a different handwritten recipe card) in the dark ages of this site back in 2015, but I couldn't figure out why the cake fell so fast- the day I baked it, it was fluffy and light, but by the next morning, it had sunk into a bit of a claggier, denser cake and I was disappointed. At the time, I googled 'prepared flour,' because I didn't know what it meant and found nothing on the internet, so I just sifted it (since nearly all the recipes in the box require this) and called it a day. This time around, I had forgotten all of the above, so I googled it again, found nothing, and (weirdly) came to the same conclusion. I had sifted it, shrugged my shoulders and was on the verge of dumping it into the mixing bowl when suddenly I had a thought: what if I googled 'prepared flour' in French? I speak French and it occurred to me that, since they're known for their patisserie, maybe they'd have something similar. I searched for 'farine préparée' and sure enough, I hit the jackpot. 'Prepared flour' no longer exists outside of France, but it's basically self-rising flour with slightly different proportions of baking powder and salt.

The second secret I found this time is to go by the recipe and MIX THAT BATTER. The recipe calls for 20 minutes of mixing, which last time I figured was for hand-mixing so I shaved loads of time off. This time I put it in my mixer on low and mixed it the whole 20 minutes and it made a noticeable difference in the final product.

 Pound Cake #2

Pound Cake #2

Pound cake always tastes best on the first day (ideally warm from the oven!), but will last, covered tightly, up to three days. These recipes are both decadent and flavourful on their own; perfect paired with a cup of black coffee or milky tea, but if you want to dress it up they'd also serve well with a fruit compote (pears!), a dollop of yoghurt, or even a lemony cream-cheese glaze. In the run-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is the perfect make-ahead breakfast treat that everyone will love, so choose your favourite and make it today.

The verdict:
Pound Cake 1: Cakey, Moist Pound Cake

4 spoons out of five. It was mega-tasty, plush and velvety, but it didn't keep very well and by the second day was noticeably denser, so I'm knocking off a spoon.

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Pound Cake 2: Light and Fluffy Pound Cake

5 spoons out of five. I feel like I've conquered this one and I could eat it for a tea-time snack every day.

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Pound Cake, Previously: Easy One-Bowl Pound Cake (the non-perfected version of Pound Cake 2, below).

one year ago: Crazy-Crust Apple Pie
two years ago: Cinnamon Pecans

the recipe:

Cakey, Moist Pound Cake

the directions:

Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
Grease and flour a bundt pan very well.
Mix all ingredients together until well-blended and smooth, approximately 1 minute.
Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake 1 hour, until a pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

the ingredients:

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs

the recipe:

Light and Fluffy Pound Cake

the directions:

Grease a bundt or large loaf pan.
Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
Mix all ingredients together and beat for 20 minutes on low speed (or by hand if you want a workout).
Bake 45 minutes, until pick inserted in thickest part comes out clean.

the ingredients:

3 c self-rising flour
1 ½ c sugar
1 c shortening or Stork
4 eggs
1 c milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice