I’ve always been a huge fan of pound cake, and many of my childhood memories, especially around the holidays, revolve around a delicious slice of my grandmother’s famous five flavor pound cake. We had an occasion to attend last night that required we bring a dessert, and because I didn’t have all of the flavor extracts required for my grandmother’s recipe, we decided to try out this recipe instead. There is a great lemon-vanilla flavor to this pound cake, but the texture is slightly different from what you’d expect from an everyday pound cake. The addition of the cream cheese and the varying baking times and temperatures give the final product a very dense, slightly flaky texture that’s very filling and delicious. This makes a huge cake, so it’s wonderful (and easy to transport) for any holiday parties you might have coming up in the near future. It would be lovely to sprinkle this with confectioner’s sugar or even surround the base of the cake with some fresh berries. I could also envision this with some whipped cream to accompany the berries…yum.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature [1600 calories]
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature [240 calories]
3 cups (665 grams) granulated white sugar [2160 calories]
1 teaspoon (9 grams) salt
6 large eggs, at room temperature [420 calories]
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
3 cups (385 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted [1200 calories]
Makes 15 slices
Calories per serving: 375 per slice
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the softened butter and cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add sugar and salt, then beat on medium-high speed for about 10 minutes (yes, 10 minutes) until smooth; occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the sugar and salt with the butter and cream cheese.
Add the eggs, one at a time, blending on medium speed between each addition.
Add the lemon and vanilla extract, then blend slightly to fully incorporate into the batter. After sifting the flour, add to the mixture a little bit at a time, and beat on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat, as this will change the texture of the final cake. Pour batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan of your choice.
Place pan in a cold oven (yes, you read that right – don’t pre-heat the oven), then set the temperature to 200 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes. Increase the temperature to 250 degrees F, and bake for another 20 minutes. Increase the temperature to 275 degrees F, and bake for 10 more minutes. Finally, increase temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove pan from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto cake rack and allow to cool completely before serving.
Apparently, you can make this cake ahead of time and store for up to 3 days before serving. Be sure to securely wrap your cake in plastic wrap for storage at room temperature.
This recipe originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Bon Appétit and has since been edited to include butter, glazes, and more. We followed the recipe pretty spot on, but we didn’t have enough vanilla extract on hand, so we substituted in a little lemon extract instead which gave it a wonderful, bright flavor. If you’d like the original recipe, it can be found here
Cream Cheese Pound Cake.