Most home bakers have had a go with pound cake. Why not? It’s easy to make…and, in the most wonderfully simple and old-fashioned way, it’s delicious. Originally, it was made with a pound each of eggs, butter, sugar and flour–hence its name. The modern proportions, as in the recipe below, yield a lighter cake–and the inclusion of baking powder and baking soda also work in that direction. Make sure you have all ingredients at room temperature before you start. The purist in me loves a plain pound cake, but I have to confess I’m a sucker for citrus-scented pound cakes. You often see orange ones, but I think the slightly more exotic taste of tangerine in the following recipe adds a great note. In wintertime, try to find “honey” tangerines to use in the cake. The cake is most delicious when chilled overnight and served the next day, a few hours out of the refrigerator.
Makes one 10″ tube cake
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
zest of 3 tangerines
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
8 ounces sour cream:
1/2 cup tangerine juice (use juice of 3 tangerines used for zest and add more juice if necessary)
4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using 1 tablespoon of the butter, and the 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, grease and flour a 10″ tube pan.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the tangerine zest.
4. In the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, place the remaining 3/4 cup butter, sugar, eggs and sour cream. Start to mix on low speed, then gradually add the flour-tangerine zest mixture. When it’s in, beat at low speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed on your machine to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes more.
6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Place in oven, and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let the cake cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
7. Whisk the juice and sugar together. When the cake has cooled for 10 minutes, invert it onto a rack set over a baking sheet and spoon the glaze over. Any juice that collects on the baking sheet can be poured back over the cake. Repeat until all of the glaze has been absorbed. Serve immediately, or chill and serve later, or the next day.