Butter Pound Cake

My updated version of the traditional "pound of butter, pound of sugar, pound of eggs, pound of flour" recipe produces a pound cake that's soft and moist, yet still has the classic's buttery flavor and springy texture. The recipe is easily altered for the season. The three variations below are perfect for winter. In summer, I like to add fresh blueberries to the batter, and in fall, I stir in chopped cranberries.

Butter Pound Cake
SERVINGS
12
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Cake, Desserts, Pound Cake
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces (1-1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature; more for the pan
  • 10 1/4 ounces (2-1/2 cups) cake flour or 11 ounces (2-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
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Directions
1. 
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan, dust the pan with flour, and tap out the excess. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.
2. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
3. 
On low speed, beat in the yolks until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl and the paddle. With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add the whole eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 20 seconds after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl and paddle again.
4. 
With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add half of the flour mixture and mix just to combine, add the milk and mix until combined, and then add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until combined.
5. 
Scrape the bowl one last time, add the vanilla extract, and mix at medium speed until the batter is smooth and fluffy, 20 to 30 seconds.
6. 
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Run a knife through the batter and tap the pan against the counter to dislodge trapped air. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it, 45 to 55 minutes.
7. 
Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. The cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days.
Brandy & Rum Glazed Variation
1. 
Stir 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg into the completed batter. Then proceed with scraping it into the Bundt pan as described above.
2. 
While the cake bakes, make a glaze by mixing 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar with 3 tablespoons brandy and 3 tablespoons rum until smooth. After the baked cake has cooled for 15 minutes, turn the warm cake onto a serving plate. Using a skewer, poke holes all over the cake. Brush the cake--every visible inch of it--with the glaze, until the glaze is gone. When the cake is completely cool, the glaze will form a protective crust over the cake, keeping it moist for 5 to 7 days.
Lemon-Coconut Variation
1. 
Reduce the milk in the recipe to 1/2 cup, and when you add it to the batter, add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice as well. Then stir 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 cup loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut into the batter, breaking up any coconut lumps. Then proceed with scraping it into the Bundt pan as directed above.
2. 
While the cake bakes, make a glaze by mixing 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar with 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice until smooth. After the baked cake has cooled for 15 minutes, turn the warm cake onto a serving plate. Using a skewer, poke holes all over the cake. Brush the cake--every visible inch of it--with the glaze, until the glaze is gone. When the cake is completely cool, the glaze will form a protective crust over the cake, keeping it moist for 5 to 7 days.
Chocolate Chip Variation
1. 
Fold 4 ounces very finely chopped semisweet chocolate or 23 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips into the completed batter. Then proceed with scraping it into the Bundt pan as directed above.
2. 
If desired, sprinkle the cake with confectioners' sugar before serving. The cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days.
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