Makes: 1 large loaf cake (about 10 slices)
Total time:plus cooling
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs: Cheap as chips
Pound cake is a classic American plain cake similar to an English sponge but with a slightly denser texture. Traditionally the cake was large and made with a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs, hence it's name. But these days the quantities are scaled down and the name is used for a cake made with equal quantities of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. It's quick and simple to make and can be baked in a loaf tin or a ring tin. Once baked and cooled pound cake can be frozen (without the icing) for up to 2 months, or wrap individual slices in freezer film before freezing.
- 225g butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 190g plain flour
- 35g cornflour
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon or 1tsp vanilla extract
- 4tbsp icing sugar
Mixing cornflour with the plan flour gives the cake a lighter texture.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base and 2 short sides with a long strip pf baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until soft and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at time, whisking well between each addition.
- Sift the flour and cornflour into the bowl, add the lemon zest or vanilla and whisk on low speed until soft and combined. If the mixture is a little stiff whisk in a tablespoon or two of milk. Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread level with the back of a spoon. Bake for about 1 hour until golden and just firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- Cool in the tin for 10 mins then remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. Mix the icing sugar with a little water (about 2 tsp) to make a thin icing. Spread the icing over the top of the cake.