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
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.
Mixing cornflour with the plan flour gives the cake a lighter texture.