Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

December is upon us and I am in full holiday mode.  We got our Christmas tree, decorated the house inside and out, and set the date for our work and family parties.  Since I've had Christmas on the brain, I've been thinking a lot about the foods we like to eat this time of year.  Cookies, pies, tarts and cake fill my dreams (Seriously, I had a dream about baking the other night.  I was covered in flour and the desserts kept jumping out of the oven.  Anyway...)  

Today, I thought I'd bake a pound cake.  It's been unseasonably cold (for South Louisiana, that is) so I actually wanted to heat up my kitchen for a change.  This recipe is a great introduction to making homemade cakes because it's very forgiving.  You don't need cake flour, it calls for regular old all-purpose.  Plus, you bake it in a regular loaf pan, which most people have hiding in a cabinet somewhere.  Or, if you're baking for a crowd, you can easily double the recipe and bake it in a Bundt or tube pan.

*Note:  To soften the butter and cream cheese leave them out on the counter for an hour or so.  Also leave the eggs out (in the shells).  Taking the chill off the eggs will yield a better cake.


1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 oz (half a block) cream cheese, softened 
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for at least 1 minute.

Gradually add the sugar, beating well after each addition.

Once all the sugar has been added, continue to mix for 5 minutes more.  This ensures that the sugar is fully dissolved into the butter, which makes for a better consistency.  Look how fluffy it is.

Next, add the softened cream cheese and vanilla extract.  Beat 1 minute.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

It should look much lighter and flufflier.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  I use a whisk to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat 1 minute (start on low then switch to medium speed) or until well blended.

Grease and flour a loaf pan.  I rub it well with vegetable shortening and sprinkle flour all over it.  Then dump out any excess flour.

Spread the batter into the greased and floured loaf pan.

Try to spread it out evenly.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let sit for 10 minutes, then use a butter knife to loosen from the sides of the pan.  Gently remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.

This cake is so yummy.  It's got a great crust on the outside, but it's soft on the inside.  It's not too sweet, either.  Perfect with a cup of coffee!

This would be great served with a scoop of ice cream on top. some fresh fruit, or some chocolate sauce.  You could doll it up for a special occasion or eat it plain any old day of the week (which is what I plan to do right now).  Enjoy! 

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