You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking this rather easy recipe for vanilla pound cake a little on the boring end of the cake spectrum. In fact, you’re probably right. But there’s something special about a well-made pound cake that’s difficult to put into words – is there a more perfect accompaniment for your afternoon tea or coffee?
The joy of a classic vanilla pound cake – a very close cousin of the madeira cake – is in its simplicity. Some feel the need to tart theirs up with icing, or a glaze, or a drizzle, or a peculiarly large dollop of double cream. One baker even went about toasting theirs and serving it with butter.
What are they afraid of?
Vanilla pound cake should be easy. Line your tin. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs. Fold in the flour. Bake. Marvel at the contrast between its darkened crust and light and bright interior. Enjoy alongside a cup of tea (coffee). Don’t put it in the toaster.
There’s not much that can go wrong with a pound cake either. My only advice would be to ensure that you don’t overcook it. Such a simple cake needs to be cooked to perfection – as soon as that knife or skewer emerges clean, out the cake comes.
Easy Vanilla Pound Cake
Makes 1 loaf cake
- 270g butter, softened
- 270g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 270g plain flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 70ml whole milk
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- Grease and line a large loaf tin. Preheat your oven to 160C (fan).
- Beat, until creamy, the butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs one by one.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
- Don’t toast it.
Cost: Not much. £2 maximum, which is something like 15p a slice.