Cream Cheese Pound Cake
This cake has been made by three generations of my family; it is also incredibly easy, full of flavor, with an exquisite texture and buttery aroma. It keeps very well and my favorite way to serve it is toasted with fresh berries or poached fruit for breakfast or brunch. You do need self-rising cake flour. I have made this cake with the supposedly appropriate leaveners and regular cake flour and it is just not the same. It just doesn’t work! I know that doesn’t make sense; just follow my suggestion and buy some self-rising flour. The large amount of vanilla extract might seem excessive, but it is correct. I have to admit that the batter is really good. I know eating raw eggs isn’t recommended (and I am not recommending this to you *wink wink*) but we all do this in the privacy of our homes, don’t we? Sneak a lick of the beaters? Ahhh, that’s right, some of you are more disciplined than I. My Auntie Mae for instance. She was my Mom’s Aunt and lived around the corner from us in NYC when I was growing up. She had a country home out on the north fork of Long Island and I loved to go visit. During one summer vacation we made this cake together. It was rainy or otherwise I would have been swimming, but her idea to bake was a perfect suggestion for the drizzly day. I knew the recipe, as my Mom used to make it, too. I think I was about 8 at the time. We creamed the butter and cream cheese; we added the eggs, vanilla and dry ingredients. My mouth was salivating. It came time to scrape it into the pan and she was dogged in getting every last bit off of the beaters and the sides of the bowl. I asked about licking the beaters (this was part of the recipe, after all….as far as I knew, anyway) and she sternly said something about getting it ALL into the pan to bake. She shut me down. FAST. This was obviously not an approved part of her baking approach. I was seriously bummed but there was no recourse. Sigh. Oh well, YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Viva la democracy in the kitchen.
I like the Kaiser 9-cup Bundform for this recipe.
Serves 10 to 12
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into pieces
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sifted self-rising cake flour
Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a 9-cup decorative ring pan, taking care to coat the center tube as well.
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy with flat paddle on medium-high speed, about 3 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue to beat, about 3 minutes at medium-high speed, until very light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in thirds and beat briefly until smooth. Scrape batter into pan.
Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a bamboo skewer shows a few moist crumbs when removed. The cake will be golden brown and the edges will have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. Cool pan on rack for about 8 to 10 minutes. Unmold and place directly on rack to cool completely. Cake is ready to serve. Store at room temperature in airtight container for up to 4 days. Cake may also be frozen, double wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, for up to 1 month.