Vanilla Pound Cake with Interesting Flours

Hello, and thanks for all the well wishes! It’s been a long week.

I headed back to the kitchen yesterday, but my appetite had changed a bit and my usual rich, gooey, chocolate cravings were on the down low. What did sound good was a plain vanilla pound cake, and the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book had the perfect recipe — one with an interesting composition. It has a combination of granulated sugar and powdered sugar, and calls for a mixture of whole wheat pastry flour and bread flour. What would bread flour do to a pound cake? Would I taste the whole wheat?

vanilla pound cake

I guess the bread flour added structure to the cake and the pastry flour kept the middle nice and soft while adding a very, very, slightly wheat flavor. The cake had a tall crown, a big crack down the center, and a tight crumbed, interior. It’s flavored with vanilla and almond extract, which is nice; but the best thing of all is the crackly, crunchy glaze which goes on 15 minutes before you take the cake out of the oven. KA said the glaze was optional, but I’m glad I didn’t skip it.

Speaking of KA, I love their books so much. I’ve noticed a pattern that whenever I’m sick, I pull out this one. If you don’t have their whole grain book, I highly recommend it because it describes the ins-and-outs of baking with various flours and offers some practical and truly appealing and diverse ways to use them — chocolate chip cookies with barley flour, whole wheat brownies, genoise made with whole wheat flour, oat crackers, chewy oatmeal decorating cookies, several biscotti recipes, nut pies with whole wheat flour and a lot of good yeast breads. It’s an all-ages, all baking levels type book.

King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book

Here’s the pound cake recipe. The book version is actually double this and made in two 8×4 inch pans, but one cake was just right for us.

Vanilla Pound Cake

1 1/4 cups (4.2 oz) whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup (2.25 oz) bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
1/2 cup (2 oz) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4.4 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or you substitute a teaspoon of lemon zest)

Crunchy Sugar Glaze
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×4 inch loaf pan with flour-added baking spray.

Mix together the flours and salt and set aside. In bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter, sugars and baking powder until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Lower the mixer’s speed and add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract (or lemon).
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes . While the cake is baking, mix together the glaze ingredients.

Remove the cake from the oven and brush the glaze over the top of the cake. Return to the oven a bake for 15 more minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. (Total bake time is about 55 minutes to an hour). Remove from oven and let cool completely.

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Comments

  1. says

    so could you taste the whole wheat?
    glad you are ok and doing better–don’t do too much, it’s scary how, if you don’t go slow, you get sick again.

  2. Louise says

    Welcome Back, Anna. Glad to see you are well enough to bake and blog. But, like Dawn said, take it slow as you don’t want to end up relapsing.

  3. says

    So glad to know that you’re feeling better, but it bears repeating. Take it easy and don’t over do it.
    It’s interesting that you mention this particular book because I’ve been thinking of ordering it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. says

    I’m glad you are feeling better!! And do make sure you don’t do too much too quickly! By the way, I have that cookbook and it is excellent.

  5. says

    Yay, you’re back! Glad you’re feeling better.

    I will have to add that book to the top of my wish list, since I love baking with all kinds of different flours.

  6. says

    It’s so good to be back and I love hearing from all of you. And yes, this is a good little pound cake! This glaze on this one is nice and crunchy much like the glaze on that yellow lemon pound cake from a few weeks ago. I can’t believe I’m just now discovering “crunchy pound cake glazes” but better late than never.

    For those of you who mentioned you were interested in this book, buy it now. You will love it!!!!

  7. Darlene says

    We sure did miss you. (I was beginning to feel like a stalker, checking your site several times a day to see if there were any updates on how you were doing.) Hope you know what a bright spot you are in our lives.
    Quick question: The glaze sounds like it added such a nice touch, do you think it could be applied to almost any pound cake recipe (for the last 15 minutes of baking)?

  8. says

    Happy to read you are back in the baking saddle! Hopefully you take some time to relax and enjoy that delicious looking pound cake.

  9. John Worster says

    I’m glad you are feeling better Anna, I’ve missed your blogging.

  10. says

    Happy that you are feeling better Anna, although I did enjoy Todd’s postings too! This book looks really good. I will have to look for it. Take care of yourself and don’t overdo it.

  11. KAnn says

    So glad you are felling better, Anna! I don’t have this KA book but I have checked it out a couple of times from the library and it does look like one to add to my collection at some point.

  12. says

    Glad you’re feeling better, Anna. Take it slow and easy!
    I’m a vanilla cake fan….of any kind…but I do love the idea of mixing flours. This looks great!

  13. Jenny W (The Housewife Project) says

    Glad you’re feeling better. I have that cookbook, too, and love it. Have not tried this poundcake, so thanks!

  14. Paula B. says

    Anna, you’re back, and baking again, phew! And with a vanilla pound cake, don’t those two words just sound great together! Glad you are up and around and happy for the recipe, so versatile for Mother’s Day brunch or dinner. Homemade whipped cream anyone???

  15. Yvonne says

    Was that book chewed by a dog? I hope it was asa yummy as the cake looks!
    Glad you are feeling better!
    -=^..^=-

  16. Carol says

    Anna,
    I have a couple of questions about the Tres Leches cake you made on 4/7/07. I know this is from a while ago, but maybe you remember. When beating the egg whites until fluffy before adding the sugar, do you mean soft peaks or just starting to foam up and get bubbly? Add did you whip the cream and frost the cake and refrigerate overnight? I worry about it breaking down. Thanks! Maybe I should not start whipping egg whites at 6:15 am. I tend to be a little blurry-eyed before large doses of coffee. So the cake is made and in the fridge, but not frosted.

  17. says

    Hi Carol,

    Sorry those directions aren’t as clear. Over time, I think I’ve gotten better at writing directions, but that was an old one and I can see where you need clarification. I said to beat whites until fluffy. In other words, beat until peaks form. After that I said to add the sugar gradually until peaks are stiff. Just add the sugar gradually. Peaks should have already started forming and when you add the sugar, the mixture is going to just get thicker. About the whipped cream topping, you can make the cream topping right before serving if you want, but what I’ve found is when I make whipped cream topping with powdered sugar as a sweetener, the cream holds up just fine. I think the powdered sugar is the key.

  18. Carol says

    Thanks Anna! The egg whites weren’t as stiff as I would have like, but I will see when I eat the cake how it turns out. I have never beaten egg whites and then added ingredients to them. I will whip that cream as soon as I get home tonight.

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