This is a fine little vanilla pound cake recipe originally from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book. It's interesting in that it calls for a mix of granulated and powdered sugar, plus a mix of whole wheat pastry flour and bread flour. The pastry flour keeps the center crumb soft and tender, while the bread flour gives the cake structure and a rather thick crust.
King Arthur's Vanilla Pound Cake bakes up tall with 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. Yes, you read that right. You pour the glaze over the cake, then put it back in the oven for 15 minutes.
If you don't have King Arthur Whole Grain Baking, it's worth buying for all the info. Even if you never make one recipe, you'll learn all about baking with different flours and grains. Recipes include things like chocolate chip cookies with barley flour, whole wheat brownies, genoise made with whole wheat flour, oat crackers, chewy oatmeal cookies for decorating, 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.
Here's the pound cake recipe. The book version is actually double this and made in two 8x4 inch pans, but one cake was just right for us.
Vanilla Pound Cake
1 ¼ cups (4.2 oz) whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup (2.25 oz) bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cool room temperature
½ cup (2 oz) confectioners’ sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (4.4 oz) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract (or you substitute a teaspoon of lemon zest)
Crunchy Sugar Glaze
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x4 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.