Most classic pound cake recipes we researched use a fussy mixing method in which all the ingredients need to be at the same temperature. The result if your temperatures are off? A disastrous-looking curdled batter that can’t be saved. Trying everything we could think of, we finally found the answers to our batter problems: hot, melted (rather than softened) butter and the food processor. The fast-moving blade of the processor plus the hot butter emulsifies the liquid ingredients quickly before they have a chance to curdle—and ruin our dessert in the process.
HOW TO MAKE EASY POUND CAKE
1. Grease and flour the pan: A dusting of flour helps the pound cake batter climb the sides of the pan evenly and prevents the edges from forming a hard, crusty lip.
2. Use a food processor: Combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a food processor. The food processor helps to fully integrate the sugar into the eggs.
3. Add hot, melted butter: With the machine running, pour the hot butter through the feed tube. Using a food processor ensures perfect emulsification of the eggs, sugar, and melted butter. Transfer the batter to a bowl.
4. Sift in the flour: Using a fine-mesh strainer, sift the flour mixture over the batter in 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Sifting separates the grains of flour so that they can be incorporated more easily into the batter and prevents pockets of flour from showing up in the finished cake.
5. Tap the pan: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan gently on the counter. Tapping the loaf pan on the counter releases large air bubbles from the batter and prevents uneven baking.
6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes: Remove the finished pound cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely. Cooling the cake briefly in the pan allows the cake to firm up a little so that it won’t break apart when removing it from the pan. If you let it cool completely in the pan, however, it will turn out dry.
Find this and other great recipes in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.