Take the Cake


Bake 2Produced by Brett Levine

Food Styling by Lily Plauché

Photography by Becky Stayner

For many people, a pound cake means a bundt pan—and it is hard to argue with tradition. But pound cake, as it turns out, is a very versatile treat. If you want to try the wonders that are pound cakes—as something to give or devour (we won’t tell!)—here are three fantastic options.

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Try the coconut pound cake in your choice of pans or molds. What is truly exquisite is the crisp crunch of toasted coconut flakes adding its flavor to every bite.

Bake 1Coconut Pound Cake

Serves 12

1 ½ cups butter, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup cream of coconut

¾ teaspoon coconut extract

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup cream of coconut

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon coconut extract

2–4 tablespoons milk

Garnish:

Toasted coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350◦F. Grease and flour 1 10-inch tube pan or 6 two-cup molds.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar; continue to beat until mixture is white and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cream of coconut, beating on low speed until combined. Stir in coconut extract.

Pour batter into pan/molds. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes (35–40 minutes for smaller molds) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to a rack to cool completely.

3. To make glaze, whisk together all ingredients, adding more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cakes; top with toasted coconut flakes.

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These almond-soaked pound cakes prove that even the simplest cake can look as good as it tastes. Baked in a variety of miniature pans, these small treasures are divine to see and delicious to taste.

Bake 3Almond-Soaked Mini Pound Cakes

Makes 20 cakes (This cake can also be made in a 10-inch tube pan. Baking time will be around 1 hour 20 minutes.)

1 pound butter, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

¾ cup milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup sugar

⅓ cup water

3 tablespoons almond liqueur

1. Preheat oven to 350◦F. Grease and flour 20 mini (1 cup) bundt molds.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Gradually beat in 3 cups sugar; continue to beat until mixture is white and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Combine milk, almond extract, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. On low speed, beat in flour alternately with milk mixture until combined. Spoon into molds, filling ⅔ full.

3. Bake 25–35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks.

4. Combine ⅓ cup sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in almond liqueur. Brush warm liquid over warm cakes. Allow to cool before serving.

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For even more artful eating, the caramel pound cake bites bring the fun of holiday decorating to the dessert table. These sweet squares are as exciting to the eye as they are tantalizing to the tongue.

Bake 4Caramel-Covered Pound Cake Bites

Makes 24 squares

½ pound butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel Glaze:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup butter

¼ cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350◦F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; grease paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar; continue to beat until mixture is white and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. In another bowl, combine milk and vanilla. Add flour to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture. Pour into prepared pan; bake 35–45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

3. Remove cooled cake from pan. Remove paper from cake. Cut cake into 24 squares. Place cake squares on a wire rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet.

4. To make glaze, combine brown sugar, butter, milk, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed 1–2 minutes or until paler in color and slightly thickened but still pourable. (Do not make ahead as the glaze hardens quickly.)

4. Immediately spoon caramel glaze over each cake square, allowing glaze to drip down the sides. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Let stand 30 minutes or until glaze sets.

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