There’s probably an adage about how unwise it is to make recipes for the first time when you have guests, and how you’d have to be a total
daredevil idiot to do it when your mother-in-law is coming over for the first time. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to make my debut pound cake last month, and naturally, left zero buffer time for catastrophe. I was the last one to the restaurant for dinner because I was waiting for the cake to be cool enough to turn out of the pan. As you might imagine, this brought the usual will-it-break-in-half nerves to a whole new level (I’m guessing the pregnancy hormones didn’t really help either). Luckily, my slavish recipe following paid off, and it turned out beautifully. Thanks to the incredible amount of dairy fat in this cake, it stayed moist for days and days, which is a definite plus when there’s only two people to eat the leftovers.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Yield: 1 bundt cake
3 cups (12 oz) cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs plus 2 large yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups (21 oz) sugar
3 sticks butter, softened
6 oz cream cheese, softened
Adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 300F. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan (I used this one, which Caitlyn gave me several years ago. It’s an awesome thing.). Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Whisk eggs, yolks, milk and vanilla in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat sugar, butter, and cream cheese on medium high until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and very slowly add the egg mixture until incorporated (batter may look a bit curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed. Give the batter a final stir by hand.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and gently tap it on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 80 to 90 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway in the baking time. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes (longer, and it may stick to the pan). Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely, about 2 hours. The cake can be wrapped with plastic and held at room temperature for up to a week (but, you know, it’s a little moister before that).