from Kris B.
We all need a little more fruit in our diets, right? What better way to get it than on top of a delicious piece of Velvet Pound Cake?
If you’ve followed us here for long, you know that I am a simple, no-frills kind of person. In my strange little head, pound cake represents my personality perfectly. It’s simple, non-assuming, and it doesn’t mind sharing its space with a few fruits! 🙂
And pound cake is easy to make!
The pound cake dates back to the 1700’s. It gets its name from the fact that the original recipe used only a pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. If you are curious, a large egg (no shell) weighs between 1.75 and 2 ounces. So, pound cakes used eight or nine eggs. Since their inception hundreds of years ago, the pound cake has experienced many variations. This week’s recipe from King Arthur Flour is one of them.
King Arthur Flour’s Velvet Pound Cake uses 1 3/4 cups (7.245 ounces) of flour and 1 1/2 cups (10.65 ounces) of sugar. It’s 1 and 3/4 sticks of butter is slightly less than a half pound and its five eggs are approximately 8.75 ounces. These proportions are a slightly skewed “half-pound” cake. To these basic ingredients, The Velvet Pound Cake recipe adds cream cheese, vanilla and almond extracts, salt, and baking powder are also added.
The butter and cream cheese are whipped together until they are light and fluffy. The dry ingredients are then added, followed by one egg at a time. The final batter should be light.
The batter is spooned into a 5×9 loaf pan and baked at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. The last 30 minutes, the loaf is tented to avoid over-browning the top. The cake then cools for five minutes in the pan before being turned out on a baking rack to finish cooling.
Pound cake can be served with fruit and whipped cream, ice cream, or eaten plain or toasted. It’s versatile and just pretty darn good no matter how you eat it!
I know that some of you read our blog for the recipes, some read for the photography, and several of you, like us, enjoy the intersection of the two. Under the guise of full disclosure, I share the following with you. 🙂
Somehow, in the first step of this recipe that called for the butter and cream cheese to be whipped together, I apparently didn’t get mine fully integrated. Because the texture of both butter and cream cheese are similar, I didn’t notice it at the time. Looking back, I probably should have let the cream cheese soften a little more before I tried to use it. This isn’t really an issue in the taste of the pound cake, but it made the texture look a little weird, kind of blotchy. So the eating of it was no problem, but taking a “pretty” photo was going to be tricky.
As you can see in the above photo, I photographed the cake slightly overexposed and a bit soft in the focus. Because I can admit all of my shortfalls to Tracey, I sent her the photo and admitted to my hack job in the photography.
Her response was, “Oh, that’s pretty! I like how the light/focus go along with the name “velvet”
Me: “Ha! I didn’t even thick about that. I just thought about how to hide the cake’s blotchy texture.”
Tracey: “LOL! The softness just goes perfectly with the velvet – first thing I thought and noticed.”
Me: “When you have luck, sh*t for brains will do!”
Tracey: “Oh! I’m right there with ya Sister!!! Story of my 2018, I think!”
Me: Here’s another confession about my photo: I wasn’t paying attention and the tag from the tea towel was hanging out. So, I had to use a 4×5 crop to get rid of it.
Tracey: “LMAO! I didn’t even notice it. Good work!”
Me: “Sometimes I feel like such a hack photographer and baker. I’m surprised you don’t fire me! 🙂
Tracey: “Well, that’s because we are two peas in a pod!!! We’re real. The average chicks in the kitchen!
Yep! That’s what we are…two average chicks in the kitchen with cameras to document all of our fun…and a few failures!
Thanks for following along!
from Tracey G.
I had never had a Sander’s Bumpy Cake until I married Jeremy and quickly found out it was a Gehring Family tradition to have one around for the Holidays. I fell in love with this confection! I even shared it with my partner in crime, Kris, by sending one to her and Weber (our Tech Guy) for Christmas last year. I think it’s fun to share things like that, either traditions or regional favorites and so forth when I can. This cake was created by the Sander’s Chocolate Company out of Detroit. It’s a devil’s food cake with strips of buttercream evenly spaced on the top, then the whole gets a poured coating of a fudge frosting over all. It was created in the early 1900’s and was originally called Devil’s Food Buttercream Cake, but so many people would ask for the “cake with bumps” that they changed the name to Bumpy Cake.
In this past year’s holiday Sift Magazine from King Arthur Flour – they highlighted a few regional/state favorites, along with recipes to make a home-version of each, and Sander’s Bumpy Cake was one them! (it’s also a blog post too! Entitled “Regional Desserts”) I was so excited! I purchased everything I needed, as I was going to make one for the holidays, but that just didn’t quite pan out last year. So, when I saw that “cake” had come up in our recipe category rotation for this week – I knew immediately what I was going to make!!! Bumpy Cake!!!
I have to be honest here, it was not without its trials. But that’s not to say it was hard – by no means was it, it was VERY easy. There are a few steps, and one of those steps gave me a bit of a hassle, lol.
The cake part went together so easily, I almost thought I did something wrong, lol. I did purchase the Bensdorp Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder they offer on the KAF website, as I needed a Dutch-process version anyway as I didn’t have any and I wanted to try this with the ingredients it called for. I fully believe this helped me make the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made from scratch, but who knows, lol, it could just be the recipe in general that helped me to achieve that! The only ingredients it called for that I don’t normally have on hand were the Dutch-process cocoa and buttermilk. It’s baked in a 9×13-in baking pan, then popped into the freezer for at least 30 min.
The next step was to make the buttercream, a fairly straightforward combination of butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, bit of milk and a pinch of salt. This you pipe on the cake in 1/2-in wide strips spaced about 1-in apart. Back into the freezer for a bit to get ready for the warm fudge frosting that gets poured on top.
Now the part that gave me a bit of a hassle. And in all honesty, it was totally operator error on my part that messed it up. I ended up having to make 2 batches as the first one I ended up making too thick by cooking too long I believe, the results of such I will explain after the basic instructions on how to make it.
You’re to combine your first few ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat: these include – buttermilk, dark corn syrup, butter, salt and Dutch-process cocoa powder. You’re to bring this to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until the bubble breaking the surface make a snapping sound as they pop. Then, you turn the heat to low and whisk in your sifted powdered sugar (do sift it, it makes a difference as I found out. In my haste to whip up a second batch, I skipped that step and it took a long time to smooth it out!). Turn off the heat and add your vanilla. Then you let cool to still just-warm and pour over your cake! Yay! Easy!
Well, no, not for me since I believe with my first batch I let it take WAY too long to come to a boil and by doing so, it ended up reducing and thickening to the point, that, when it was of temperature to pour over cake, it was too thick and made a proper mess out of my cake. To try to fix this mess, I made another batch. This time around, I brought it to a boil quickly, whisked in my powdered sugar. Removed from the heat and added my vanilla and it was perfect. The right consistency and everything. But, by trying to fix the original mess, it added too much fudge frosting, and kind of overpowered everything else, lol. Oh well. Next time I make it (there will be a next time for sure!), I know now what to do and more importantly what NOT to do!!
Hopefully my adventure with this cake will help you avoid the mistakes I made, lol. It is really easy, even thought it sounds “steppy”, they aren’t difficult steps at all! It’s delicious and if I’d done the fudge part right the first time, it’s crazy-close to the original! I couldn’t be happier to have this added to my cake recipes!!!
And, if you want to try the real-deal, they do ship them, just check out the Sander’s Candy website! And by the way, their Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels (both the milk chocolate and dark chocolate) are my all-time favorite out of the candy items!
Have your cake AND eat it too!!! 😉