Miss Ellen's Pound Cake
Prep Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes (about 15 minutes hands-on time)
Meal Notes: This fool-proof pound cake* is one of the very first desserts I ever learned how to bake. It’s from a much-treasured Anne of Green Gables cookbook that my parents gave me when I was at the height of my pre-teen Anne Shirley obsession, where it’s accompanied by this delightful quote:
“I wish I could get Miss Ellen’s recipe for pound cake,” sighed Aunt Chatty. “She’s promised it to me time and again but it never comes. It’s an old English family recipe. They’re so exclusive about their recipes.” - Anne of Windy Poplars
Easy enough for a child to make (I started when I was about 10 years old), this pound cake is a sophisticated meal-ender, tea-time treat, or indulgent breakfast. In the dozens of times I’ve made this pound cake, it’s never failed to come out in one piece, dense, moist, and worthy of being served to company. Trying topping it off with berries for a little extra color.
1 cup butter (plus more for greasing)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for the pan)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Prep: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 5x7 loaf pan with butter, then flour it.
Make batter: In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth and soft. Add the sugar, a little at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Next, add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after adding each egg. Mix in the vanilla extract. Finally, turn off the mixer and stir in the flour and salt. Mix well.
Bake cake: Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and bake from 75-90 minutes. Test the cake with a toothpick after 75 minutes. When toothpick comes out clean, remove pan from oven. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Finish: Let cake cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Then slide a metal knife or spatula around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Turn the cake upside down on a cooling rack and gently lift off the loaf pan. Let cake cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve by cutting into thin slices with a bread knife and sprinkling with more powdered sugar.
*Fun Fact - Pound cake gets its name from the fact that, traditionally, it was made with one pound each of sugar, flour, eggs, and butter.