Pound cakes have been a crowd favorite in the dessert world for centuries, and one particular variation, the Cream Cheese Pound Cake, stands out for its rich, buttery flavor and moist texture. This decadent dessert is perfect for any occasion, and its simple ingredients make it easy for even beginner bakers to impress their friends and family. In this article, we’ll dive into a delicious cream cheese pound cake recipe and learn about the history and curiosities surrounding this beloved dessert.
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s gather all the ingredients needed to make this mouthwatering dessert:
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Now that you have your ingredients in place, let’s walk through the process of making a luscious cream cheese pound cake.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) and grease a 10-inch bundt or tube pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
Step 2: In a large bowl, cream together the unsalted butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. This should take around 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is well combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed just until combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 75-90 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 6: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
History and Curiosities
The origin of pound cakes can be traced back to 18th century England, where they were made using simple proportions – one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. This formula made the recipe easy to remember and allowed bakers to produce a cake with a fine, dense texture.
The cream cheese pound cake, on the other hand, is an American variation that likely came about due to the increased popularity and availability of cream cheese in the United States during the 20th century. By incorporating cream cheese into the recipe, bakers found that the cake took on a richer flavor and smoother texture, making it a sought-after dessert option.
Curiously, pound cakes have different names and variations across the globe. In France, they’re known as quatre-quarts (“four quarters”), while in Mexico, they’re called panqué, which often includes ingredients like nuts and dried fruits.
No matter the name or the variation, one thing remains true: the cream cheese pound cake is a timeless, well-loved dessert that can be shared and enjoyed by people of all ages.