My mom and I made this vanilla loaf cake for my dad for Father's Day, but it would be equally delicious for today, the Fourth of July (just throw some blueberries on that plate!). We used a delicious recipe from Caviar and Codfish that I bookmarked a while back but never got around to making. (Oh, my backlog of bookmarked recipes! Someday I will have to start a special day for everyone to post recipes that have caught their eye from other blogs like Magazine Mondays.)
Anyway, back to the cake! We had to make a few changes, namely reducing the double vanilla (bean and extract) to just extract since my mom didn't have vanilla beans on hand, but the pound cake was none the worse for it and was absolutely delicious, with the vanilla flavor coming through very well! I also mixed the batter a bit wrong due to not having left enough room in my "butter and sugar and eggs" bowl, which may have contributed to those unsightly stripes you see in the picture...or that could be undercooking...either way, it tasted excellent so we ignored the cosmetic problems! If anything, I think you'd want to undercook this pound cake a tad rather than overcooking to ensure that it doesn't get dry. The cake is only improved by the addition of fresh fruit like these strawberries from the orchard behind my parents' house.
Vanilla Pound Cake (adapted from Caviar and Codfish, original recipe here)
Makes 1 loaf pan sized cake
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (7 ounces) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Fresh fruit, to serve (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour one loaf pan.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well mixed after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
3. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
4. Add the flour mixture and the sour cream in alternating additions (flour-sour cream-flour-sour cream-flour), mixing well after each addition.
5. Scrape the dough into a buttered and floured loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
6. Cool and serve with fresh fruit.