Pound cake recipe

pound Cake – delicious buttery flavour sponge

This wonderfully-buttery sponge cake with a soft golden crust is the first cake that every aspiring cake-baker must get right.

We all know that in everything we do, the first step matters a lot.  If the first step goes exactly as planned, it will boost confidence, which in turn catapult us to be more adventurous.

Best with a cup of sweet milky tea

First, master the art of making this simple but full of promises sponge cake as it gives a clear insight to all the baking techniques and you will be baking t glorious varieties of cakes in no time!

All the tips and techniques are given here, so, nothing can go wrong. Even if you are baking for the first time, do not worry, nothing could possibly go wrong if you follow the timings and techniques.

Whip it this cake out and serve around with love!

butter cake

You will need the following items:

Self Raising flour250 g
Margarine or melted butter under room temperature250 g
Caster sugar(grind sugar if using usual sugar)250 g
Eggs under room temp4
Milk1/4 cup
Lemon juice and Vanilla essence1  tsp each
Salt (salt will incorporate all flavours beautifully)2 pinches
Baking powder1 tsp

Let’s make it: Set the oven to 180C .

Oven temperature conversion chart:

Cream the batter

  • Cream butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer.  Go clockwise  (3 mins)
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Make sure you beat 3 rounds after each addition
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice, salt and finally, cream all together for 2-3 mins
  • Mix baking powder to flour and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape
  • Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything turns into a creamy batter. Do not use the electric mixer at this point
  • Add milk and mix well with a spatula/wooden spoon until no bits, smooth batter is formed

In to the tray

  • Line up a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the batter into the baking tray and flatten with a spatula
  • Lift up the tray and drop it twice onto your kitchen-top gently, allowing the batter to spread and settle evenly on the try

Stick in the oven

  • Place the tray in the lowest shelf of the oven
  • Bake for 20 mins or the top turns golden yellow (Never open the oven door in the initial 10 mins)

Time for a peek!

  • After 20 mins, insert a skewer in the middle of the cake and if it comes clean,  your cake is ready! Or just push the middle of the cake with a finger and if it springs back the cake is done!
  • Take it out from the oven and let it rest for 5 mins
  • Slowly remove from the tray and place it on a cooling rack
  • Peel off the parchment paper gently and let the cake cool off completely!

Time to serve your cake!

  • Dip a knife in hot water, wipe clean and cut the cake into dainty squares
  • Enjoy your beautiful sponge cake with a sweet milky tea!

Tips for a perfect cake

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Always use the best brands – flour, butter or margarine, baking powder, vanilla

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡I personally recommend margarine for perfect cakes as butter could be very dense and go hard in cold climates

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Never slam the oven door after placing the cake in. This will make the cake sink in the middle

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Never open the oven door in the initial 10 mins of baking

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Always use an electric hand or stand mixer

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Do not use the electric mixer once the flour is added. Use a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon and gently fold

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Too much baking powder can sink the cake. Stick to the right proportions

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡It is essential to pre-heat the oven at least 15-20mins

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Digital kitchen scale will never go wrong in measurements

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡All the ingredients must be at room temperature

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Lift and drop the tray with the batter gently on the kitchen top twice for it to level properly

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡If the cake is browned on top and the middle is under-baked, cover the top with a parchment paper and continue baking for further 10mins

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Use a skewer to stab in the middle of the cake after 20mins and if the skewer comes clean, the cake is baked. If the batter is stuck to the skewer, close the oven door and let it bake for further 5-10mins

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Add lots of love and attention to your cake! Never bake when your mind is distracted!

For beginners – It is very important that you must be in tune with your oven like real good buddies! Both should be aware of each other’s minds! this is because any oven has a mind of its own! More technically, ovens are different from each other in very strange ways! funnily enough, it is true and any baker will attest this point.

How to get in tune with your oven

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Set the oven to 180C and pre-heat for 20mins

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Make the usual pound cake batter and divide it into three equal portions

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Prepare 3 tins lined up with baking paper

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Pour batter into the 3 trays

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Now, place one tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 mins and check how it has come out. If you are fully satisfied with the outcome, the middle shelf is perfect for baking your cake

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Next, place the second try in the bottom shelf in the oven and bake for 20-25mins. If the cake has come better than the first in sponginess and in texture, then opt for the lowest shelf for your future cakes!

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Third tray must go to where you feel the best shelf to place it. The third tray will confirm which shelf in your oven could be trusted for baking the best cakes.

🤎💜💙💚💛🧡Once, this test is done, you can go ahead baking any cake in your oven without a worry!

Good luck!

Other easy delicious cakes using the same batter

Vanilla cupcakes

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/plain-vanilla-cupcakes-supersoft-delicious-cupcakes-ever/

Chocolate cupcakes

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/chocolate-cupcakes-pretty-chocolate-cupcakes-to-brighten-up-your-party/

Chocolate Cake with chocolate butter icing

https://happyrecipes.co.uk/chocolate-butter-icing-creamy-and-silky/

chocolate butter icing

Cake tips, Equipment and Techniques

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cupcake cases- silicon

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cup cake traycake tin

  • Use the right equipment : To cream up the cake batter, use an electric hand mixer for best results.  Traditionally, a wooden spoon was used, but now, this machine does a quicker and easier job.
  • Measure ingredients accurately :  For a beautiful cake, all ingredients should be measured with 100% accuracy as specified in the recipe.  The best equipment to facilitate this particular need is a digital scale rather than a normal kitchen scale.  For a volume of 1Kg cake, for instance,  you need, 250 g butter, 250 g sugar, 250 g Self-raising flour and 4 eggs.
  • Use the best ingredients :  Using good brands for your cake is very important for the best results.  The brands that I have been using for the past 15 years are shown above.  All ingredients should be kept at room temperature, before making the cake batter.
  • Mixing the cake : Make sure you beat the batter, clockwise with your electric hand mixer in order to get the right consistency – never side to side or counter clockwise.  Mixing will take for about 3 – 5 mins at high speed.
  • Eggs :   Make sure you use Class A medium eggs that are kept at room temperature.  Take out from the fridge 1/2 hour early or if you are in a hurry, drop them in a bowl filled with lukewarm water for 10 mins. 
  • Butter : I personally do not prefer using butter, as the cake goes stiff after  a few hours in cold climates.  Before using, however, you need to soften up the butter, which gives you an extra task to attend to.  There are very good spreads available in supermarkets, especially made for baking purposes, which are naturally creamy and stay creamy in the fridge too. I use Stork, especially for cakes tub, which has never let me down; it rather helped me bake such glorious cakes.
  • Sieve the flour :  Use self-raising flour for cakes, unless suggested otherwise in the recipe. For some cakes, a blend of both self-raising and plain flour are used.   Swift the flour and baking powder together,  holding the sieve, well above the cake batter.  This will allow the air to escape from the flour, giving a very light, soft texture to your cake.  Make sure you use a wooden spoon to co-ordinate flour and batter together, never the electric hand mixer.  Lightly, fold flour bringing from the sides and dropping to the middle and going around gently until all comes together as soft batter.
  • Sugars :  Use Caster sugar, which is  ideal for cakes.  The mixing time will take up to 1-2 mins for caster sugar as it dissolves very  quickly.  However,  you can use granulated sugar, which gives the same results.   The only difference is that you have to extend the mixing time up to 3-4 mins, up until the sugar granules breaks down and dissolves.
  • Baking powder :  Baking powder is a key ingredient,  as it helps the cakes to rise.  Use a good brand and never use too much.  Excessive baking powder will make the cake taste bitter, leave a sunken cake and a wrinkled  surface.
  • Baking tray :   Choose the right size for your cake.  If you have a large tray, you can divide it by using a thick strip of a cardboard to fit for a smaller quantity of batter.  Remember, never to fill the trays to the brim as the cake doubles it’s volume while rising.  So, fill the tray – 2/3  or half.  ( 8″ x 10″ Oblong tray for 1 Kg cake). For cupcakes, use cupcake trays to place the cupcake cases filled with batter so that they do not spill out and stay intact.  Silicon cupcake cases are great for handling and they could be re-used after a quick wash with warm water.
  • Lining the tray : Use parchment paper to line up the tray.  Do not worry if you have run out of parchment paper; you can use  white blank sheet papers, cut into the shape of the tray and brush butter all over,  dust the surfaces with flour and shake off the excess.  
  • Vanilla essence : Use a good brand of natural vanilla essence.
  • Lemon juice      : Dropping just 1tbsp of lemon juice to your cake batter will make a big difference.  It will give a very pleasant aroma  as well as taking the taste to the highest limits.
  • Salt :  Most of the modern recipes do not include salt in theirs.  Yet, salt used as a vital ingredient for baking since Victorian times.  Just a pinch or two salt will help blending the flavours and heightening the taste.
  • Oven : Set the oven to 180 C , 20 mins before you pop the cake in.  Depending on your oven, the self that you place the cake on differs.  It should be either in the middle self or the bottom.  It’s very important to be in tune with your oven. Bake a few small cakes and check the exact place which bakes your cake to perfection.  Do not open the door of the oven in the first 10 mins of baking as it will drop the cake in the middle.  Baking time varies according to the set ups in ovens.  Normal baking time is 15 – 25 mins.
  • Wooden skewers :  Use a thin wooden skewer to insert in the middle of the cake after 15 mins of baking time.  If the skewer comes clean, your cake is ready!!!! If the skewer is damped with a few bits of batter, shut the door and bake for another 5 mins.
  • Cooling :  Leave the cake in the tray for 5 mins to cool off.  If you try to take it out, the cake can break in several places.  Slowly pull from the sides of the parchment paper and take the cake gently out to leave it to rest on a cooling rack for about 10 mins.
  • Cutting the cake :  Dip the knife in hot water, wipe clean before cutting the cake to prevent it from crumbling.
  • Serve the cake  :  Now, serve your cake with a big SMILE !!!     Store the left overs in an air tight container.  When serving next day, microwave the cake pieces on a plate just for 5 seconds and everyone will think  that they came straight from the oven – so soft, nice and warm!!

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