Friends, it’s time.
The holidays are peeking around the corner, and it’s time for us bakers to shine.
Whether you’re planning to spend time with extended family, or you’re having an intimate gathering for two, there’s always room for dessert, am I right?
If you’ve been reading BwB for a while, you’re ready! It’s just a matter of gathering the ingredients and using your newfound baking confidence to execute some amazing pound cake recipes!
But where are the recipes, You ask?
Well, Beloved, that’s the fun part. The recipes are arriving on Black Friday in a BIG WAY!
Okay…Here’s the News!
Beginning on Black Friday, Begin with Butter is going to be the exclusive home of the Twelve Days of Pound Cake Holiday Event!
That’s right. TWELVE. Twelve different pound cakes, with concise step-by-step directions that will help you execute them perfectly for all of your holiday events. Twelve different recipe posts. Twelve consecutive days.
I am still a firm believer that you don’t need a specific recipe to be successful. But so many of you asked for recipes and I’m happy to share.
So share I will! Starting on November 26th, I’m going to share all of the pound cake recipes you’ll ever want for the holidays. It’s my hope that these recipes become staples on your holiday and Sunday dinner tables.
Beginners Start Here
If you’re new to Begin with Butter…WELCOME! This is a super fun community of people from all over the world, and on behalf of everyone here, I’d like to welcome you with open arms.
If you’re brand new to baking, and you need some background before you begin, here are a few BwB resources that will get you off to a great start:
- Buying Guide for Beginning Bakers
- Better Baking Basics–Learning about Mise en Place
- Baking 101–How to Measure Ingredients
Of course, learning about ingredients can never hurt, so here’s a link to the Equipment and Ingredients section of the site. This is a great resource for your pound cakes and everything else you want to bake!
These resources aren’t mandatory to make great cakes, but doing a little bit of homework beforehand can help new bakers avoid common pitfalls in the kitchen. That’s how bakers build kitchen confidence!
Pound Cake Tips
Before we even start the Twelve Days of Pound Cake, there are a few great tips that will help you be successful with any pound cake:
Start with Room Temperature Ingredients.
Room temperature ingredients mix quickly and incorporate easily. This is a great way to avoid over-mixing your pound cake batter! It’s also a great way to avoid taxing your hand mixer or your stand mixer and sending it to its demise.
Invest in a Food Scale.
I can’t drive this point home enough. An inexpensive food scale is your best friend in the kitchen because it ensures consistency and prevents heavy-handedness with ingredients. With 10-cup pound cakes, the last thing you want in your batter is unintended extra flour!
Properly Cream Butter and Sugar Before Adding Eggs and Other Ingredients.
Friends, this will change your baking immensely. I believe in this technique so much that I devoted a whole post to it! You can check it out here. There’s videos and photos so that you can see with your own eyes what “creamed” butter and sugar should look like! Since the rise in a pound cake relies very heavily on this step, I wanted to make sure you had everything that you needed to be successful.
Use a Light Touch with Leavening.
My pound cakes have a characteristic tight crumb. I always joke that I like the tight crumb because it allows me to walk around the house with a piece of cake in my hand and not get crumbs everywhere. #NotReallyJoking.
This tight crumb has a lot to do with the fact that pound cakes traditionally don’t need a lot of leavening to be successful (and some don’t need any leavening at all!). Some use as little as a quarter of a teaspoon and they come out beautifully every time! The best advice is to follow the recipe and use a level scoop! You can learn much more about leavening here.
Please Grease Your Pans.
You might have already heard of the mythical “non-stick” bundt pan. This is, in fact, a myth! While manufacturers like Nordic Ware do market their bundt pans as “non-stick”, even Nordic Ware will tell you to grease your pans. That’s because Nordic Ware made its non-stick pans so that they would be easier to clean, not easier to remove cake.
To grease my pans, I use softened butter and flour, and I use a pastry brush to get the butter into those deep crevices that just love to trap cake.
Use an Oven Thermometer.
My pound cakes really rely on accurate baking temps. If the oven temperature is too low, you can expect the cake to overflow its baking pan because the cake won’t set before it rises. If the oven temperature is too high, the outside will burn and the inside will be raw. Both of these are sad events.
These events can be avoided with an oven thermometer, which you can find for less than ten dollars right here.
Give Yourself Enough Time.
Starting a cake (or any baked good) too late is a recipe for an unhappy and stressful day. The pound cakes on my Twelve Days of Pound Cakes list are show-stopping to be sure, BUT they are a time commitment. None of them are going to take you less than 3-5 hours to complete. And my carrot cake recipe? You might as well start that one a day or two in advance.
They’ll be more than worth it though. I promise. ????
The best way to figure out if you have enough time to execute a cake is to read the whole recipe from start to finish before you take out your first bowl or whisk. That way, you’ll be assured that your cake will be ready to present to your guests as soon as the dinner plates are cleared.
These are some quick and easy pound cake tips that you can practice as you prepare for your Sundays and holidays. I am extremely excited to bring these twelve pound cakes to you all, and I hope you find something on the list to absolutely astound your friends and family this season.
Until next time!
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