simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication


so goes the saying by the legendary Leonardo da Vinci. and a humble pound cake is just as much a reflection of the same. i believe there is goodness in the simplest of ingredients in transforming themselves into something exquisite. equal parts flour, sugar, butter and eggs is all you need to make a simple pound cake.

there’s something magical about the process of making a cake from scratch, a process that transforms a few simple ingredients; butter, sugar, flour and eggs – into culinary artistry –Tish Boyle

my first ever attempt at baking a pound cake was this marble cake by Rachel Allen. and at a time when i couldn’t tell unsalted from salted butter. or couldn’t be bothered with what creaming or folding the batter really meant. or that baking was as much a science as art. i remember having baked this in a bundt tin, my only bakeware at that point in time. i remember not having dusted my tin with flour and not having known that in the first place! and well, the rest is history… i then slowly but surely graduated to baking this Nutella swirl pound cake in a loaf tin. and then this in a springform tin. yes, i had begun to invest in bakeware by then.

much later when i was into my prime, i came across this plainly perfect pound cake by Tish Boyle. and one fine day when my colleague at work brought me a box of strawberries, i knew the time had come to bake this. so here goes, the perfectly plain or plainly perfect pound cake, as you like it.


200g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
225g unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
250g castor sugar
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
80ml heavy cream

preheat your oven to 170C.
sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside. cream butter in a mixer at medium high speed until creamy (about 2 mins). add sugar gradually and continue beating for 4 mins until light and fluffy.
reduce the mixing speed of the mixer to low and add eggs one at a time mixing until well mixedthe vanilla extract. add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with cream (added in 2 additions). pour into a parchment lined 9″x 5″ pound cake tin and bake for 60-70 mins or until the cake turns brown and a testing skewer comes out clean.

there was another version of this pound cake that i happened to bake a year ago when i realised i had run out of cream. it was this condensed milk pound cake.

the plainly perfect pound cake is great by itself, but if you must, you could have the following accompaniments;

  • whipped cream and berries
  • berry coulis / compote
  • yoghurt / honey / custard / caramel
  • Nutella / chocolate fudge
  • also works as a great cake base for a trifle




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