Granny’s Five-Flavor Pound Cake


From Cooking With Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You

Best. Cake. Ever. I’m not just saying that because of my fond food memories. This easy cake is moist, complex in flavor, and totally foolproof. When it bakes, the smell of the five extracts in the buttery dough will have you droolin’. Just ask any of my fellow chefs from my first cooking job after culinary school. I was an extern—basically free labor—at a fancy restaurant. But I was so excited to be there and even more excited to bake Granny’s cake for them. One taste and everyone agreed we had to serve it in the restaurant. I immediately called Granny and told her that “Granny’s Five-Flavor Pound Cake” had been printed on the menu. She was so proud. This was our family dessert, the cake we begged her to send us when we moved away, the cake she always served at Christmas. Whenever she mailed one to me, she wrapped it in layers and layers of paper and plastic wrap. It was the best gift—one that I’m happy to share.

Serves 12

Nonstick baking spray

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

2-1/2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon rum extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-cup Bundt or tube pan with nonstick baking spray.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then measure 3 cups sifted flour back into the sifter. Add the baking soda and salt and sift into a clean bowl. Return any remaining flour to your flour container.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on medium, add the eggs one at a time, completely incorporating each egg before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the bowl.

4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour in thirds, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Add the extracts one at a time, completely incorporating each before adding the next. Continue beating until the batter is shiny, about 4 minutes.

5. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. It will smell really, really good.

6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then unmold onto the rack. Let the cake cool completely. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Want more cake? Try a reader inspired Secret Ingredient Cake (you’ll never guess what’s inside it!)

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