A layered pound cake filled with raspberry jam and lemon curd, and finished with buttercream frosting
|Place of origin||Great Britain|
|Main ingredient(s)||Flour, butter, sugar, and eggs|
|Variations||Addition of flavourings or dried fruits|
||This article may contain original research. (June 2008)|
Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. The traditional recipe makes a cake much larger than most families can consume, and so the quantity is often changed to suit the size of the cake that is desired. As long as the ratio is preserved, the resulting cake will be identical to that using the traditional recipe. Hence, any cake made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar is also called a pound cake.
Pound cakes are generally baked in either a loaf pan or a Bundt mold, and served either dusted with powdered sugar, lightly glazed, or sometimes with a coat of icing.
There are numerous variations on the traditional pound cake, with certain countries and regions having distinctive styles. These can include the addition of flavouring agents (such as vanilla extract or almond extract) or dried fruit (such as currants or dried cranberries), as well as alterations to the original recipe to change the characteristics of the resulting pound cake. For instance, baking soda or baking powder may be incorporated to induce leavening during baking, resulting in a less dense pound cake. A cooking oil (typically a vegetable oil) is sometimes substituted for some or all of the butter, which is intended to produce a more moist cake. "Sour cream pound cake" is a popular variation in the United States, which involves the substitution of sour cream for some of the butter, which also is intended to produce a more moist cake with a pleasantly tangy flavor. Some of these variations may drastically change the texture and flavor of the pound cake, but the name pound cake is often still used. Some of the variations are described below.
American South style 
A traditional American pound cake would contain one pound each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. This recipe is quite popular in the cuisine of the Southern United States, and is usually a staple at picnics and potlucks. March 4 is National Pound Cake Day in the US.
British style 
'Pound cake' is more commonly known in Britain as 'Sponge cake' or 'Madeira cake'. Usually consisting of butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour and eggs in equal parts; but one can add vanilla extract to give a richer taste.
French style 
Pound cake (named "quatre-quarts", which means four-fourths) is a traditional and popular cake of the French region of Brittany, and as its name implies, uses the same quantity of the four ingredients, but with no added fruit of any kind. Some variants, however, are made by adding chocolate or lemon juice for flavour.
Mexican style 
In Mexico, the pound cake is called panqué. The basic recipe of Mexican panqué is much like the traditional U.S. recipe. Most common variants are panqué con nueces (pound cake with walnuts) and panqué con pasas (pound cake with raisins).
Colombian style 
Ponque is the Colombian version of the pound cake: the term ponque is itself a Spanish phonetic approximation of pound-cake. The ponque is essentially a wine-drenched cake with a cream or sugar coating, and it is very popular at birthdays, weddings and other social celebrations.
German style 
The German Eischwerkuchen (Ei = egg, schwer = heavy, all ingredients weigh as much as the eggs each) is a recipe very similar to the pound cake.
- Editors of Cooks Illustrated (2004) The New Best Recipe. Brookline, MA: America's Test Kitchen.
- Yum! Try These Decadent Pound Cake Desserts http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41872497/ns/today-food/t/yum-try-these-decadent-pound-cake-desserts/#.T0-xlnKXTiM
- Traditional panqué recipe (in Spanish)
- Recipe of panqué with walnuts (in Spanish)
- Recipe of panqué with raisins (Spanish/English)
|Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on|