Can I say just how much I love this recipe for homemade pound cake, loaded with cream cheese, butter and crisp pecans?
I rediscovered this old favorite when I was recently browsing my binder of clipped recipes, seeking inspiration for upcoming posts here on writes4food.com. I hadn’t made this for several years — with just 2 people in the house, a cake that serves 24 is, well, rather excessive. (Or not.) I cut this out of a newspaper years ago — when, and from which city paper, I’m not sure. If you can judge a cake by its batter, then this one’s a winner — the batter is light, pale golden and smooth. Because I have a less-than-sweet tooth, I reduced the amount of sugar in this recipe to 2 1/2 cups, but you can certainly use the 3 cups called for in the original.
You’ll want a large (10-inch) bundt or tube pan to bake this pecan pound cake — or you can bake it in 3 regular loaf pans (reduce the baking time to 1 hour and 5–15 minutes, checking for doneness at about 55 minutes).
Yes, it makes a ton. But it keeps well for several days at room temperature, and freezes beautifully.
This beautiful cake would make a wonderful finale for your Easter brunch or dinner, topped with fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. If it gets a little stale, toast slices for breakfast, or use cubed leftover pound cake for trifle or chocolate fondue. Sweet!
pecan cream cheese pound cake
makes about 24 servings
1 1/2 cups whole raw pecans
1 1/2 (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 1/2–3 cups sugar (use the larger quantity if you want a very sweet cake)
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups cake flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325°. Arrange the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5–7 minutes (watch to be sure they do not burn). Remove to a cutting board and chop fine. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease a 10-inch bundt or tube pan; dust the greased pan liberally with about 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Cut the butter and cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer). Beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and blend to combine. Whisk together the cake flour and salt in a medium bowl; use a 1/4-cup measure to add flour to the batter one scoop at a time, blending well on low speed. Keep adding flour until you have about 1/2 cup left; toss the chopped pecans with this remaining flour and add it to the batter. Mix just to combine. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; smooth the top and tap the pan briskly on the countertop to settle the batter. Bake for 1 hour 35 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the top of the cake is deeply caramel-brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool about 45 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake; invert it onto a baking sheet and then onto a serving plate (domed side up). Cool completely before slicing. Cake freezes well, wrapped in a double layer of plastic and foil, up to 6 months.