can you believe the end of summer is here? sure, it’s still officially about a month away. but, here in the states, the unofficial end of summer is fast approaching. it’s time to eat all the late summer bounty before cooler weather and it’s produce takes over. enter this cast iron pound cake. it’s a buttery cake that acts as a most delicious way to enjoy summer’s waning fruit.
perhaps the thing I love most about this cake is it’s ability to adapt to the changing seasons. from apples to pears, peaches to blueberries, blackberries and almonds, even beautiful bright lemon, they all work SO WELL. plus, this cake screams casual elegance that feels perfectly at home as cake for breakfast or a simple after dinner dessert. truth be told, im a “cake just because” kind of person. read on for more delicious details about this endlessly adaptable cast iron pound cake.
in a few words, this cake is
- vanilla scented
- dense, yet light and tender
- adaptable to the season
- casually elegant
what ingredients do I need to make this pound cake?
just a handful of simple, high quality ingredients is all you need to make this cast iron cake:
- European butter
- all purpose flour
- cake flour
- see recipe notes for a DIY version
- baking powder
- superfine sugar
- caster sugar works well here, too!
- vanilla extract
- sour cream
- fresh seasonal fruit of choice
- equal amount of peaches and blueberries were used for this recipe
from these ingredients you will make the pound cake, fruit topping and sugar sprinkle for extra flavor and texture. you may also want to have vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream on hand for serving!
do I need any special baking tools to make this cake?
to make this recipe as written, you will need to have:
- 10″ (25cm) up to a 12″ cast iron pan
- if you’re looking for a good quality for a great price, this is a good choice
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- this is the easiest and surest way to make the pound cake
- internal thermometer
- a good way to check the doneness of the cake
- you may need this if the top browns too quickly
- flexible spatula
- this helps for mixing by hand
- and for smoothing the top of the cake
how do I know the pound cake is done?
these are the three signs you should look for:
- color: the edges and top will be golden brown
- the cake should not be burned
- use a tent foil if the top is baking too quickly
- bake the cake in the lower third of the oven
- the cake should bounce back when gently pressed with your finger
- the center will still look a little moist
- the internal temperature should read 210 F (99 C)
- baking times are written as a guide. look for the signs a cake is done
- the recipe times for this cake range from 60-75 minutes
- several factors can impact this range
- from the type of oven to the weather!
tips and tricks for a delicious cast iron pound cake
best substitutions for this recipe:
- all purpose flour: for a gluten free option, I recommend
- cake flour: make a DIY version using all purpose and cornstarch
- see recipe notes for how to do this
- to make a GF cake flour, sub with one of the listed subs above
- follow the notes in the recipe to make it cake flour
- baking powder: technically this is to aid the lift from beating the butter, sugar and air
- omit if you don’t have
- seasonal fruit: grab whatever seasonal fruit looks good!
- use fresh if possible
- this recipe calls for 2 cups total
- eggs: the structure of the cake depends on these, there is no sub for eggs in this recipe
- sugar: you can use an alternative sugar if its one you baked with already
- do not use less sugar
- process the sugar into a “superfine” texture
- sour cream or yogurt try to use what is listed in the recipe, otherwise
- omit and sub with one large egg, room temperature
- for a total of 4 large eggs in the recipe (with no sour cream or yogurt)
more pound cake recipes to try!
cast iron pound cake
- 10" or larger cast iron skillet
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- medium flexible spatula
- 1 tbsp (14g) butter for greasing the cast iron skillet
- 1 c (125g) all purpose flour
- 1 c (125g) cake flour see notes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 c (300g) super fine granulated sugar
- zest of one medium lemon
- 1 c (226g) unsalted European butter, room temperature see notes
- 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract
- 3 (171g) large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 c (180g) full fat sour cream sub with full fat greek yogurt
- 2 c fresh seasonal fruit
- 2-3 tsp (25-38g) sugar for topping
- Lightly grease a 10" (25cm) or larger cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Move an oven rack to the lower 1/3 of the oven (right under the middle rack level).
- Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside. If using regular granulated sugar, process sugar in a food processor for 30 seconds (or use superfine or caster sugar as normal). This is optional, but helps with the overall outcome of the cake.
- Pour the sugar into a small mixing bowl. Zest the lemon into the sugar. Using your hands, a small spoon or whisk, work the sugar and zest together until a wet, sand like texture forms. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat/cream butter on low for 1 minute. Increase to medium speed for 4-6 additional minutes, until butter is light and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Once butter is light and fluffy, beat butter with the sugar by slowly streaming in sugar. This whole step should take 1-2 minutes. Once all the sugar has been added, beat/cream the sugar and butter together for an additional minute. Sugar should be mostly dissolved into the butter at this point.
- Slowly add eggs to the butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time, beating on low until it fully incorporates before adding the next. Beat an addtional minute on medium speed. Switch to a large spatula, or spoon. The next steps will be done by hand.
- Fold in dry ingredients and sour cream to the wet ingredients in this order: dry, sour cream, dry, sour cream, dry. Fold each part about 90% into the wet ingredients before adding the next. Fold all ingredients in the batter togther until smooth and well combined.
- Gently scoop the batter into the prepared cast iron skillet. Using a small offset spatula or spoon, level and smooth the batter into the corners and across the pan.
- Top the cake with fresh seasonal fruit of choice. Gently press the fruit into top of the cake. Sprinkle additional sugar if desired.
- Bake at 350F (177C) for 60-75 minutes ( in the lower 1/3 of the oven). Check the top. It should be golden, but not burned. If the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover with a foil tent. For me, this happened around the 30-35 minute mark. Return to the oven for 25-35 minutes, checking for doneness every 10 minutes (60-75 minutes total). When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, its done. Cool in pan for 30 minutes or until the pan is cool enough to touch. Serve warm with ice cream or freshly whipped cream right away or cool until completely room temperature.
- This butter can be found at all major grocery stores. Some of my favorite brands are: Kerrygold, Danish Creamery, and Central Market (Texas)
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