cream cheese pound cake

Alternative titles for this post:

“I might have just failed microbiology, but whatever” cake
“Procrastination through blogging”
“Baking as the most appropriate response to stress”
“The natural light in my kitchen is so much better now, check it out!”

Midterms are the worst. Finals suck too, don’t get me wrong, but they are generally followed by time off. Midterms you study until you want to cry, then you have to go back to class the next day and start over again. For some reason, my school saw fit to curse us with a Friday exam followed by a Monday exam, and I decided that called for pound cake.

Cream cheese pound cake has been on my “to make” list for what has to be years at this point. This recipe from The Joy the Baker Cookbook called out to me, partially because the pictures look so much like a childhood favorite, the classic Sara Lee poundcake in the foil tin. This one is better, easily, similarly moist but with a texture more recognizable as naturally achieved. (Seriously, how is it so sponge-y??)

Not gonna lie to you, I’m pretty proud of the crumb and rise I got out of this guy. I’ve had a few quick breads fall a bit flat on me, but not this beauty. This cake is a testament to the beauty of simplicity. No exciting flavorings, or new-fangled techniques, and no attempt to make anything lighter. The cream cheese makes it pretty much impossible to dry out this cake. I don’t know, I’m terrible at describing how things taste, I’d never make it as a Top Chef judge, but it’s delicious. And eating it made me happy. And stuff.I was going to end this post on that eloquent note, but then I successfully typed out this recipe FROM MEMORY when I made it yesterday. I was briefly triumphant before it occurred to me how alarming it is that my brain choose to remember this and not the facts about the immune system I need to know for Monday. I think this calls for another slice of pound cake. And maybe some more time with review slides.

 

cream cheese pound cake
Adapted from The Joy the Baker cookbook

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extractSet a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan by greasing with butter or cooking spray and lightly flouring. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high until smooth and sticking to the sides of the bowl. Add butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add in flour mixture until almost combined. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to fold the batter together until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, using a spatula to spread it evenly. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 F. At 30 minutes, rotate the pan. If the pound cake seems to be getting brown too fast, move it to a higher rack in the oven. Bake for another 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan 10 minutes.

Using a bread knife to loosen the edges, flip pan over to remove the cake. Flip it back over carefully so you don’t get dents in the top. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack.

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