This cake is responsible for converting my parents into believing in cream cheese and always having at least one block in the fridge.
Before I had made this pound cake for the first time, cream cheese was hard to come by in the house. There were only so many times I could convince my parents it was absolutely essential for me to make a cheesecake or a red velvet dessert with cream cheese frosting. My parents took their carrot cake icing free, nor am I a fan of eating too much icing myself. But this cake. Wow. My parents have taken to this cake like a fish to water, cutting into the cake barely 15 minutes after I’ve taken it out of the oven and gobbling up the cake before I can finish saying ‘ermagerd!’
T’was seeing half a block of cream cheese left over from when my sister made something that had me googling recipes that could see this half block being used up. There were quite a few obscure recipes that I could have attempted, but I was discouraged when I saw that most of these said recipes required something exotic like rainbow grapes from the ice forests of Narnia; I mean, I just didn’t have time to get those ingredients. I just wanted to use up the cream cheese block with relative ease and preferably before the due date.
So, when I came across a rather good sounding cream-cheese pound cake recipe on Martha Stewart’s website, I pounced. As the recipe indicated the ingredients listed were to make two loaves of cream cheese pound cakes, I simply halved the ingredients.
This cake is rich with flavour but not overly sweet, I feel. There is no need for toppings of any kind, and it would probably be better if it was balanced out with something a little more neutral like (unsweetened) tea or fruit.
I admit on my first try, the crust of my pound cake was rather burnt on the sides, although the top was a lovely golden brown because I had covered the top with aluminium foil. I later learnt to reduce the oven heat by 15 degrees as I was using a dark coloured baking pan, and I covered the top of my cake with aluminium foil for the whole 60 minutes, before taking it off for the last 10 minutes for even browning.
With this cake in particular, I’ve found that baking times can vary (depending on your oven) from between 50-75 minutes, which is quite varying considering an extra few minutes can sometimes mean the difference between golden or burning! Even having made this cake a few times now, sometimes I’ve had to leave the cake in the oven for 5 extra minutes than I had previously because a toothpick in the centre of the cake didn’t come out clean. At the very least however, I’ve always had my cake in the oven for at least 60 minutes.
Just so you know the conditions I made my cake in:
- Oven set to 160 °C (15°C less than the oven temp. indicated because of my dark coloured pan)
- Tented foil placed on the top of the pan from the very beginning of cooking for 60 minutes. The last 5-10 minutes are without foil.
*Tips for making this cake:
- If you are using a dark coloured baking pan, reduce the oven temperature by 15 to 25 degrees. The dark colour of the pan means the heat energy is more easily transmitted through the pan.
- To prevent the cake top from burning, cover the top of the cake with aluminium foil by slightly tenting the foil. This allows the oven heat to pass through underneath the foil, but prevents the cake top from browning too quickly.
You might see that the top of your pound cake starts to crack quite spectacularly towards the end of baking time. Do not worry! Not only does it most likely mean that your cake is near done, but the cracking will deflate after the cake has had time to cool 🙂
I’ve also made this cake in a tube pan (picture a flat bundt pan), and just poured 2 cakes worth of mixture into the one pan. For me I did everything the same as if I were just making one cake, but as the original recipe instructs, I did leave the cake in the oven for an extra 5 minutes before testing the centre with a skewer.
CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cream Cheese Pound Cakes
- 170 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 bar (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 176°C/350°F. If the baking pan is dark coloured, reduce the oven temperature by 15°. Line a baking pan with baking paper, allowing the paper to hang over the sides slightly. This will allow you to easily lift the cake out when it is done.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy, a pale yellow colour. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low, add flour and salt in two additions, beating until just combined.
- Pour mixture into your prepared pans and smooth out the surface with a spatula or back of spoon. Tap pans on work surface to eliminate any large air bubbles.
- Slightly tent piece of aluminium foil over the top of the pan. Tenting the foil will mean the hot air will still pass through to the surface of the cake, but prevent the surface from browning too quickly. Bake the cake until golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean; usually at least 60 minutes. If the centre of the cake does not seem to be ready after 60 minutes, continue to bake the cake in 5 minute increments until ready.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting the cake out and allowing the cake to cool completely.
If you want to make the cake in a bundt or tube pan, you will need to double the mixture listed above and increase baking time by about 5 minutes. Alternatively, click on the link to Martha Stewart’s website for original amounts.
If you have any questions or comments then please feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message!