Along with the first calls of the
loons, the chirping of birds, the bright sunshine and the earthy fragrance of
the woods, comes my desire for pound cake.
Pairing pound cake with
spring is a tradition in my family. It starts at Easter when I mix up my
favorite pound cake batter and bake it in the cast-iron lamb cake mold that my
You can see the mold below. I didn’t take a picture of the cake until it was half eaten. Even one of the ears is missing.
I nibble my way through
pound-cake season as I bake that same batter in a bundt pan and serve it with
clusters of fresh grapes or topped with fresh strawberries.
When Minneapolis cookbook author, Pat
Sinclair, gave me a copy of her Baking Basics and Beyond to review, I asked her to tell
me which of the recipes in the book is her favorite. And guess what. It’s a
In the book, Pat shares
recipes for Chocolate-Amaretto Pound Cake, Vanilla Bean Pound Cake and Orange
Mini-Bundt Pound Cakes. Her favorite is Butter Rum Pound Cake.
This delicious cake is baked
in two loaf pans, then poked with a wooden skewer several times before spooning
a rum glaze over the top. The warm, sweet liquid soaks into the rich cake
making it simply divine. And oh, so moist.
Baking Basics and Beyond
holds so many recipes that I can’t wait to try. I’ve marked many pages. Scones, tarts, cookies, coffee cakes and muffins will be baking in my oven soon. Not
only are Pat’s recipes easy to follow, they practically shout out
“sensational.” At the end of each recipe she shares little tips and all her
secrets to success.
I wish I had a wedding
shower to attend, because this book would be a wonderful gift along with a
bottle of premium vanilla extract wrapped up together in a kitchen towel with a
wooden spoon and a whisk tucked into the bow.
It would be a great birthday
gift for friends who love to bake. Include a loaf of fresh-baked Almond Tea
Loaf using the recipe on page 46.
It’s not often that I find a
cookbook that makes me feel like I’m in the kitchen baking with my mom. That’s
what it felt like as I prepared Butter Rum Pound Cake. Pat speaks to the baker
through her clear and concise instructions and her notes that include the kind
of information your mom or your grandma would share if she were right along
side of you—the kind of information that helps you build skills and techniques
that will make you bake like a pro.
With Pat’s permission, I am
sharing her recipe for Butter Rum Pound Cake found on page 193 of her cookbook.
It might start a pound cake and spring pairing tradition for you. But as Pat
suggests, this cake makes a nice holiday gift, too.
Butter Rum Pound Cake
Makes 2 cakes, 24 servings
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup lowfat buttermilk,
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup dark rum
Heat oven to 350 degrees
with rack in middle. Grease and flour two 8 1/2x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans and line
bottoms with parchment paper.
Sift flour, baking powder,
baking soda, and salt into medium bowl.
Beat butter in bowl of a
heavy-duty mixer on Medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, scraping
sides of bowl occasionally, and beat 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time,
scraping sides of bowl after each egg is added. Add vanilla and beat 2 minutes
until very light and creamy.
Reduce mixer speed to Low. Add
flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk.
Scrape down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat until smooth, but no longer
than 15 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 45 to 55 minutes or
until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean. Cakes will be starting to pull away from pan sides. Cool 5 minutes on
wire cooling rack.
Run a spatula around sides
of pans and lift cake bottoms slightly. Using a bamboo skewer or wooden pick,
pierce tops of cakes generously so they can absorb the rum glaze.
Bring sugar, butter, and
water to a boil over medium heat in medium saucepan, stirring often. Reduce
heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in rum.
Spoon glaze generously over
warm cakes, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Continue adding glaze as it is
absorbed. Allow cakes to cool completely, then carefully remove them from pans.
Pat’s Notes: The more you
pierce the cake, the more glaze it will absorb. Let the glaze soak in slowly.
You may not use all the glaze.
Use dark or gold rum. Myer’s
rum is a good choice because it is aged and very smooth.
Pat’s Secrets to Success:
Buttermilk can be purchased in a dried form in the baking section of your
supermarket. It can be stored in the freezer and used whenever you need
buttermilk for baking. Follow the directions on the package for using in