This is one of the best pound cakes I have ever tasted. Its tender appeal is owed in part to cake flour and cream, and in part to beating the batter an extra 5 minutes.
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan
- 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) plus additional for dusting
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups sugar
- 7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup heavy cream
Special equipment: a 10-inch tube pan (4 1/2 inches deep; not with a removable bottom) or a 10-inch bundt pan (3 1/4 inches deep; 3-qt capacity)
- Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.
- Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
- Sift together sifted flour (3 cups) and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
- Beat together butter (2 sticks) and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.
- Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles. Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes.
- Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool completely.