Almond Pound Cake

Almond Pound Cake | Cookie Monster Cooking

This recipe has been a long time coming.  Many many years ago, back when I mostly stuck to box mixes, I made an almond pound cake from a company that begins with a tastefully and ends with a simple.  My mom had bought a few extra boxes and I was going to spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s parents for the first time.  I didn’t want to go empty handed and I thought it sounded good.  It ended up being a huge hit and was requested several times after that.

Fast forward a few years and I was at the point where I much preferred to make things from scratch.  But that pound cake had become a bit of a Thanksgiving tradition.  So it was time to find a recipe.  But let’s just say that the search did not go so well.  My personal favorite was one horrible recipe that resulted in batter all over the inside of my oven and probably a number of choice words from me.

Almond Pound Cake | Cookie Monster Cooking

But don’t worry, this story has a happy ending.  This year the search finally came to an end.  This from scratch almond pound cake is perfect.  Dense like pound cake should be, but not too dense or like a brick.  The method may seem a little different, but just trust the recipe and follow it as written.  The people over at Cook’s Illustrated know what they are talking about.  This cake has just the right texture and rises beautifully without any baking powder, as long as you follow all of the steps.  So just do it.  No cheating, got it?

Almond Pound Cake | Cookie Monster Cooking

And did I mention that it’s finished off with a glaze and some sliced almonds??  Just another reason to give this cake a whirl.

Almond Pound Cake
 
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and chilled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • sliced almonds, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. To make the cake - add the butter pieces to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let the butter stand at room temperature for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow it to soften slightly (the temperature should be no more than 60 degrees if you have an instant-read thermometer). In a liquid measuring cup, add the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with a fork to combine. Set aside while the butter is softening.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Grease and flour an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan and set aside.*
  3. Add the salt to the bowl of the mixer. Beat together the butter and salt on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once. Turn the speed down to medium and slowly pour in the sugar, taking about 1 minute to do so. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 5 to 8 minutes, scraping down the bowl once, until light and fluffy. Turn the speed down again to medium and slowly pour in the egg mixture in a steady stream, taking about 1 to 1 ½ minutes to do so. Scrape down the bowl. Beat again on medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes (it may look slightly curdled). Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  4. Sift the cake flour into the bowl in three separate additions, gently folding the flour into the mixture each time until combined. Be sure to scrape along the bottom of the bowl to ensure it is well combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to smooth the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Allow to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes. Gently run a butter knife around the edges to help loosen it from the pan, if needed. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.
  6. To make the glaze - whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, almond extract and salt in a small bowl. Add more milk or confectioners’ sugar to achieve the consistency that you want. Pour the glaze over the completely cooled cake and then sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
Notes
If you only have a 9x5 inch loaf pan, you can go ahead and use it. However, be sure to check the loaf while baking about 5 minutes earlier than noted in the recipe above.

Source:
Cake from Cook’s Illustrated The Science of Good Cooking. Glaze from Cookie Monster Cooking.

 

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Comments

  1. Jo @ The Contented Baker says

    What a perfect, classic cake Ashley! Everyone needs a cake like this in their repertoire. So satisfying that you found the recipe in the end. Great story :-)

    • Ashley says

      Hi Sandy! Yes, you can use a hand mixer for this. Just make sure you still follow the recipe exactly and you should be good!

  2. says

    Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated to come to the rescue. It’s crazy how many of my favorite recipes are from Cook’s Illustrated. If only they would put pretty color pictures in their magazines and books. Your pictures are gorgeous by the way! And I absolutely love almond extract!

  3. says

    Even though I like baking from scratch, it can be difficult to replicate the moistness and even rise that comes from a store-bought mix. So I’m so happy that you found your recipe! I can’t wait to try it Ashley. It looks so very good!

  4. says

    This might be the best pound cake I’ve ever seen. Look at the texture, the crumb is flawless! And no baking powder? How did you get it to look that perfect??
    I love that it tastes of almonds too. This looks like the perfect tea-time treat 😀

  5. says

    Once I started baking from scratch it took me ages to find a banana bread recipe that didn’t end up a soggy mess. Can you believe it was ALSO cook’s ilustrated?! They know what they’re doing over there. :) This pound cake looks to-die-for and I love the almonds!

  6. says

    Can I move in with you? I want to be able to eat all of the yummy goodies you are always cooking up. I can help clean too! 😉

    I love a good pound cake and an almond flavored one sounds amazing. I’m sure it was well worth the search and trouble of cleaning the oven.

  7. says

    I use box mixes sometimes when I’m short on time, but making something really good from scratch feels much more satisfying. :) I’m glad your perfect-almond-pound-cake adventures have a happy ending! This cake looks wonderful!

  8. says

    What beautiful photos, Ashley. I think I’ve only had pound cake once or twice, dipped in a chocolate fondue. I love this almond version, especially with the sliced almonds on top. It’s funny how it can be difficult to replicate boxed mixes sometimes, I bet yours is even better!

  9. says

    Isn’t it funny that once you start baking from scratch, the thought of using a mix just disappears. There’s just so much satisfaction when you do it all yourself, especially when it comes out looking as great as this pound cake! I never make pound cakes and I don’t know why? This looks divine!

  10. says

    The people at Cook’s Illustrated do know what they’re talking about! I’m glad you found such a winner after the duds. As someone who seriously loves almond baked goods, I’m a big fan of this! The crumb looks so tight and moist and this pound cake is just tall and proud. You got me wanting to make a loaf soon.

  11. says

    I’m so glad your search is over and that you are sharing this pound cake with us because it looks wonderful Ashley! I love pound cake especially with almonds:) The glaze sounds incredible too! The method does seem a little different but if it yields great results then I can’t wait to try it – pinned :)

  12. says

    I’m a HUGE fan of almond cakes and muffins — have been for about 20 years now! I can’t wait to try this recipe, especially since you put so much work into getting it just right! I love how tender the crumb looks on your pound cake!

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