Buttermilk Pound Cake: Such Sweet Indulgences of Childhood Reminiscences are Well Deserved

Buttermilk Pound Cake after being removed from the oven
Buttermilk Pound Cake after being removed from the oven

As a child, the starting sound of a cake mixer being roared into action would lure me into the kitchen. My father gave me a spatula, and I would scrap the sides and the bottom of the bowl after each ingredient was added. Behind his back, I would lick the spatula and the spoon rest. The best taste was the creaming of the sugar and butter. The taste test would temporarily cease when the eggs were added. When the flour was added, the taste test would restart. After pouring the batter into the pan and placing it in the oven, my father would allow me to lick the bowl and the mixer’s beaters.

When I made this Buttermilk Pound Cake this past weekend, I recalled those taste tests as a child. Today, as an adult, there are no restrictions to the amount of cake batter I consume. Instead of scooping the batter with fingers or licking the spoon rest, a clean spoon is used each time I want a taste. I’m usually in a sugar-high state of mind by the time the cake goes into the oven. If the boyfriend caught me, he would remind me how unhealthy it is to eat cake batter because of the raw eggs. Some type of regulation is needed. I treat myself to the batter, because cakes are rarely made in this household of only two. Besides, when the cake was done and cooling on the rack, I went outside to run for 30 minutes, in freezing temperatures. Such sweet indulgences of childhood reminiscences are well deserved.

Buttermilk Pound Cake

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup/8 oz./2 sticks of butter
3 cups white sugar
5 eggs + 1 egg white
The grated zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Butter one 9 or 10 inch tube pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the bottom again.* Shift flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until creamy, 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest, nutmeg and the vanilla extract. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the batter and mix well. Add one-half of the buttermilk into the batter and mix well. Continue to alternate the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

{Optional} Garnish with chopped pecans/walnuts or sliced almonds.

3. Bake in a preheated oven for 70 to 90 minutes. Do not open oven door within the first hour of baking. The cake is done when it starts to pull away from the tube pan’s side, or use the toothpick trick. Insert a toothpick and when it comes out clean, the cake is done cooking. After removing the cake from the oven, cool in a pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the cake from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let cool completely.

*Optional: In addition to buttering the pan, coat the sides with sugar.