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Pound Cake

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Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. The traditional recipe makes a cake much larger than most families can consume, and so the quantity is often changed to suit the size of the cake that is desired. As long as the ratio is preserved, the resulting cake will be identical to that using the traditional recipe. Hence, any cake made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar is also called a pound cake, even if the quantity used is smaller or larger than an actual pound.

There are numerous variations on the traditional pound cake, with certain countries and regions having distinctive styles. These can include the addition of flavoring agents (such as vanilla extract or almond extract) or dried fruit (such as currants or craisins), as well as alterations to the original recipe to change the characteristics of the resulting pound cake. For instance, baking soda or baking powder may be incorporated to induce leavening during baking, resulting in a less dense pound cake. A cooking oil (typically a vegetable oil) is sometimes substituted for some or all of the butter, which is intended to produce a more moist cake. "Sour cream pound cake" is a popular variation in the United States, which involves the substitution of sour cream for some of the butter, which also is intended to produce a more moist cake with a pleasantly tangy flavor. Some of these variations may drastically change the texture and flavor of the pound cake, but the name pound cake is often still used. Some of the variations are described below.

"Pound cake" is also the American English name for a type of fruitcake. Its name originated from the ingredients used in quantities of English pounds. This results in a large, dense cake not often suited to modern American tastes, though the style (if not the size) is still popular in Britain.

A traditional British pound cake recipe would specify one pound each of flour, butter, eggs (8 eggs), sugar, and several kinds of dried fruit (currants, sultanas, and raisins, with perhaps a lesser quantity of glacé cherries). (These quantities are too great for most modern families, but the cake can be made with half quantities or less). It is usual to weigh the eggs first and then use the same weights of the other ingredients; with traditional kitchen scales, the eggs are simply used instead of weights.

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Pound cake

The History of Pound Cake

Buttermilk pound cake with Pimms-soaked fruits