As you know, I do a lot of baking. I bake for the Coffee Hour at Girlfriend’s school each week. I have a monthly cake commitment for a couple of folks who won monthly baking from me at an auction. I bake for friends. And, of course, I bake for our family and for this blog. And I love it. Baking gives me more pleasure than I can describe.
But the thing that makes me the most happy about baking is the opportunity to share the results with people. I am always thrilled to have an occasion to bake. Parties, potlucks, gatherings, dinners, coffee hours, whatever–I will bake for it. If I am part of a group and we have a potluck and someone divides the list alphabetically and my name falls into the group that’s supposed to bring salads–I am completely bereft. Of course, I usually make a salad AND a baked good.
This past week I had many occasions to bake. There was a housewarming party, Coffee Hour, baking for a family going through a tough time (see the last post), and, of course, baking for our house. You never know when a friend will drop by for tea.
On weeks like this, I turn to cream cheese pound cake. Pound cake is a workhorse. It’s yummy, versatile, everyone likes it, and it keeps well. You can use it for many occasions. You can serve it plain with tea, or drizzled with melted chocolate, slathered in jam, or topped with whipped cream to dress it up. And, it freezes well. And, everyone loves it. At coffee hour it went pretty quickly and people asked for more. At the housewarming party everyone asked for the recipe. Yesterday, I checked in on Twitter and found a group of my pals talking about my pound cake and how yummy it is. They all asked for the recipe. I’m serious–this recipe is a hit. You can’t go wrong with it.
I adapted the following recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake. I’ve been using my adaptation of the recipe for years and it’s a hit every time. It makes two loaves–which is really helpful when you have more than one event to bake for in a short amount of time. Or, you can use one immediately and freeze one for later. And, you can add chocolate chips to the recipe for an extra bit of decadence.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Gluten-Free(edited 1/14/10 to delete baking powder)
-adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2 9″x5″ loaves
Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cake)
Special equipment needed:
-a stand mixer is very helpful, but a hand mixer will do
-2 9″x5″ loaf pans
3 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
3 C granulated sugar
6 large or extra large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
extra butter–melted–and tapioca flour for pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-grease and flour 2 loaf pans with extra butter and tapioca flour
-in a medium bowl, mix flour and salt, set aside
-in the bowl of stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), beat butter until it’s light and fluffy–at least 3 minutes.
-add cream cheese, beat a couple minutes more
-add sugar, beat for 3 minutes more
-add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition
-with mixer on low speed, beat in vanilla extract
-with mixer on low, add dry ingredients until just incorporated
-if using optional chocolate chips, mix them in by hand here
-spoon dough in equal amounts into the 2 prepared loaf pans
-thump each pan on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles
-bake at 350 degrees for 65-75 minutes (until tops are browned and tester comes out clean)
-remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes in pan
-turn out cakes onto a wire rack and cool completely
-store at room temperature wrapped in aluminum foil for 4-5 days
-you may freeze the cakes
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