Classic Vanilla Pound Cake

This cream cheese pound cake is flavorful and moist — and equally delicious served plain or with fresh fruit spooned over it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, softened (use Plugra or other European style butter for best flavor)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1⁄4 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease and flour large (12 cup) bundt cake pan, set aside.

Place butter and cream cheese in bowl of stand mixer. Using flat beater, beat mixture until creamy.

Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in vanilla extract.

Whisk together flour and salt. With speed on low, gradually add flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until flour is thoroughly incorporated.

Pour batter into a well greased and floured bundt pan.

Place 2 cups cold water in an ovenproof container on the oven rack next to the cake.

Bake cake at 300°F for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and complete cooling on the wire rack.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired. Cake keeps well for several days.

YIELD: 12-14 servings

VARIATIONS:
Almond Pound Cake: Add 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Orange Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons pure orange extract, 2 tablespoons orange zest.
Lemon Pound Cake: Add 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract, 1 tablespoon lemon zest.
Coconut: Add 1 teaspoon coconut extract, fold 1/2 cup flaked coconut into batter. Sprinkle top of cake with coconut and powdered sugar before serving.

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