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Nov 11, 2008 10:03 AM

Pound Cake help

In the last few days, I have attempted making pound cake twice, and neither time has been a complete success. My son asked for marble pound cake, so I googled it and came up with a CIA recipe that seemed reasonable. The verdict was that it was "too fluffy" and a bit dry. Moreover, the bottom and sides of the cake were definitely overdone. Today I tried The Best Recipe version. Since they didn't have anything about making a marble pound cake, I just followed the method from the last recipe: melting some bittersweet chocolate, mixing it with part of the batter, and dotting the chocolate batter on top before swirling it. By the time the cake was done, the sides and bottom of the loaf were burned, and the chocolate had sunk to the bottom of the batter. After trimming the burnt portion of the cake, I tasted it and felt that it was much closer to being a true pound cake than the previous recipe. The CIA recipe had baking powder, but the Best Recipe one had no baking powder but a larger number of eggs. The temperature of my oven seems to be OK, so I am baffled as to why these cakes keep burning. I have never had this problem before, and I am beginning to think it has something to do with a special pound cake chemistry. Does anyone have experience with pound cakes? I would appreciate any ideas.

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  1. Don't know if they bake as they look, but the pictures are gorgeous:

    I've had mixed luck with pound cakes in my baking past.

    1. The obvious answer would be to cook it less, or lower the temperature, even if you think your oven is true to temperature. I've found that I have to watch my thinner bundt pan more closely than the thicker one. And, with dark colored pans reduce the temperature by about 25 degrees because it conducts heat better. Pound cakes are forgiving as cakes go. On adding chocolate to a the Best Recipe recipe, it probably made the batter too heavy (stating the obvious again here). I like to understand a recipe first before I start playing with it, maybe in this case, reserving some batter would work and then add cocoa to the reserved mix might work better. Ones w/ baking powder aren't as dense as ones with. I think of real poundcake as the basics, flour, sugar, butter and really like the Best Recipe recipe. For an easy, basic poundcake, I like cream cheese pound cake. It's dense and rich. You want to beat the butter and sugar well and when you add flour, mix minimally.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        chowser: to marble her pound cake could she replace some of the flour with cocoa powder instead of adding chocolate?

        1. re: maplesugar

          Yeah, that's what I meant. Sorry if my explanation was muddled. The hard part would be to figure out proportionally how much flour to leave out for the batter, to replace w/ the cocoa for the marbling part, because you'd also have to add that much more flour to the rest. It makes sense in my head but harder to explain. If you were just to make the cake as is, reserve a cup of batter and add cocoa to that part, you'd have too much dry ingredients in the chocolate part.

        2. re: chowser

          Thanks. Yes, I did reduce my temperature by 25 degrees from 350 to 325 for the second cake, but, if anything, it was even more burned! I also lined the pan with parchment. I just ordered some new loaf pans. These are the ones I have always used for bread, and even with sweet breads they've been fine!