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Jan 19, 2014 07:05 PM

How to correct for an undercooked pound cake?

So I made this cake last night...

Lime Pound Cake

1 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon key lime zest
1/2 cup key lime juice

Preheat oven to 325 F. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed, or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low-speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla, lime zest and lime juice. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a long wooded pick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes, remove from pan to a wire rack.

Prepare Lime Glaze, and immediately brush over top and sides of cake. Cool completely (about 1 hour).

Lime Glaze

1 cup confectioner sugar
2 Tablespoons key lime juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and brush over top and sides of cake.


I made it pretty much by the recipe. I baked it in a heavy cast-aluminum Nordicware bundt pan. My oven tends to run a little below the set temperature, but I was compensating for that (I've had lots of practice). I cooked it for about 1 hour 30 minutes--to the point that the top was dark brown, the cake was pulled away from the pan around the edges, and there were some slightly-scorched spots on the outside. And yet, when I cut it today, it was slightly doughy in the center. The flavor is great, but is there anything I can do about the undercooked texture?

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  1. No. It's too late to put it back in the oven and as you said, it was dark to begin with. I would just cut off the part that's baked through and chuck the rest. Or use it in a bread pudding. Next time, once the cake has baked an hour, I would cover it with foil and finish baking it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Oh, I did that--trimmed off the overdone bits and covered it up with the glaze (icings are always good for that)! I was just wondering if there's anything I can change next time. The flavor of this cake is great, but the texture...not so much.

      1. re: MsMaryMc

        I think part of the problem is that your recipe has more liquid than the average pound cake. My standard pound cake recipe calls for 5 eggs, one cup butter and 1/2 cup milk.

        I really think you should just cook it a bit longer but cover it with foil after an hour or so to keep it from darkening before completely cooked. My fiancé loves pound cake and I make them a lot, I think I'll give your recipe a try before the week is out (I love lime). Hope my suggestion helps...

        1. re: Cherylptw

          Makes sense...except the burnt parts were on the sides of the cake, where it touched the pan. The exposed top (or bottom, once it was flipped over) was dark-brown, but not burnt. Foil won't help that.

          The lime juice is necessary for the flavor. So if it seems like there's too much liquid, maybe I could reduce the milk?

          Do let me know if you try the recipe and get better results!

          1. re: MsMaryMc

            I also have a Nordicware bundt pan; I love it because it's heavy duty but I have had issues with it similar to yours. My solution was to reduce my oven temp but you have already done that. Have you lubricated the pan enough with non stick cooking spray around those edges?

            I wouldn't reduce my lime juice but perhaps start with half the milk, mixing in all the ingredients before adding the rest, if the batter does not seem loose enough...I will post when I make the recipe...

      2. I may lose any Chowhound cred I ever had for this, but I'm going to proceed anyways. I had a similar experience with banana bread a couple months ago. I cut it into large chunks and microwaved them on low heat in 30 second intervals. The undercooked centers solidified, although they still looked undercooked. I served it to friends a few hours later and no one detected the problem (yes I asked a few fellow bakers).

        2 Replies
        1. re: cookie monster

          Thanks--I may actually try that with the rest of this cake! The glaze would make a mess in my toaster, but the microwave might just do the trick.

          But I would like to make this cake again, and have the option of taking it somewhere, whole, and serving it to people besides my husband (who is happy to eat all the stuff I cook that isn't pretty but tastes just fine). Is there something I can do different to get it done in the center before it burns on the sides and bottom?

          1. re: MsMaryMc

            Run slices under a broiler to toast 'em lightly.

        2. Slice as is and toast it. Toasted poundcake is delicious.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy

            Yes, especially topped with ice cream.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              This is my favorite way of eating pound cake. I love toasted pound cake with vanilla ice cream!

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Or slice and toast in frying pan with some butter!

                1. re: Raffles

                  Don't forget to toast some walnuts on the side!

                2. Haven't tried this, but you could try slicing it (maybe remove the scorched parts), and rebake the slices, biscotti-style.

                  1. Based on the amounts in Ruhlman's Ratio, your cup of milk is 8oz more liquid than there should be in the batter.
                    I'd leave it out. There's no milk in the classic poundcake recipe. By weight, it's equal parts butter, sugar, egg, and flour. Baked at 325F for 50-60 min but that's 2/3 the amount of batter as in your recipe. So your time sounds right. I think your batter was just too wet.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: greygarious

                        agree the proportions in the op's recipe are all off-- looks like the milk and lime juice are replacing some fat.

                        and while the 1:1:1 ratio is traditional it makes too heavy a cake for me. here's a james beard recipe that does use leavener.


                        you can use lime zest and juice instead of lemon and cognac and finish with the op's original glaze.