cruze farm buttermilk pound cake.

I'm sort of a plain Jane. Not plain to the Amish degree, but plain enough. I think it started at my first college where we had a ridiculous dress code that involved knee length skirts and one piercing per ear. (Hey Falwell, I had a bellybutton ring and a tattoo under your iron-fisted rule! Ha! I mean, um, God rest his soul.) But our shirts couldn't have logos or prints or designs on them so I stocked up on solid print shirts and monochrome sweaters and the style sort of stuck.

My baby sister puts together these funky outfits with lacy tops and chunky jewelry and shoes that will only ever match one outfit, but it works for her. I'll check it out, thinking I can pull it off, only to change out of everything, feeling cluttered and gussied up, and search for jeans and a t-shirt. I didn't think it would roll over into my taste-buds, but I fear it has. At some point in my life, I used to swoon over desserts that had seventeen words in the title (Double Chocolate Raspberry Macadamia and Pecan Custard Tart with Fresh Apple Compote and a Salted Butter Caramel Swirl, anyone?) but these days, I find myself asking for just a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Meh, I don't know, sometimes life is crazy enough and the insanity needn't carry over onto our plates. This cake is the perfect remedy to over-the-top desserts, a sweet swap-out for the more decadent choices out there. I made this cake a few weeks ago but I didn't flour the pan well enough and I paid for it when it was time turn the cake out - it stuck to the pan so badly I lost the entire top half of the cake. You should know that the bottom half was delicious, but I was too embarrassed to tell you about it. You know how that goes.

Justin has tried teaching our hyena puppy not to beg for people-food, but he's so cute, and this cake is so basic, I started brainstorming about saving him a piece. The pooch, not the boy. The boy is on a protein regimen or something. Boys are strange that way.

I fear I've given you the idea that this cake is bland and boring - which it is absolutely not. The buttermilk gives it a dense, very moist crumb and a more powerful tang than I'm used to in a pound cake and the last minute addition of lemon juice punches it up with a citrus twinge that isn't quite strong enough to declare it a lemon pound cake. This cake is even better after it cools and rests overnight, the crust forms a sugary border that gives a delicate, lacy crunch against the teeth. It's sweet and soft and delicious in every way.

We ate this cake unadulterated, but a little loosely whipped cream would only make it better, but I'd encourage you to stay away from macerated berries or sauces, this cake doesn't need it. I realized that every other pound cake I've ever tried was so horribly dry it needed to be soaked in some sort of syrup to keep it from clogging my throat. Thankfully, this is not one of those cakes. Here's to easy living, if only for a slice.

Cruze Farm Buttermilk Pound Cake
Adapted from The New York Times, via 17 and Baking

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 1⁄2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 ‌1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Juice of 1 lemon, strained

Bring all the ingredients to room temperature.* Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan, tapping out excess flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and slowly drizzle in the sugar; cream the mixture well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding the next when the last has been incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture until just combined. Add a third of the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Add the lemon juice and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 75 minutes. The top of the cake will be lightly browned, and the sides will shrink slightly from the pan. Cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a cake platter.

*I am lazy baker when it comes to this sort of thing. You see, my compulsion to bake comes on so strong, so out of nowhere, that my head would explode if I waited for everything to warm up. I cheat more than I should, and I'm not encouraging you to do the same if you're a patient person. But if you're not, you should know that I microwave the butter in the wrapper for 20 seconds and I nuke the eggs in their shells for 15 seconds. I know, tsk-tsk Brittany, but I've been doing it for years and I've never had a problem before. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Pepi said...

Just Found your blog and love it! Your dog is Adorable!!!Can't wait to make this cake. It looks so good.I love Buttermilk .

Brittany Elise said...

Glad you enjoyed it, bookmark it! :) I wish I enjoyed drinking buttermilk, but I don't, so I try to find a way to wiggle it into every recipe. You'll love the cake!

Anonymous said...

looks good!! might be perfect for the 4th :) can't wait to try it

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I tried your recipe out and everything turned out great! I had to use make-shift buttermilk (skim milk + white vinegar), but even with this deviation, the cake was pretty moist and delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe! It was the first cake I ever attempted :D

Brittany Elise said...

Your first cake!? I feel all warm and fuzzy that you made one of my recipes. :) So glad you enjoyed it, now make another kind of cake!

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