Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Poundcake

Dear baking world,

So recently I've been craving poundcake, but not just ANY poundcake. I wanted pumpkin poundcake. 'Tis the season right? (What I mean by "'tis the season" is that I have too many cans of pumpkin sitting around and I need to use it up before it's post-Thanksgiving, and then it's inappropriate to make anything pumpkin because everyone is sick of it. I digress.)

So what is poundcake? Poundcake is traditionally a pound of sugar, a pound of butter, a pound of eggs and a pound of flour. However, nobody has time for a five pound cake, so today the recipe usually calls for equal ounces. Not only does poundcake literally have pounds of everything, but it also has no chemical leavening. As a result, the baker must whip the butter and the sugar to create air bubbles that act as leavening.

The recipe I used wasn't a traditional poundcake. A common complaint about poundcake is it's sweetness. I found a recipe that includes cream cheese to add a bit of pizzazz and bitterness to the recipe. In addition, instead of all white sugar, I used 2/3 brown sugar because brown sugar is a tenderizer and adds a special caramely flavor that I thought would match well with the pumpkin. And finally, I split the batch between two pans and added cranberries to the second. (Because why not.) (Also, I halved the recipe because I had mini loaf pans and no bundt pan, which is far too fancy for me and my college sized kitchen, but if you want to use a bundt pan, double the recipe below.)

After I baked them for over an hour, I took them out and let them cool. I could barely wait to cut one open (cue salivation here.) When I took the first bite, the result was so multi-layered I almost burst into a soliloquy about the different flavors that exploded in my mouth. First, the subtle hint of brown sugar. Then, the crash of a slightly bitter cream cheese. And finally, pumpkin, oh sweet pumpkin + cloves and ginger and cinnamon! What fun.

The cranberry poundcake was slightly different. Cranberry tends to overpower any other flavor around it, so I lost the subtleties of the non-cranberry bread, but I love the added cranberry that I won't complain.

So here's the recipe and give it a whirl. It's definitely worth it.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brown Sugar Poundcake
(Cranberries optional)
1 1/2 cups flour
3 large eggs
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Measure out flour and place in a separate bowl. Measure out eggs and place in a separate bowl as well. Make sure the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. Cream with the sugars for at least 3 minutes. (This is where the whipping comes in.)

Then add the pumpkin, spices and salt. Finally, alternate between the flour and eggs, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Separate into two bread pans (or double the recipe and make a bundt cake.)

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.

No comments:

Post a Comment