Questions & Answers - How To Bake Pound Cake

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Question:


I used to be able to make the prettiest pound cakes, but over the last two years, it is a 50/50 shot for them to turn out. Sometimes they have a hard crust on top that separates from the bottom of the cake. Sometimes they have a wet streak through the bottom. Sometimes they fall and sink and have a hard crust. Other times, they turn out picture perfect. I've tried all different recipes, but have the same problems. Please advise me of some very important pointers to use when baking pound cakes.
 

Answers:

The first thing I would do (if you haven't already) is to put an oven thermometer in your oven and check the temperature. If your oven consistently has temperature variations or hot spots, adjust the recipe accordingly. You can check how true your oven temperature is by using an oven thermometer to check it.

Below are some pages from my web site one baking. Maybe something in them will help you:

Basic Rules of Baking

Tips for Baking a Successful Cake
 


Question:

I baked a pound cake with sour cream and being careless, I didn't sift nor measure the flour. I put in a small amount of salt, baking soda also without measuring as I have made pound cakes several times. The cake turned out brown. I remember my ex-mother-in-law once stating that she didn't use salt in her cakes.  Was it the salt or the baking soda. I cannot get my pound cakes nice and smooth textured as Sarah Lee's either. Could you please tell me what I did wrong?  I do appreciate your assistance and thank you for the opportunity. - Carol (1/04/05)
 

Answers:

First of all, let me say that baking is all about food chemistry.  Ingredients interact and react with each other which give a result that can be wonderful or unpleasant.

The Pound Cake base is a combination of 1 pound of flour (cake flour preferred), 1 pound of fats such as butter, sour cream or Crisco, 1 pound of eggs, 1 pound of sugar and a leavener.  Sometimes you get a few added ingredients such as nuts or fruit or extracts.

With this cake, you do need to measure the ingredients rather than just winging it. You also do need the baking soda to help the cake rise and create the little bubbles that lighten the texture of the cake. If you are using a salted butter you won’t need to add salt but if not, please add the salt, it will heighten the other flavors of your cake.

As to not being able to match the Sara Lee texture. Be aware that they use many preservatives, smoothers and chemicals to achieve standard results and to help keep the cake fresh as long as possible. They also have a defined process that includes computerized weighing, mixing, pouring into pans and baking. One thing you can do is to use Cake Flour for a better textured cake.
 


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