In France, a Pound Cake goes by the name Quatre Quarts, which means four quarters, referring to the quantities of the ingredients. While the Pound Cakes we make today often have different proportions from the original recipe and often contain baking powder or baking soda, they are still wonderfully rich, moist, and buttery with a lovely golden-brown crust.
Because of its thick batter and the sheer volume of batter, it’s going to take over an hour. For your cake to finish baking, probably an hour and ten to an hour and fifteen minutes. However, for this recipe to turn out moist and not dry, the most important thing when baking your cake is to make sure that you do NOT over-bake it.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Butter or spray with a non-stick spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter or spray the paper.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs, along with the milk and vanilla extract.
- In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar, and beat on low speed until well mixed (about 30 seconds).
- Cut the butter into pieces and add to the dry ingredients, along with half of the egg mixture.
- Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about one minute to develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the remaining egg mixture, in two additions, beating well after each addition (about 30 seconds) to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake's structure.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Rotate your loaf pan about halfway through baking. (The cake will crack down the center.) If you find the cake browning too much as it bakes, cover with a piece of lightly buttered foil.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a lightly buttered wire rack.
- The Pound Cake can be covered and stored for several days at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated, or it can be frozen for two months. Enjoy!