Never Fail Pound Cake with Warm Berry Compote

by Lana Stuart on March 15, 2009 · 15 comments

Never Fail Pound Cake with Warm Berry Compote

I’ve used this pound cake recipe for as long as I can remember. The original recipe came from a First Baptist Church cookbook. With all due respect to the ladies of the First Baptist Church, I made changes to the original. And to tell the truth I think this recipe makes the best pound cake I’ve ever had. It’s moist. It’s buttery and the buttermilk gives it an extra pleasant sumthin’-sumthin’.

You can do lots of different things with this. You can serve it like I did this time with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and warm mixed berries or use it for the base of a fantastic strawberry shortcake. Or, you can do like BeeBop and I do sometimes and slice it and toast it (yes, with a little butter) for breakfast.  What? You never heard of pound cake toast?!?! I dare you to try it.

So, here’s what you need:

1 cup butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter or grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. This is my old, old tube pan. I don’t remember where this pan came from, but I have some kind of attachment to it. I also have an aversion to bundt pans. I can’t stand them. I don’t know why. My old tube pan has more dents in it than my daughter’s first car but I have not found a replacement for it so I just keep using it.

poundcake_readypan

Cream butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Like this:

poundcake_buttersugar

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. And, no, I don’t know why this picture has such a yellow tint to it. Odd. Photoshop wouldn’t fix it, either. And I’m sure it couldn’t possibly be the amateur photographer.

poundcake_eggsadded

Dissolve soda in buttermilk. Combine flour and salt. Add buttermilk and flour to creamed mixture alternately beginning and ending with flour mixture. One really important note: make sure your baking soda is fresh. Its reaction with the buttermilk is what makes this cake rise, so you don’t want to use the soda from that two-year old box that’s been in the back of your refrigerator. Ok?

poundcake_wetdry

Mix well after each addition.  And if you could possibly manage to make as big a mess with the flour as I did, it would boost my self-esteem considerably. I’m just sayin’.

poundcake_flourmess

Stir in vanilla flavoring. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

 poundcake_pourinpan

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

poundcake_outofoven

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack. Those cracks on the top are completely typical of pound cakes. That’s what I tell myself, don’t you?

Warm Berry Compote

2 cups frozen, mixed berries
¼ cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. cornstarch

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.

Enjoy!

Never Fail Pound Cake with Warm Berry Compote
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A classic, old South pound cake recipe with the tang of buttermilk.
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Warm Berry Compote
  • 2 cups frozen, mixed berries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
Instructions
Make the cake:
  1. Cream butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Dissolve soda in buttermilk. Combine flour and salt. Add buttermilk and flour to creamed mixture alternately beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Stir in vanilla flavoring.
  3. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.
Make the Warm Berry Compote:
  1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
Notes
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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Neena May 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm

This looks wonderful. I think I know where this pan came from. It looks like one that Gama had.

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2 Miss P January 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I made your cake this afternoon, and took it out of the oven as guests dropped in. We had some with coffee while it was still warm. Accolades all around! However, I did use a bundt pan (somehow, I never received a tube pan). Go figure.

Thanks!

Miss P

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3 Lana January 23, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Glad it turned out good for you! It’s an oldie but goodie.

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4 AntBee October 9, 2010 at 12:10 am

WOW!

I sure wish I had your tube pan~

I, too, can’t stand the bundt pans for some reason. To me a pound cake should be made in a tube pan!

Been looking all over for a tube pan because I lost mine a few years ago by allowing someone to borrow it, and I never got it back. It baked the best pound cakes to perfection.

Seems they just don’t sell old fashioned tube pans any longer. All I find are angel food pans. If anyone knows where they still sell a good, solid, one piece, heavy tube pan, please let me know :)

Your cake looks absolutely delicious! I am drooling over my keyboard!

Thanks a bunch

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5 Lana October 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

You might find one of the old ones on eBay. This one was my grandmother’s and I love it.

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6 Colleen October 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I’ve seen them pretty regularly at Goodwill and other thrift stores. Their housewares section can be a gold mine for old reliable cook and bake-ware.

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7 Judy English November 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Lana, You mentioned you didn’t know what they cooked the old fashioned one pound cake recipe in. Growing up in SC my mom, and relatives used the enamel dish pans to cook the big cakes in. They had a pan just for this purpose. They cooked the holiday nut cake, raisin cake and the fruitcakes in them. Mom would wrap the cake in wax paper and then wrap in newspaper and then wrap in old towels or old cloths of any kind and then store them in lard cans for up to a month before Christmas
Eve. We would beg for a tiny slice, but never was it cut until Christmas Eve. What a great memory. IF there was a tube pan at that time they could not afford them. Love reading and copying your recipes. Thank you for your work. I also love to cook.
Judy English

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8 Lana November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Well, I’ll be darned, Judy! I would never have thought that you could actually cook in those old enamel dish pans. Thanks for sharing that!

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9 Mary December 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I made this pound cake for my hubby it is delicious….no complaints here. You Rock!

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10 April October 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

O my heavens, that cake looks positively perfect!! Buttermilk makes it a MUST try! I adore buttermilk. Thank you!

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11 Dominique Mcclain September 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I made this cake today and it turned out great. I have a new go to recipe

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12 Jerry December 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I made this cake for Christmas and it turned out dense and some what tough. I’ve been baking pound cakes for 20+ yrs. I used a kitchenaide stand mixer, I did not over beat, but I did cream butter, unsalted butter by the way, a minute or so before adding sugar, I do not think that mattered but any suggestions.

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13 Lana Stuart December 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Jerry – I can’t imagine what went wrong. I’ve made this cake probably 50 times and it’s never come out wrong for me. The only thing I can think of is that possibly your baking soda wasn’t fresh? Its reaction with the buttermilk is what gives the cake its rise.

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14 Jerry December 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Thanks so much for the response! By the way, does using unsalted vs salted butter matter?

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15 Lana Stuart December 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Not as far as texture – just a slight difference in taste. Southerners tend to use salted butter for everything.

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