A neighborhood spot meant for conversation, cocktails, and shared plates
April 21, 2021
A versatile cake for any seasonal fruit
I’m a rule breaker when it comes to baking. A cake doesn’t always have to be baked in a rectangular or round pan, quick breads can be more than a loaf, and a tart pan can do more than make a delicate shell to hold fresh fruit and custard. Breaking the rules started when I began baking as a hobby, following recipes but lacking the baking equipment the recipe called for, so I used what I had. This recipe for pound cake does not use the traditional loaf pan or bundt mold, instead uses a removable-bottom tart pan. I’ve also made this in a cast-iron or jelly roll pan. The cake is loaded with buttery, bourbon flavor and is made to hold a variety of fruit of your choice. Peaches, sour plums, apricots, pineapple, cherries, berries, and even rhubarb are good options for the cake. The buttermilk glaze (if using) adds a sweet and tangy note that balances the acidity in the cake. If you don’t have a tart pan, a 9-inch round pan or 8×8-inch pan will work. I give you permission to break the rules.
Bourbon Pound Cake
1½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ cups cake flour
5-6 ripe peaches, skin on and sliced (or preferred fruit)
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch removable-bottom tart pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, 1 tablespoon bourbon, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, salt, and baking powder on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
- Gradually add eggs, beating until just combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on medium-high speed, beat until mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl from the stand. Add flour and stir by hand with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Evenly scatter peaches or preferred fruit over batter.
- Bake until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and return to the wire rack with a sheet pan underneath if glazing.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, remaining bourbon, and 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Add more bourbon if the glaze is too thick. If too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let set for 20 minutes.
- Serve at room temperature. If not glazing cake, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Wrap leftover cake in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.