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    April 21, 2021

    Unpretentious Cooking: Bourbon Pound Cake

    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.

    Add your choice of fruit to this bourbon pound cake for any season. Justin/UP

    Bourbon Pound Cake
    Serves 8-10

    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
    3 eggs
    1½ cups cake flour
    5-6 ripe peaches, skin on and sliced (or preferred fruit)
    2 cups powdered sugar
    2-3 tablespoons buttermilk



    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch removable-bottom tart pan. 
    2. 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. 
    3. 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.  
    4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Evenly scatter peaches or preferred fruit over batter.
    5. 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.
    6. 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. 
    7. 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.  
    Posted in: Latest Updates, Recipes