Cream Cheese Pound Cake

pound cake

My Mammaw has been making this cake as long as I can remember. Usually, she buys a tub of frozen strawberries in syrup and a container of Cool Whip and lets them sit out on the counter until they are thawed. Then, she makes the cake and serves it with a generous helping of strawberries and juice and a big, ole dollop of Cool Whip plopped right on the top.

She’s been doing this so long that she now has a complete set of cereal bowls that say Cool Whip on the side.

A few years back, she walked over to her couch, sat down, declared herself done with cooking, picked up the remote, and turned on the football game. Smart, huh? I guess when you’re 81 you can do that.  Of course, the first thing I did after her declaration was march over, sit myself down on the couch beside her with a pen and paper in hand, and start writing as she dictated, from memory, every recipe she’d ever made.

Now who’s smart?

This is the best, most moist pound cake you’ll ever eat. And easy-peasy, too!

You know me. If it ain’t easy, I can’t make it.

Here’s what you need:

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A little cream cheese, some butter, a bit of sugar, eggs, and cake flour. You can get it right on the baking aisle at the Wal-Mart.

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And vanilla. I forgot.

Make sure it’s pure vanilla extract because life’s too short to cook with imitation vanilla.  Mexican vanilla’s best, but the stuff I bought last time I was there is long gone. If any of you is in/from/near Mexico and get some vanilla, buy an extra one for me. I’m stuck with Great Value nilla here in the hills and am becoming increasingly disgruntled about it.

Now back to our regular programming…

Let the cream cheese and butter sit out until they reach room temperature. If you don’t have time in your life for this, you can pop them in the microwave for a bit. Remove the metal wrapper from the cream cheese first.

I won’t tell you how I know that this is necessary.

Also, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

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Cream together the sugar, cream cheese, and butter…

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…until it looks about like this.

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Separate one egg. I do that little trick where you flip the yolk back and forth between the shell halves, letting the white drip out into the bowl on the left, then dumping the yolk into the other bowl, but if you have one of those fancy, egg separator gadgets, more power to ya.

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With the mixer on low speed, add the yolk and mix.

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With the mixer still on low, add 1/2 cup of the flour and mix to combine.

Repeat this add-egg-yolk, add-flour combination 5 more times, reserving the egg whites.

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Once all the flour and egg have been incorporated, add in the vanilla and mix to combine.

RIP my adjustable teaspoon measuring spoon. Miss you already. Dang dishwasher.

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Pour the egg whites into a separate mixer bowl.

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Beat to stiff peaks.

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Pour the beaten whites into the mixed cake batter.

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Fold.  Now, listen people. Folding is gentle. The purpose of the beaten egg whites is to add lightness, fluffiness to an otherwise packy cake.  Don’t kill the moment. Gently flip the spatula over and over until the egg whites are incorporated, but not dead.

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When it looks like this, stop folding. Resist the urge to continue folding. It’s not necessary.

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Pour the batter into a well-greased tube or bundt pan. Place the pan onto a baking sheet. Just in case.

I can’t tell you how I know this.  Just do it.

Bake: one-and-a-half hours.

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Or until it looks like this.  Unreal. That crusty part on the top? That’s the absolute best part of the cake. Period.

When it’s cool, flip the cake out onto a plate, slice, and serve.

Now, if you get some fresh strawberries, slice them, put them in a bowl, and cover them in sugar, in a few hours they’ll have a nice, little syrup with them, and you can put them on a slice of this beauty.  Furthermore, if you get a pint of heavy whipping cream and whip it up with, say, a cup of confectioner’s sugar and put it on top of that?

Oh, nevermind.

Don’t tell my Mammaw. She likes her frozen strawberries and Cool Whip.

pound cake

I haven’t had any sugar in 15 days. Please make this cake and eat a piece for me.

Please.

Lovin’ Mammaw for this one,

AinW

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