My Birthday Cake


I turned 29 on 26 Aug, and decided to make a second attempt at a pound cake. The last time I tried to make one, I had to do all the beating by hand. As you will see, this would break even the muscliest Madonna arms.

Some notes before you try this out:

  1. Do not preheat the oven! This mixture goes in cold.
  2. Don’t try to shorten the mixing times – there is no shortcutting this badboy of a cake.
  3. Get everything out of the fridge way ahead of time and let it get to room temp.
  4. Plan on icing the cake the following day – you could do the whole freezer thing to speed it up, but for best results just go slow.

Pretty basic ingredients here:

  • 1.5 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 9.5in or 10in cake tin (9.5 is what the UK size comes to)

Cream the butter and shortening for about 2 mins – then add sugar and cream for further 8 mins

Add eggs one at a time and beat well as you go

Sift together dry ingredients

Mix together vanilla, lemon ex, and milk

Alternate with the wet and dry ingredients to creamed butter/sugar, mixing each time – but do not go crazy here, just enough to blend

Now beat the batter for about 5 mins

Pour into the greased and floured cake tin

Place into the unheated oven

Bake at 350F/180C for 1hr and 15 mins – or until cake tester comes out clean (mine took an extra 15 mins after all)

I used a big fat amount of icing to sort of dollop onto the top, decorating with pink sugar flowers from Waitrose. Here’s the butter-cream recipe:

2 cups icing sugar

1/3 cup softened unsalted butter

2 tsp vanilla extract (this is quite vanilla-y, so if you want a whiter, more bland icing then go for 1tsp)

whole milk, to be added as you go

Just mix up everything but the milk with a silver dessert spoon, and add the milk in tablespoon dollops until you reach the desired texture. Seriously, don’t bother measuring out milk because somehow it will always be too much. Don’t ask me how, but homemade icing is different every time.

This attempt turned out a lot better than my first wonky pound cake, though I have yet to get the timing and heat just right to get rid of that thick edge. Anyway, that’s what the gloopy fattening icing is for!

Happy Birthday to me 🙂


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