Chopped cranberries, confectioners' sugar and sour cream add to the flavor of this tasty pound cake. Photo by: Joe Keller/America's Test Kitchen via AP
September 12, 2018 10:36:21 AM
Pound cake is simple but elegant; it's also incredibly rich. We thought tart cranberries and tangy sour cream would provide a welcome contrast to the buttery cake, and the bright cranberries would also contribute a burst of color for an extra-special dessert.
We wanted this pound cake to have a crumb that wasn't quite as tight as a classic all-butter pound cake, so we used all-purpose flour instead of cake flour and we thoroughly creamed the butter.
While cranberries should add tartness, fresh cranberries can border on acerbic. To tame the sourness, we tossed coarsely chopped cranberries with confectioners' sugar before adding them to the batter; this also prevented them from sinking to the bottom of the pan.
Baking the loaf slowly (for almost two hours) in a low (300 F) oven ensured that the inside cooked through before the exterior became too brown. If you're using frozen cranberries, there's no need to thaw them first. The ideal temperature for the eggs and butter is 60 F. The test kitchen's preferred loaf pan measures 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inches; if you use a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness five minutes early.
CRANBERRY-SOUR CREAM POUND CAKE
Start to finish: 2 hours 30 minutes
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 14 pieces and softened but still cool
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
4 ounces (1 cup) fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped coarse
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Nutrition information per serving: 450 calories; 221 calories from fat; 25 g fat (15 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 192 mg cholesterol; 117 mg sodium; 51 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 33 g sugar; 6 g protein.