#MeetUsInTheKitchen: Pound Cake Four Ways This Holiday Season

#MeetUsInTheKitchen: Pound Cake Four Ways This Holiday Season



The holiday season brings memories of crackling fireplaces, social and family gatherings and freshly baked goods coming from the heart of the home — the kitchen. Pound cake, a perennial, crowd-pleaser, is an easy recipe that offers the novice or seasoned baker with a canvas for whatever inspiration that can be imagined. Here, Chef Randall Jacobs offers four unique recipes for pound cake to add festivity to your holiday celebrations. Make sure to share your #MeetUsInTheKitchen moments with us on Instagram at @blueplatechicago.


Recipe #1: Pound Cake

For the pound cake:

¼ cup vegetable shortening

1 stick of butter

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

For the icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

1-2 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 325° F and grease pan with butter. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. With a mixer, cream the butter and shortening together then gradually add the sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture after each addition. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the mixture, starting with the flour mix and ending with the flour mix. Add the vanilla. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from pan and finish cooling on the rack. When the cake is completely cool, prepare the icing by whisking together all the ingredients. Pour over the top of the cake and let sit until the icing has completely dried.


Recipe #2: Cranberry and White Chocolate Pound Cake

Follow recipe and method above for plain pound cake, then add the following ingredients as directed.


1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries

1.5 cups white chocolate chips (divided)

1 cup dried cranberries


After folding the flour mixture into the egg/sugar mixture, add fresh or frozen cranberries and six ounces of white chocolate chips to the batter. Right after the glaze has been drizzled onto the pound cake, top it with the dried cranberries and the remaining white chocolate chips.



Recipe #3: Harvest Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze

Follow recipe and method above for plain pound cake, then add the following ingredients as directed.


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 medium Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup walnuts


Add the ground cinnamon and nutmeg into the sifted flour and baking soda. Add the apples and walnuts into the finished batter.


Caramel Glaze

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Make the sauce by heating the butter, milk and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove from heat. Drizzle over the cake.


Recipe #4: Bourbon Soaked Dried Fruit Pound Cake

Follow recipe and method above for plain pound cake, then add the following ingredients as directed.


1/2 cup dried diced apricots

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup dried currants

1/2 cup golden raisins

3/4 cup bourbon


One Day Before Baking:

In a large airtight container or Ziplock bag, soak all dried fruits in the bourbon. Marinate overnight, turning fruit frequently to ensure it is evenly marinated. Drain off bourbon from the dried fruits and coat with one tablespoon of flour; this prevents the fruit from falling to the bottom of the pan while cooking. Fold the fruit into the batter. Bake as directed above.


For an additional spin to your pound cake recipes, heat things up by substituting the icing for a bourbon syrup.

Bourbon Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon maple extract

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

3 tablespoons bourbon  


In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Add butter, vanilla, and bourbon. Cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes.


Our In the Kitchen Tips:

  • Fun Gifting: Wrap individual baked loaves in kraft paper and tie with cooking twine attached to a small note care for a fun gift presentation.
  • Holiday Parties: instead of the usual holiday spread, set-up tasting stations in your kitchen of various small bites. Include a pound cake station with the various recipes; add beer and wine drink pairings to liven it up.
  • Make Ahead: Bake your cakes ahead of your celebrations minus any glaze and freeze by wrapping it in plastic wrap and foil then sealing in a separate bag. Once ready to serve, pull out to thaw and glaze with your favorite topping.


Happy holidays!