This post is being sponsored by Nordic Ware featuring their absolutely perfect Classic Pound Cake and Angel Food Pan.
So for the past few years I’ve been truly fortunate to create recipes for Nordic Ware. It is such an honor and a blessing but there’s more to it than just that. You see Nordic Ware is a brand both my grandmother and mother had in their kitchens. It’s all they used; it’s the ONLY brand they trusted with their cakes. Even before I thought about becoming an engineer (because if I had my way, back then I was going to grow up and marry Scott Baio – um, hello Chachi!) I knew their pans were elite. Now it goes unsaid that to have a successful cake you need a great recipe, a cook that can follow directions and a stove that has accurate temperatures. However what’s the most important aspect of any great cake is the pan you bake it in.
Having an amazing pan to start with sets the precedence for a better cake outcome. Think about it. If you were to build a house, you want the foundation to be the best it can be; solid, reliable, dependable. Well with Nordic Ware, that’s what you get. You get the very best there is! I mean Nordic Ware has been in business 70 years as family owned and operated Kitchenware Company. 70 years! They are definitely doing something right!
Now I’ve shared several different recipes surrounding their pans throughout the past few years however this one, this one has so much sentimental meaning to me. You see this recipe was my grandmothers. It’s been in my family for generations though I can guarantee I’m probably the only one that remembered the recipe as I’m sure if your grandma was like mine, nothing was written down. And if it was it was a pinch of this, some of that and bake til done. LOL
For as long as I can remember this was “Grandma’s” cake. She always, ALWAYS had this made in her house. I swear she had a stockpile of these things because they would auto-magically appear out of thin air. As I said before Grandma didn’t have this written down. I *think* this was her Mom’s recipe but I can’t recall for certain. Growing up every Friday night when I was little I’d go to Grandma’s house and either spend the night and next day with her or the entire weekend. Friday night we’d have fried bologna and grape jelly sandwiches (yes it’s a real thing… see!) and I was in bed by 9:30 (which was late for little tyke back then). Grandma would be up at 4am on Saturday and when I was wander out to the kitchen around 6:30/7am in my nightie while dragging my teddy bear she’d make me a cup of tea (because if Grandma had it, I had to have it) and we’d sit there and maybe share a piece of toast.
By 8am we’d get changed and start our day. We’d hop into her car and head out to the local drug store. We always started at this little pharmacy/drug store that had an actual cafeteria in the back of it. There were maybe 6 booths and a counter. In there you could order breakfast, a sandwich or even dinner. It wasn’t fancy but from what I can remember, it was good. I always got dippy eggs, bacon, toast and extra strawberry jelly. After that, even though that store you could buy your lottery tickets and scratchies at Grandma said “They don’t have good numbers here” so we’d hop back into her car and hit up another drug store just so she could play her numbers.
Now she always played the same, SAME numbers day after day. However if I said “Last night I dreamt that I had 837 kittens” to her the number 837 was a ‘sign’ and she had to play $2 straight and $2 boxed. I think I was the only 6 year old that understood the lottery and the ways you could play and win. And she’d then get her scratchies – those I liked. I mean who doesn’t, right? That whole scratching away that silver gray stuff (what is that anyway???) in hopes of winning “$2k a week for life and then some…” yeah, never happened. I think the most any of us ever won was maybe $100….maybe. Did you ever win a lot on a scratchie?
After a few more stores we’d come home and we’d make lunch. Then came the fun times – we’d cook and bake. I can remember watching her I swear a million times making this recipe. Never anything written down but every single time it came out perfect and exactly like the last one.
The ‘crust’ was firm and stiff while the inside cake was heavy, dense yet somehow it was light when you ate it. It was velvety and ‘creamy’ yet it was solid. She always cut us 2 slices each. The one slice was a ‘tester’ slice as she called it. We always had to ‘test’ the cake to ensure that it wasn’t “poisonous”. That piece was just a sliver. The next slice, oh yeah, those were the money slices! Now when it comes to her pound cake, she was a purist. Just slice the cake and eat it as-is. Yeah me, I was a bit more adventurous – I’d have it with ice cream, chocolate, whipped cream, fruit… pretty much whatever I could find. OMG melted peanut butter on this is AHHHH-Mazing! Just sayin…
For this shoot I went with the nekkid slices and then also an indulgent one. I mean HELLO… it is dessert after all! I warmed up some of my Decadent Gourmet Hot Fudge (that seriously every single home in the world needs!), added some whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Now if you want to seriously be creative then you’ll have to stay tuned for more recipes surrounding this cake! We’re talking about grilling it for both a dessert AND dinner, toasting it for a breakfast sandwich (WHA???) and… *sealing her mouth shut*… Nope you’ll have to just wait and see!
Years later after Grandma had passed I was sitting in my house (I was single at the time) and just started to think about her; really missing her. It was an early Saturday morning, the cats were playing in the other room and I was sitting at my kitchen table having a cup of tea and a slice of peanut butter toast when so many memories of her started to flood my head. Sure I got tears in my eyes because I missed her but I had a smile on my face because they were such happy memories. Then I started thinking about her cake. It had been gosh, maybe 10 years since I had that cake but I remembered it like I ate it the day prior.
So I, honestly without thinking got up, grabbed all of the ingredients, my pan and everything else I needed to make her cake; HER CAKE. It was like I was in robot mode as I didn’t have to ‘think’ about anything. I literally went from memory and all those million times watching her what the batter should look like, how much cake flour and so forth. I just knew. As the cake cooked all those same warm smells that used to fill up her kitchen were filling up mine. I couldn’t help but get emotional. Grandma was there with me.
That day is the first time, in decades, I’m pretty sure that recipe was ever written down. So when my friends at Nordic Ware asked me to whip up another fantabulous recipe I had to make this one. This recipe I hold so near and dear to my heart. Yes I literally have tears welling up in my eyes because it’s so special to me. But we are family, TKW Family, and Grandma was all about family albeit blood or extended. She would say, all 5′ nothin of her “Lori share your heart, share your knowledge and share your love”.
As I sliced this cake I couldn’t help but have such a big smile on my face and warmness in my heart. And that first bite…
I literally had to put my fork down and grab a tissue because tears were pouring down my cheek. Grandma was with me once again in the kitchen.
- 12 Tbl butter, cubed, unsalted and room temperature (very important!)
- 12 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temperature (very important!)
- 3 cups plus 3 Tbl white sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 whole Vanilla Bean , split lengthways with seeds scraped
- 6 Xl eggs, room temperature
- 2 XL egg yolks, room temperature
- 360 grams cake flour (measured then SIFTED!) *see note (weigh it out – My favorite kitchen scale )
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325F, rack in the middle.
- Butter and flour your Nordic Ware Classic Pound Cake and Angel Food Pan ; set aside.
- In a bowl whisk together the sifted cake flour and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, cream cheese and sugar.
- Cream for 6 minutes until smooth.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add one egg in at a time allowing for it to incorporate before adding the next. Finish with the egg yolks last.
- Add in the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds.
- Turn the mixer off, remove the bowl from the mixer and slowly fold in the flour mixer. Do not use the stand mixer for this. You want to gently incorporate the flour but without creating excessive gluten.
- Pour the mixture into the pan ensuring that it’s evenly spread out in the pan and smooth. Tap the pan down on a board to ‘set’ the batter.
- Bake for 60-90 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean or just with a few crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and take a thin offset spatula and run it along the inside of the cake against the pan. Be sure your spatula does not scratch the pan.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack.
- Re-run the spatula along the cake loosening it from the sides. Grab both sides of the pan and give it a gently shake side to side/up and down (GENTLE) to loosen the cake from all sides.
- Take a cooling rack, set it on top of the cake pan and in one swift motion, grasping the rack and pan turn them upside down thus flipping the cake over so it slowly pops out of the pan.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Store covered in an air tight container.
I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY (get the picture) recommend you weigh this out! 360 grams cake flour is about 3 cups of cake flour but for accuracy grandma always weighed out her flour.
I have this scale at love it! It holds up to 11 pounds. My favorite kitchen scale