September 29, 2018

Three-layer pound cake

It's been a while since I've been in this space.  Though it's been quiet here, I'm still in the kitchen, keeping busy trying out different recipes (especially on the savory front).  Recently, I bought an Instant Pot and it's fast becoming my favorite appliance in the kitchen.  I now know why everyone who has an Instant Pot seems to turn into unpaid brand ambassadors; I've been singing its praises to everyone I know!
I haven't been neglecting my family on the dessert front.  There is more than enough homemade cookies, muffins, cakes, and even ice cream, to go around.  Having been blogging the last few years, I'm thankful to have a solid repertoire of sweet recipes my family and I love enjoying regularly - and that's what I've been doing...mainly baking up those family favorites.  

Of course, there will always be room to try something new and I plan to continue doing that whenever the whim takes me.  While I love to document and see the treats I bake up here on this blog, it's really nice to simply bake for the sake of baking, and not have a lot of ceremony, or any kind of self-imposed schedule, surrounding it.
That said, it's nice to be here...and I brought cake with me!  This 3-layer pound cake is the latest new recipe I tried in my kitchen and it comes straight from the pages of the latest Martha Stewart Living magazine.  After all these years, I still can't resist a good Martha Stewart recipe!  

I don't make pound cake all that often but there is something classic and comforting about one.  Plus, a loaf cake is the kind of casual, no-fuss cake I love to have around - subbing in for breakfast, snack, or as dessert.  This buttery pound cake also offers extra visual appeal that called out to me.  Adding chocolate and cocoa to the base recipe of vanilla pound cake, you end up with 3 layers: a rich chocolate base layer, a lighter cocoa layer, topped with traditional vanilla cake.  
I'm very happy with how this pound cake turned out and while we might have been partial to that rich chocolate layer on the bottom, the combination is altogether the best part.  

This rich and tasty pound cake was easier to make than I thought it would be at first glance.  You start with one basic pound cake batter, and this batter is made with the reverse creaming method to help produce a tender result.  Portions of the batter are removed to make the chocolate layers.  In one case, you stir in a few ounces of melted butter and cocoa; in the other, just a tablespoon of dark cocoa powder does the trick.  The pound cake takes about 1 1/2 hours to bake; I tented it lightly with foil in the last half an hour or so since the corners of the loaf pan were browning rather quickly.   
There was much anticipation when it came time for slicing.  I was so glad the result turned out just as promised!  

Should you have extra slices around after the first day or two, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.  I have 3 slices sitting in my freezer and having ready-to-eat food on hand always makes me happy.  
While I admired this 3-layer pound cake, I got to thinking that if we were to swap one of the chocolate layers with a pink, strawberry-flavored one, we could end up with a neapolitan pound cake!  How pretty would that be!


Three-Layer Pound Cake 
From the September 2018 issue of Martha Stewart Living

- For one 8 x 4 1/2" loaf pan; 8-10 servings - 

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder, divided
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter an 8 x 4 1/2" (or 9x5") loaf pan and set aside.  

In a large measuring cup or bowl with a sprout, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together on low speed.  Continue beating while adding the butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add half the milk mixture, gradually raising speed to medium-high, until fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add remaining milk mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds more.  

Whisk 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the melted chocolate (you want the chocolate to be cooled but still fluid).  Stir in 1 1/2 cups batter until blended.  Spoon into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a small offset spatula.  Add another 1 1/2 cups batter into the same bowl you just used for the base dark chocolate layer.  Whisk in 1 tablespoon of cocoa.  Spoon this layer over the dark chocolate base, smoothing the top.  Lastly, spoon and smooth the remaining batter on top.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.  If the top is browning too quickly, lightly tent with foil.  Remove cake from the oven and let cool 15 minutes in the pan before removing and setting the loaf cake on a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.  

Slice to serve.  The cake is best the day it's baked.  You can freeze individual slices of the pound cake by wrapping in plastic wrap and placing in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.  


  1. wow this is one fabulous pound cake. The crumb is so tender and smooth. Thanks, Monica and I am taking this away with me :-)) Happy Sunday!

  2. So happy to see your recipe Monica! Good to have you back baking your delightful goodies. This pound cake is so pretty. Never seen anything like it before. Take Care

    1. My son really liked this cake and that is always a happy bonus. : )



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...