As part of my ongoing partnership with the Alabama Federation of Farmers, I can share some of the amazing recipes that have been featured in previous editions of their monthly magazine, Neighbors.
This month, I’m sharing this amazing Peanut Butter Cream Pound Cake from Lyn McDaniel. And when I say absolutely amazing, I mean it. I’m a huge cake fan and this has got to be one of my favorites.
For starters, this cake is made with peanut butter. And since peanut butter is one of my favorite things in the world, I was destined to love it from the start.
Next, the frosting for this dense, chewy pound cake is made with more peanut butter and another of my favorite ingredients, sweetened condensed milk. Seriously. It’s crazy delicious.
And while this recipe is super easy, I have a few tips to make sure your pound cake is perfect every time.
Start with room temperature ingredients. Make sure your eggs and fat (in this case shortening, butter, and cream cheese) are at room temperature. A cake is an emulsion of ingredients and these ingredients will combine more easily and evenly when they are all at the same temperature.
When it says to cream the fat and sugar, do it. Almost all pound cake recipes will tell you to cream the fat and sugar together. That doesn’t just mean until it’s combined. You will want to blend it for about five minutes until the color has lightened and is fluffy. Yes. I’m serious. Four to five minutes – depending on the speed of your blender.
But don’t mix too much. I know what you are saying. “You just said mix it really well.” Well, once you’ve added the eggs and flour, you don’t want to over mix the batter. You may end up with a cake that has a flimsy crust and may become dense, rubbery, and even shrink when removed from the oven. So, to recap: mix the fat and sugar like crazy, but mix it just enough to combine once you’ve added the eggs and flour.
Prepare your casserole the right way. I have old fashioned pans that rarely stick. Some of my new pans are known to stick. The only thing that always works for me is to coat the pan in vegetable shortening, like Crisco, and flour it – making sure to get all the little crevices. Sometimes cooking sprays with flour work; often they don’t.
Don’t overfill your pan. Most pound cake recipes are formulated for a 12-cup Bundt pan. The problem with this is that some of the newer, more decorative pans won’t hold up very well. So make sure you don’t overfill your pan or you’ll scrape the burnt cake from the bottom of your oven. For a small insurance policy, you can always place a baking sheet on the oven rack under the cake to catch the overflow. It is much easier to clean a pan than the oven.
There’s nothing worse than putting all that work into a pound cake only to find it’s overcooked and dry. Likewise, you also don’t want it to be undercooked. Underbaked cakes may look completely baked, but they still have a dense center section that hasn’t been baked. Here are my tips for making sure your cake is baked properly:
- The sides come off the mold. This is a visual cue that your cake is almost ready. It’s not a foolproof method, but one of the clues I use.
- A cake tester comes out clean. Use a toothpick or skewer to test the doneness of the cake. When inserted into the center of the cake, it should come out with no sign of wet batter. If a few crumbs come out of the tester, that’s okay.
- I use a kitchen thermometer to test the doneness of my cake. Inserted in the center of the cake, it should register above 200 degrees but no more than 212 degrees. I shoot for the range between 208 and 210 degrees.
None of these methods are foolproof on their own, but a combination of them should result in a perfectly baked cake.
Peanut butter cream pound cake
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup butter-flavored solid shortening
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 3 cups of sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of yeast
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the icing:
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan. Put aside. Do not preheat the oven.
- In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream the shortening, butter, cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.
- Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, mixing well.
- Add the vanilla and mix well.
- Pour into prepared pan. Place in a cold oven.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let rest in pan for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter.
- Prepare the frosting by mixing the sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter and milk until smooth.
- Pour over cooled cake.