A rich pound cake is a perfect dessert. It’s easy to put together and needs no special attention while it bakes. You can serve it plain with cups of coffee or tea, and it will make a deliciously satisfying end to a meal. But dress up a pound cake for special occasions and it’s elegance personified. When company comes, dust it with confectioners’ sugar and serve slices topped with a berry compote (blueberries and blackberries are particularly appealing) or freshly poached peaches and whipped cream. If your guests are like any of us at the restaurant, the cake will be gone before the evening’s out. If there’s any left over for the morning, lightly toast slices and slather them with your favorite preserves. It’s a sweet way to start the day.
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia brand cream cheese (see Notes), at room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter a 10-inch tube pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the vanilla, then the flour and salt all at once. Beat just until incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 1¼ hours.
4. Place the pan on a cake rack and cool for 20 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely. Serve at room temperature.