Monday, March 9, 2009

Half a Pound Cake

Of course, my pound cake isn't really half a pound (despite the misleading photo below!)--more like a pound and a half. Historically the recipe for a pound cake called for a pound each of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. There was no leavener, just the air whipped into the batter--can you imagine? All muscle, no mixer.

Half a Pound Cake

I love very simple plain cakes, tea cakes, I guess. I ran across a recipe for a Cardamom-Vanilla pound cake and started drooling. However, I don't like to make a whole cake. My husband and I have both had issues with weight in the past, and we limit our sweet intake to once or twice a week. (Portion control is the secret to staying skinny and eating what we do!). So I halfed the recipe, as I usually do when I run across a new cake recipe, and then took one of my secret short cuts--a secret that I'm going to share!

Bread Machine!

I can half most simple cake recipes and pour the batter into the bread pan of my bread machine and cook it on the bake setting(It's like using an easy bake oven--it feels like super big time cheating). The cake comes out square and then I usually cut it in half and immediately freeze one half. The other I slice into fairly small slices and usually serve with tea or coffee.

Here's half the cake recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 TB vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 TB granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
Whipped topping ingredients:
  • 3/4 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 1 TB plus 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
(If you freeze half the cake, like I do, half this again: 1/4 cup plus 2 TB spoon heavy cream, 2 1/2 tsp powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

  • Mix flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • Cream shortening and sugar in another bowl for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Mix in eggs, one at a time.
  • Mix in lemon juice.
  • Mix a little flour in, and then a little milk. Repeat several times beginning and ending with flour.
  • Pour batter into bread pan of bread machine.
  • Cook on Bake setting.
For Whipped Topping:
  • Beat ingredients together until it stands up in stiff peaks.
  • Serve on side of dessert plate.


  1. how long do you bake it for in the bread machine? I have heard of doing that but hadn't tried it.

  2. My bread machine's "bake" setting is for one hour. So far it has worked everytime I have halved a normal size cake. I started using it to bake tea cakes from a book I have on British tea time recipes--those are usually small cakes so I would use the whole recipe.

  3. I like to bake layered and complicated cake, but I love to eat simple pound cake like this one. It's great with a cup of hot milk