Gluten Free Pound Cake Recipe
Pound cake and I have a long history. My mother used to serve it to us often. We would have it for dessert one night and the following day toasted for breakfast. Those were the only days I didn’t have to reluctantly drag myself to the breakfast table.
As a teenager, there was many a time when I nursed a broken heart with a loaf of Sara Lee Pound cake. Somehow it was the only thing that was able to restore my will to live in those tumultuous teen angst times.
I once spent a couple of weeks in an extremely impoverished country where the quality of food was so poor that my appetite completely deserted me. For some reason everywhere I went in that country had pound cake, it sustained me for 14 long days.
Of course all of this was before I went gluten free. I was bound and determined to make a great, classic, gluten free pound cake.
I consider pound cake one of the essentials of baking. Like a fabulous pair of jeans, it can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion.
After much trial and error I perfected (if I do say so myself) good old fashioned, classic, gluten free pound cake.
The original pound cake recipe calls for a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of eggs, and a pound of sugar – thus the name pound cake.
I played with these proportions a bit to make a lighter version that still has the classic taste and texture because let’s face it – a cake made with a pound of each of those ingredients would probably feed an army. While it is never a bad thing to have too much pound cake, I rarely have the need to eat a whole pound cake all by myself as I did during my achy heart-breaky teen years.
For the flour, I think it is important to either use a pastry quality gluten free flour blend or make your own with a combination of superfine or Asian white rice flour and sweet rice flour plus potato and tapioca starches. You also need a little xanthan gum in there. I use Asian rice flours for two reasons – first, they are milled more finely than other rice flours thus are not gritty; secondly, they are a lot less expensive. Look for them in Asian stores or online. Unfortunately gluten free flours that are made with beans are just not going to give you a classic pound cake. If you want to make up a big batch of flour that will work great in this recipe, hop over to my Gluten Free Lemon Sugar Cookies recipe, I tell you how to make it there.
For butter, I use the best unsalted, organic butter I can get my hands on. There are not a lot of ingredients in this cake so each one counts!
Same goes for the eggs, if possible use organic pastured eggs.
As far as the sugar goes, I prefer to use Wholesome Sweeteners Organic sugar; it is not as sharp as bleached sugar and imparts a mellow sweetness to the cake.
Start with all your ingredients at room temperature and don’t skimp on the time in the mixer. There is a reason why I say to cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. There is a reason I say to add each egg separately and to beat well after each addition. I find that when people have trouble baking, it is usually because they don’t follow some basic rules and try to take shortcuts. While I am usually all for shortcuts in cooking, baking is another story.
Don’t be intimidated – use good quality ingredients and follow the directions and you too can have a long history and beautiful love affair with pound cake!
- Gluten free non-stick cooking spray
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine or Asian white rice flour
- 5 tablespoons superfine or Asian sweet rice also called glutinous rice flour
- 6 tablespoons potato starch
- 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ cup milk at room temperature
- 1 cup organic unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 3 large organic eggs
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sweet rice flour blend, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed for 5 minutes until it is very light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and milk to the creamed butter starting with half of the flour mixture then the milk then the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl well with a large spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check after 40 minutes and if the top is becoming too brown, place a sheet of foil over to protect it. Let cool in pan for a full 15 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
The cake will keep wrapped in the fridge for at least 3 days.
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