Do you ever have those days where the desire to bake something takes over? I’ve been having that sort of day for a while now. I scoured all my saved recipes. Yes, all my saved recipes. For those who don’t know, my weekend ritual consists of taking a large tote to the library and filling it with books (mainly cookbooks of late) until I can barely carry the bag home. Then I indulge myself in flipping through, reading, thinking about, and post-it-noting the recipes that sound delicious. This ritual kills a Saturday afternoon in a heartbeat and simultaneously leaves me with recipe overkill.
So, back to needing to bake something. I flipped through recipe after recipe. Feeling particularly lazy, long ingredient lists daunted me. Feeling slightly more lazy still, any recipe with a large amount of work were also flipped over. Then I found this pound cake, which actually had not been marked for further investigation…because it’s pound cake. Then again, every kitchen minded person should have a decent, if not delicious, pound cake recipe in their repertoire (or wherever you decide to keep your recipes, personally I keep mine in a three-ring binder I recycled from some college level English course). Side bar: yes, I know repertoire is not a literal location.
Here are reasons to make this pound cake. Pound cake is delicious and versatile. The addition of the lavender adds a subtle flavor. While not extraordinary, pound cake is also not reviled by too many people. Pound cake tastes wonderful with fresh berries. You mix the ingredients together, then put the kit and kaboodle in the oven, and you get to use the 50 or so minutes the cake bakes to do other things (like read…or write those graduate school essays you promised your mother would be written two months ago).
Honey Vanilla Pound Cake, with a hint of lavender
Adapted from Ina Garten
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (originally, this was 2 teaspoons, but I misread. Pound cake was still delicious)
1 tablespoon lavender
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating, prepare a loaf pan by greasing the bottom of it with butter (or olive oil) and dust with flour. You can line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper if you’d like. Or you can live dangerously like me and forgo parchment paper because you always forget to buy more at the grocery store…
Cream the butter and sugar until mixed together. You can use either your lovely stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or if you only have a hand mixer (like me), you’ll be just fine. If you have neither, I admire your hard work and probably also your biceps and triceps.
Put the eggs, honey, vanilla, lavender, and lemon zest in a measuring cup, but don’t mix together. Add this to the butter one egg at a time, making sure to fully incorporate the egg mixture with the butter and sugar mixture.
Sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Add these slowly to the butter until just combined, then finish the mixing with a spatula. Poor the batter in to the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top.
Bake for 50-65 minutes, depending on oven. Insert a toothpick in center to test if the cake is done. Cool for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf pan upside down on a baking rack. Allow to cool completely before removing the cake from the pan.
Enjoy! I served mine with pureed blueberries, but fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries would all be delicious. Maybe also with some brandied plums, or even just stone fruits cooking with a light simple syrup…