For those who are looking for a super-rich cake, it is almost impossible to go wrong with a classic, delicious pound cake. Made from the standard cake ingredients of butter, eggs, sugar, and flour, a pound cake lives up to its name as the equal ratio of all the ingredients results in quite a thick, heavy cake that is ultimately delicious!
While this treat is appropriate any time of the year, on National Pound Cake Day, cake lovers around the world get to celebrate the satisfaction that this hearty, decadent treat offers. After all, raising awareness about cake is a very important task!
The History of National Pound Cake Day
The pound cake’s name appears to have originated from 18th century Europe, where the first recipe appears to call for a pound’s weight of each of the ingredients. This is actually a very clever way to make sure a recipe could be easily shared in a time when many people were not necessarily able to read and write.
This recipe would result in quite a big pound cake for those who tried it exactly as it is. (Theoretically, the result would be a cake that weighs four pounds!) So, it is more likely that these types of cakes were made for large gatherings or with the intention of selling off individual slices. This is a bit different than the “pound cakes” of today that often are more around the size of a small loaf pan.
As the recipes evolved, they tended to stick to the ratio of equal parts of all ingredients, but adjusting it so that it would result in a smaller cake. One easy way of doing this is simply by either halving or quartering the pound measurement.
Today, the kind of pound cake that is available for purchase at the store will likely have a lighter, more buttery consistency. And, depending on the particular location, the style and flavor might vary slightly. In Britain, a pound cake is usually known as Madeira cake, and in France one might find variants with chocolate or even lemon juice as a way to create variety.
How to Celebrate National Pound Cake Day
While enjoying a slice or two of pound cake is the most common and obligatory way to spend this day, certainly, other creative ideas can also be implemented to help enjoy National Pound Cake Day! Consider these or create new ones:
Bake a Pound Cake (or Two!)
Making pound cake is so easy, there’s no reason not to try your hand at baking one up in honor of National Pound Cake Day. Make a traditional one with equal parts of each ingredient, or try to make it a little lighter by whisking the eggs first and adding in some baking powder to act as a leavening agent.
For a new twist on this traditional classic, try making it with sour cream in place of the butter, which will make a super moist cake that melts in the mouth.
Mix things up a little by adding some vanilla essence, and sprinkle the resulting cake with plain icing sugar and berries for a little bit of extra sweetness.
Be sure to share with your family and your workmates! Or, of course, you could keep it all for yourself.
Since pound cakes tend to freeze very well, baking up a few at a time to save for later is an excellent way to save time and have something sweet on hand in a pinch.
Host a Pound Cake Bake Off
With a little bit of creativity and some friends who love to create things in the kitchen, a Pound Cake Bake Off could be quite the event! Invite a few people to participate in the baking part and set the rules as strict or as loose as everyone would enjoy. Select some tasting judges ahead of time to vote on the winner.
It might be fun to see how differently the pound cakes turn out, even when using the same recipe. Or, for a more adventurous event, allow participants to deviate from the recipe in a creative way that allows the full flavors of the cake to shine!
For those who like to think beyond just themselves, consider having each participant make two pound cakes–one for judging in the Bake Off and one to auction off to the highest bidder. Or, charge a fee at the door for each guest–and their entrance fee gets them a piece of pound cake and a beverage. Of course, the proceeds would go to a charity of choice!
Create a Pound Cake Soundtrack
Whether just wanting some cake-themed music to listen to while baking a pound cake, or needing a playlist to break the silence during a Pound Cake Bake Off, this is the perfect solution. Start with these songs that include cake in the title or lyrics, and then add to it as inspiration strikes!
- Pound Cake (2018) Bill Perkins, Perk Plays Perez
- Piece of Cake (2019) Michael Camilo, Essence
- Cake By the Ocean (2015) DNCE [with Joe Jonas]
- Pound Cake/Paris Moton Music 2 (2013) Drake [feat. Jay-Z]
- Soul Cake (2009) Sting, If On A Winter’s Night
- Poundcake (2004) Van Halen, The Best of Both Worlds
- I’m Gonna Have My Cake (And Eat It, Too) (1979) Teena Marie, Wild and Peaceful
- (If I Knew You Were Comin’) I’d Have Baked a Cake (1950) Ethel Merman, The World Is Your Balloon