Buttermilk Pound Cake

In Cakes on February 6, 2011 at 11:03 am
From Adriana Baking

As a child, I went through phases of short-lived obsessions.

In my early years of elementary school, I spent every minute of free time playing with my sister and our neighbor, inventing fantastical adventures for our dolls. Most days we played outside, building for them houses out of rocks and leaves while they sat a safe distance away, sheltered from our dirty messes. The next morning, after a night of rainfall, our handiwork palaces would be washed away. But we would start over again, relentlessly gathering smooth twigs and perfectly round pebbles to stash away.

I picked up one of my dolls last week and ran my fingers through her tangled hair. Looking into her painted eyes, memories of my ten year old self came dislodged from the back of my head – I had forgotten they were there.

From Adriana Baking

My first year into middle school, I spent all of my time outside. With a group of my neighbors, I invented a language that only we could understand, based on our favorite song. We built forts and spoke in our secret lexicon, delighted when passersby gave us questioning looks.  Throughout the years, various computer games piqued my interest, and as I grew older, books by favorite authors that I would inevitably read over and over again.

And now, catching a similar sounding word to our made up code in people’s conversations floods my mind with memories of our days scribbling down secret phrases in our little notebook. Key words, sounds, and smells manage to trigger my memory and bring forth vivid recollections of moments I never want to lose, from childhood obsessions to best friends and favorite flavors.

I’ve written about my friend G-‘s move before, but with her bags packed and ready to leave this evening, I wanted to remember her cheerful presence once again. We said goodbye yesterday night, after making our favorite chocolate chip cookies a last time together. She sprayed her perfume inside my sweater’s hood as her parents waited nearby, a sweet blend of freesia and plum. It embodies her personality perfectly, and I now carry a lingering piece of G- with every step I take.

From Adriana Baking

Of course, baking is one of my dearest, longest-lasting obsessions. But never before have I fallen so much in love with a flavor. A mere whiff of my favorite soft green powder leaves me aching for long lasting hours of soft summer light on my grandparents’ patio, and bygone warm days when ice cream consumption was frequent. Matcha has the power to overwhelm me with a cascade of memories that I long to live through again. It leaves me nostalgic and homesick for a time that has since past, but in the best possible way.

I first discovered green tea powder as I discover most anything related to baking – on food blogs. Though I don’t like green tea as a beverage, the powder intrigued me. It was a beautiful shade of green -one that is quickly becoming my favorite. And when I finally got hold of a container last summer and instantly became infatuated with its full-bodied, slightly bitter taste, I used it sparingly, only in desserts that were well worth its use.

From Adriana Baking

This pound cake is one of the few desserts I’m willing to render tea green. It has the finest, tightest crumb I have yet had in a cake, and a sweet sugary crust if you let it rest for a couple of days. I’ve made it twice already, and both times, we could hardly bear the wait.

Be careful not to overbake it, or you will end up with a slightly fluffier cake, as opposed to the delightful density it has the potential to be. Also, butter and flour your pan very well. I didn’t, and parts of the cake stuck to the inside.

[It’s been a long time since my last post, and I’m terribly sorry. I have been taking exams all month, and with a sudden bout of sickness, I couldn’t find the time to post. I hope that this never happens again, as I love to blog].

Cruze Farm Buttermilk Pound Cake
Slightly adapted from the New York Times via 17 and Baking
Makes a 9″ bundt cake

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted room temperature butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3 1⁄2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan
1 tablespoon of green tea powder (optional)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cultured buttermilk (see above to make your own)
Juice of 1 lemon, strained

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour a bundt pan. Mine wasn’t floured enough, and didn’t come out cleanly.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and pour in the sugar gradually, creaming it well. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract, scraping down the sides. On low speed, add a third of the flour mixture until just combined. Then add a third of the buttermilk mixture until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Stir in the lemon juice.

Smooth the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick or thin knife comes out clean, about 75 minutes. The cake should be browned and the edges should be starting to pull away. Cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack and cool completely. At this point, you can wrap in up in plastic wrap or in an air tight container (under a cake dome), and let it age overnight or up to a couple days.

From Adriana Baking
  1. Welcome back!! Your pound cakes look wonderful! Love that you used matcha for one of them. I love baking with it. Will be perfect for St. Patrick’s day!

  2. Your pound cake looks delicious! Never had matcha before and I really want to try it now 🙂 And it was the same for me as a child. I always had these bizarre phases(i remember one time i wanted to become a “sharkologist” lol)!

  3. Yum, your pound cake looks delicious! I’m not much of a green tea drinker, but I love the shade of green it creates when added to recipes. Glad to see your back!

  4. Your pound cake looks beautiful! I’m yet to get a hold of matcha powder to try in baked goods, but I love green tea on it’s own and green tea ice cream so I imagine it’s quite delicious. I had plenty of ‘adventures’ as a kid too! I think the longest running one was pretending to be pirates with my little sister 🙂

  5. I don’t like green tea either but I do love green tea flavoured desserts- especially green tea ice cream! Funnily enough, I’ve never been able to find matcha powder anywhere, although I might not have searched hard enough 🙂 This pound cake looks really good too! I love the colour of the green tea one too!

  6. A beautiful buttermilk pound cake recipe and it just look so good. I am hearing lots about this macha and baking with it. I haven’t found it yet, I guess I am going to have to ask.
    But thanks for the great recipe.

  7. Stunning photos. I love pound cake but it’s usually so ordinary looking, the matcha gives it a lot of personality!

  8. My friend and I use to build palaces for snails everyday for a few weeks the poor snails were too slow to get away. I love childhood memories. I love this recipe so much it’s always really good, I hand’t thought to use matcha. I hope you’re feeling better now.

  9. Yummy, this looks delicious! Sorry your friend is moving, that’s tough.
    I’ve also been thinking a lot about childhood lately. I don’t know why, nothing has really triggered my memory. I guess I’m just missing the simpler times…
    Jess : )

  10. Oh my, this looks delicious, dear!

  11. I really enjoy the taste of green tea, but I’m a bit cautious to try baking with matcha. What are some other things you’ve baked with it?

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