British Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing

Pound Cake got its name from its origins as a plain cake in northern Britain whose ingredients were easy to remember: a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of eggs (about 10), and a pound of sugar. Modern tastes require us to modify this recipe with more flavor and lighter texture, but it is still a solid classic. Here it includes two kinds of vanilla and a bit of tangy cream fraiche.


Equipment: medium loaf pan (9”x 5”) or a very well-oiled Bundt pan. A 9” or 10” cake pan will also work, electric mixer, medium bowl

Time: 1 – 2 hours

Yield: 1 loaf or 10” Bundt cake

Level: Easy

For the Cake

3 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup almond paste

½ cup butter

½ cup creme fraiche or cream cheese

1-½ cup sugar

2 vanilla beans, scraped

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup cream


For the Icing

1 ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk

1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, put the almond paste and mix at low speed for a minute or two. Add the butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla bean seeds and mix on low until smooth. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and cream. Alternate additions of  the egg mixture and the flour mixture into the electric mixer bowl, and continue mixing until smooth. . Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched and/or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the icing by stirring all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Allow the cake, and prepare the icing in a small bowl by combining all the ingredients and whisking them together until smooth. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer it to a cake plate. Pour the icing over the top. Slice and serve.