While one can’t deny the appeal of rich chocolate, salted caramel or a thick swirl of whipped cream, sometimes a simple (yet no less delicious) pound cake is in order.
And it doesn’t get simpler or more delicious than this vanilla bean version!
Lots of real vanilla extract plus the seeds of fresh vanilla beans lend the most delicious flavor to this easy recipe. It doubles and freezes beautifully so you can make one and freeze one to enjoy later!
You can serve this cake “as is”, or toasted and topped with a scoop of ice cream or fresh berries!
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake: (makes 2 regular or 4 mini cakes)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 26 tablespoons (3 sticks + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour (2) 8” x 4” loaf pans or (4) 5” x 3” pans.
Place the milk and split vanilla beans in a small saucepan. Heat until small bubbles appear at the edges; remove from heat, cover and cool to room temperature.
Beat the sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat again. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the milk (discard the beans) and slowly beat into the mixer till completely incorporated.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat till combined. Scrape down the sides and transfer to your prepared baking pans. Smooth the tops and bake till a toothpick or cake tester tests clean (about 40 minutes for small pans, 50 minutes for regular pans).
Let cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Use a small knife to loosen the cakes from the sides of the pan and gently turn them out onto the wire rack to cool completely.