Over the years, the formula for pound cake has evolved, making for a lighter cake. This recipe is testament to that delicious transformation.
- 12 oz. butter, plus more for the pan (preferably Beurre Lescure) at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. plus 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
- 1 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. pure almond extract
- 1 tsp. pure lemon extract
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
Heat oven to 325°. Generously grease a light-colored 10" tube pan with butter. Add 2 tbsp. flour; turn the pan to coat it evenly with flour, tap out any excess, and set aside. (The inside of the pan should be smoothly and evenly coated with butter and flour, with no clumps or gaps.)
Using a sieve set over a bowl, sift together remaining flour, baking powder, and salt. Repeat 2 more times. In a measuring vessel with a pourable spout, combine milk and the almond, lemon, and vanilla extracts. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter at medium-low speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, 1⁄4 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beat until satiny smooth, about 3 minutes.
Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture, beating for 15 seconds before adding another, and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour and milk mixtures in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down sides of the bowl; beat just until the batter is smooth and silky but no more.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and firmly tap on a counter to allow batter to settle evenly. Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out moist but clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; let cool completely before slicing.