Why Pound Cake Always Deserves High Quality Ingredients

Traditionally a pound of butter, eggs, flour, and sugar each, pound cakes are one of the easier desserts to make. With a simple yet decadent taste, a classic pound cake is a straightforward recipe that's relatively simple to follow. Aside from the baker's personal additions, it only has four ingredients, perfect for a beginner baker. Yet, despite the simplicity of the recipe, messing up the cake isn't impossible.

Whether you're not measuring the ingredients properly or taking the cake out of the oven too early, little things can result in a dense or undercooked cake. While those are common mistakes, it's easy to commit this common baking misstep by not using high-quality ingredients in your pound cake.

You should typically use the best ingredients available when baking — but with something as simple as a pound cake, ingredients that fall short of what the cake needs can have you wind up with a less-than-perfect result. High quality doesn't always mean more expensive, but it's best to spring for name-brand over generic simply because things like generic sugar may actually have a finer grain (and thus be sweeter) than name-brand counterparts. And flour? It may have too much protein.

Avoid these types of ingredients when baking pound cake

Baking is a science — not treating the act with precision can be a mistake everyone makes with cake. With only four ingredients in the dessert, all of them need to perform at their best in order to produce a good cake. For example, too much sugar in pound cake can cause the cake to fall in on itself.

Generic granulated sugar tends to be more finely ground in comparison to name-brand varieties. With more sugar being poured into the measuring cup, your pound cake may not stand as well. The same goes for flour, as well. Store-brand flours aren't always as soft as their name-brand counterparts due to differences in the level of protein found in each brand. This can cause the cake to feel overly dense and heavy, rather than soft and fluffy. The more protein a flour has, the less fluffy and soft it will be.

When using butter, be exacting with your measurements, and consider measuring by weight rather than volume for accuracy. Although butter lends your cake that moist texture, too much fat can result in a weighed-down cake that doesn't rise like it's meant to. And while just about everyone appreciates a buttery cake, no one wants a greasy baked treat.