Although it can be enjoyed all year long, I crave pound cake during the warmer months. Thick slices are transformed into a spectacular dessert when caramelized on the grill. Thin pieces become moist when smothered with fresh berries and fluffy whipped cream. Chunks can be layered with custard and stone fruit in a trifle or simply topped with ice cream and sauce in a sundae. With classic pound cake, the dessert possibilities are endless! Traditionally a pound cake was made with a pound each of flour, sugar, and butter, but nowadays, the recipe is a little different. Once you've mastered the technique you can experiment not only with the final preparations, but with mix-ins as well. Stir in fresh citrus zest, different flavored extracts or liqueurs, chocolate chips, etc. But first: here's the basic recipe.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan Serves 8.
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan