Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Honey Vanilla Pound Cake | January 9, 2009

I don’t do too many shameless plugs on this site.  Okay, let me rephrase: I don’t do too many non-food-related shameless plugs on this site.  Happy now?  Sheesh.

Anyway, my plug is for Borders (yes, the bookstore).  Not only is their loyalty rewards program FREE (unlike another large bookstore chain I might mention), but they send me super duper coupons every month or so.  For example, right before Christmas, I got a coupon for 40% off any book in the store.  I knew I would be buying a nice hardback cookbook, since they’re the most expensive books I buy, and they never seem to go on sale.  Damn celebrity chefs and their royalties.

Long story short (too late, I know), I used my 40% off coupon at Borders to buy Ina Garten’s new cookbook, “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics.”  I even bought a copy for my mom, because I was so impressed with the helpful tips and the yummy-looking yet relatively easy recipes.  The only question that remained was which recipe I’d tackle first.

I settled on this pound cake because a) I had all of the ingredients, and b) I had recently eaten the last piece of the Bailey’s bundt cake.  Not only was this cake simple to prepare, but it made my kitchen smell divine.  This is a great breakfast treat, but it also works well as a dessert.  So thank you, Ina and Borders, for keeping my sweet tooth satisfied.

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at cool room temperature
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
    2 tablespoons mild honey
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a standard loaf pan.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light. Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup (but do NOT mix). With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add it very slowly to the butter and egg mixture until just combined. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan. Smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out on a baking rack, and cool completely.



  1. Enjoy the book. Ina Garten stopped by the Sur La Table in Pentagon City in December for a book signing event.

    Comment by Demetrius — January 9, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  2. Thanks, I will! Did you get to meet the Contessa herself? If so, I am quite jealous.

    Comment by bettyjoan — January 9, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

  3. I was doing a little last minute shopping before the Christmas holiday, and saw that the store still had a dozen or so signed copies available. I was told that she stayed for two hours signing books.

    Comment by Demetrius — January 9, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  4. Betty,
    I too had the decision to make of which recipe to tackle first. Being the great future in-laws, after dog sitting for Jack, we felt we should cook a nice meal for Jason. We chose the Bay Scallop Gratins which was both delicious and quite easy to prepare. We served it with a french bread that Jason sopped up all the wine/butter sauce with, and asparagus, which work well with any fish dish.My only complaint with the cookbook is that for me, I need more main dish ideas and I felt like she could have put a few more in. Mostly, I love the book and already have my next recipe picked out. Thanks for the treat!!

    Love you!

    Comment by Mom — January 12, 2009 @ 1:02 am

  5. Wow, mom, hope you didn’t break your arm patting yourself on the back there. 😉

    I agree that the book is a little short on main dish options. I’m glad you liked the scallop dish, though–you’ll have to fill me in on how you subbed sea scallops, because I am just not a fan of bay scallops.

    Thanks for taking care of my boys!!!

    Comment by bettyjoan — January 12, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  6. […] Honey Vanilla Pound Cake […]

    Pingback by Old reliables « Trouble With Toast — June 8, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

  7. Ha, this cake is baking in the oven right now. I googled to see who else made it and got here 🙂

    Comment by Nurit - 1 family. friendly. Food. — January 15, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

    • It’s a great recipe. The cake is SO moist, and it’s great for dessert or for breakfast (I actually preferred eating it for the latter).

      Comment by bettyjoan — January 20, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

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