“Bourbon does for me what the piece of cake did for Proust.”—Walker Percy
Why not combine the two?
Introducing the recipe, Hulsman says, “The loveliest thing about about pound cake, though, is that it’s rootsy.” This is the kind of recipe that anyone with a well stocked home kitchen can make at just about any time. That’s not to say, however, that making a truly inspired pound cake doesn’t take a good deal of love and attention.
With that said: break out the whisks and get to baking. When you’re bourbon-loving friends drop by, you’ll be more than ready to entertain with this delicious cake.
Always-in-the-Pantry Bourbon Pound Cake
Makes two 8 x 4-inch loaves
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, cold (but not hard),
plus more for greasing pan
2½ cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs, at room temperature
4 cups cake flour, sifted before measuring
1 tablespoon bourbon
Butter the two pans and set them aside. Do not preheat the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the butter 1 to 2 minutes, until it lightens in color. Add the sugar to the butter a little at a time, until it’s all combined, then beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy, and set aside. With the mixer set on low speed, alternately add the eggs and flour, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the bourbon and beat on low speed until just blended.
Divide the batter between the buttered pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula dipped in water. Put the pans, evenly spaced, in the cold oven, and set the temperature at 275 degrees F. After 30 minutes, increase the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes; then rotate the pans. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until a wooden cake tester or metal skewer inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. If the tops are browning too quickly, cover loosely with a sheet of foil.
Cool the cakes on a wire rack in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert them onto the rack and cool for another hour before serving.
Store in an airtight plastic cake safe or tin for up to 1 week.
If you’re interested in learning more about bourbon recipes, bourbon history, or bourbon cocktails check out our list of ten books to help you celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month.