Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Raspberries is adapted from a classic vanilla bean pound cake from Ina Pinkney. Her pound cake is prepared in the food processor and takes just takes a few minutes to whip into shape. The secret to Ina’s success seems to come from melted butter. This liquid fat coats the flour proteins better than solid fat and thus limits gluten formation, giving this cake a tender crumb that melts in your mouth.
Sometimes I like to defy expectations and serve a pound cake upside down, teetering on its dome.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cup cake flour (plus more for pan)
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar (may substitute granulated 1:1)
- 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (may substitute 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounce fresh raspberries (plus more for optional garnish)
- 3 tablespoon raspberry jam (optional)
- white frosting (as needed, optional)
- ground or shredded dried coconut (as needed, optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle position. Butter and flour a 9‑inch loaf pan, preferably a straight-sided Pullman pan. (Do not use lid.)
Melt butter gently in a microwave or saucepan on stove top and let cool slightly.
Place sugar, eggs, and vanilla paste in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whirl together for 2 to 3 seconds, until foamy. Stir the melted butter well. With motor running, drizzle the butter slowly through the feed tube into the batter. Blend for about 3 seconds once butter is incorporated.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl for about 30 seconds, until well blended. Add flour mixture to the work bowl, distributing evenly over the surface of the batter. Pulse 5 or 6 times until the flour is well blended. You may need to scrape down sides of the bowl and pulse again 2 or 3 times. Once the flour incorporated pour the mixture into a bowl and gently fold in 6 ounces raspberries. Continue to gently fold until well distributed.
Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees and bake for 30–35 minutes more, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean but moist. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.
If you like, slice the cake lengthwise somewhere near the center and add a layer of raspberry jam. Replace the cut layer to reassemble to the cake. This step is optional.
Finish with a thin layer of white frosting (if using) and a coating of ground or shredded dried coconut (if using). Garnish with additional berries if you like.