Praline Pound Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
Prep:
25 min
Cook:
1 hr 30 min

Yield:
2 (9-inch) loaf cakes, 8 to 10 servings each
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 4 sticks (1 pound butter) minus 1 heaping tablespoon, cut into chips and softened
  • 1 pound sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 10 eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pound all-purpose flour (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup crumbled Creamy Pralines, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • Creamy Pralines:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Butter 2 (9 by 5 by 3-inch) loaf pans, using the heaping tablespoon of the butter.

  • Cream the remaining butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.

  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks with the vanilla until light and frothy. With the electric mixer on medium-low, gradually add the egg yolk mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix for about 4 minutes.

  • In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the electric mixer on medium speed, alternately add the flour mixture, a third at a time, and the egg whites, a third at a time, to the butter and egg mixture, beating for 2 minutes between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix. Add the lemon zest during the last 2 minutes of mixing.

  • Divide the batter equally between the pans. To 1 of the cakes, add the crumbled pralines and the rum to the batter and gently stir to mix evenly; leave the other plain. Bake the plain cake for about 1 hour, the praline cake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Both should be golden when done and firm to the touch.

  • The cakes can be stored by wrapping them in waxed paper, then plastic wrap, then in foil. They do not need to be refrigerated.

Creamy Pralines:
  • In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and condensed milk. With a wooden spoon, stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring, until smooth and light brown, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla and pecans and continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture reaches 234 to 240 degrees F. on a candy thermometer or the soft ball stage, that is, when a bit dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens. Remove from the heat and drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper. Let cool. Remove from the paper with a thin knife.


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