A simple pound cake should be in every baker’s repertoire. Here, a boozy, nutty glaze adds a little flair to this basic comfort dessert.
What to buy: Pound cake is known for its density and richness thanks to all-purpose flour. If you prefer a lighter, finer texture, use cake flour instead.
Game plan: You’ll need to make the Homemade Amaretto before you begin.
Preparing for the holidays? See also our easy gingerbread loaf recipe.
- Yield: 1 (9-inch) loaf
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: About 2 hrs
- Active: 25 mins
For the cake:
- 2 cups cake or all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup Homemade Amaretto (see Game Plan note), or good quality store-bought amaretto
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Homemade Amaretto, or good quality store-bought amaretto
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
For the cake:
- Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, coat the parchment with butter, then coat the entire pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Combine the measured flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to break up any lumps; set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Return the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and paddle.
- Return the mixer to low speed and add half of the reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Add the amaretto and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add the rest of the flour mixture and, again, mix until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, mix in any loose flour. (Do not overmix.) Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake until the cake is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack, about 30 to 40 minutes. While the cake cools, make the glaze.
For the glaze:
- Combine the sugar and amaretto in a small bowl, stirring until smooth and incorporated. Drizzle over the cooled cake and sprinkle with almonds.