I don't give out 5 stars for a recipe very often and certainly NOT the first time I try a recipe. However, this recipe received my 5 star rating immediately! It is, by far, the best pound cake recipe I've ever tried. It's texture is smooth, moist and velvety, with a hint of lemon. The recipe makes one 10" tube pan or two loaf cakes. I hope you try it.
(1) 8 ounce cream cheese (room temperature)
6 eggs (room temperature)
1½ cups butter (room temperature)
3 cups white sugar
3 cups CAKE flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 10" tube pan or 2 large loaf pans.
In a stand mixer (using whisk attachment), cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth and silky. Slowly add the sugar while the mixer is running, and beat until very fluffy (it will look like whipped cream and may take as long as 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each egg. Add the extracts and the lemon zest and mix well.
Replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment. Sift the cake flour into a one cup measure and level off with a knife. Add flour to butter mixture, one cup at a time, mixing just long enough for the flour to disappear.
Pour batter into prepared tube pan (or two large prepared loaf pans). Hold the filled pan about 6" above your counter and drop it (this will dislodge any big air pockets). Bake cake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Test for doneness with toothpick test. Let the cake cool about 10 minutes then remove from pan.
NOTE: The butter, cream cheese and eggs must be at room temperature (I leave mine on the counter overnight). If you don't have these ingredients at room temperature, they will not mix correctly and your cake will not bake properly...very important.
NOTE: Don't try this recipe with all purpose flour. Cake flour really makes a difference.
NOTE: You will know you have beaten the butter-cream cheese - sugar mixture enough when your stand mixer bowl is about 2/3 full and is the consistency of whipped cream.