Incredibly Easy Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Recipe - 1 Pod Only

Incredibly Easy Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Recipe – 1 Pod Only

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Zara R.

Pound cake has always been a go-to recipe for any occasion. But, if you’re looking to spruce things up, try our vanilla bean pound cake recipe!

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Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Recipe – What It’s About

We’ll admit – this doesn’t sound particularly exciting. But, if you have ever had a real vanilla bean pound cake then you’ll know what it’s about! But first, let’s talk about traditional pound cakes.

These cakes originated in the early 18th century. Their name pretty much describes how these cakes were originally made. They contained one pound of butter, one pound of eggs, one pound of flour, and one pound of sugar. Get it?

Now, as time passed, the basic recipe did change a bit. Today, we still make this cake with more or less equal parts of the above-mentioned ingredients, but you can also include some delicious flavorings.

Vanilla quickly became a global favorite. This is because it has an extremely neutral flavor while imparting a slightly sweet flavor of its own. This type of cake is now a staple recipe in almost every home and is used across the world to make many other recipes like bundt cake and cupcakes.

Now, the cake on its own is great. It has a semi-dense texture but it is still soft, flavorful, and fluffy. But, the vanilla part is really what makes it taste incredible!

Most recipes today use vanilla essence and vanilla extract. These are perfectly fine and much more affordable than the option we’ll be looking at today. However, both of these ingredients are “watered-down” versions of real vanilla beans. So naturally, the flavor isn’t nearly as good.

Thus, we felt the need to develop a vanilla bean pound cake recipe so that you can truly appreciate the authentic flavor with which this cake once was made.

These beans are expensive, but even if at least once you experience the pure vanilla flavor, it is well worth the purchase. And, any special occasion is the perfect excuse to try it.

So, without further or do, let’s see how to use vanilla beans for our pound cake recipe today.

Incredibly Easy Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Recipe - 1 Pod Only

What You Will Need For This Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Recipe

Ingredients for the pound cake

  • 3/4 – 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup fine caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups cake flour, sifted

Ingredients for the frosting

  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 4-5 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt

Equipment

  • Small chopping board
  • Sharp pointed knife
  • Small spoon
  • 9×5-inch loaf pan
  • Non-stick baking paper
  • Non-stick cooking spray (or additional melted butter)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric or hand mixer
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Cooling rack
  • Tray or large plate

Step by step instructions

Step 1: Prepare the vanilla beans

To start, you will first need to prepare the vanilla beans. You can have a look at this visual tutorial, but here is a quick way we do it.

First, place the vanilla bean flat onto a cutting board. Then, slice it lengthwise down the center. You can split it in half.

Use a small teaspoon or the back of a knife to gently scrape the gooey vanilla paste out of the pod. As you scrape off some sections, place them into a small bowl. This way you can see as you scrape the pod, making sure you get every last bit.

If you are only using vanilla beans for the pound cake, 3/4 to 1 whole bean will be enough. And, if you are making a glaze, we’d recommend using a 1/4 bean. Trust us, it will be enough to impart a fantastic flavor.

Step 2: Cream the butter, vanilla, and sugar

Preheat your oven to 360ºF (180ºC). Line a loaf pan with non-stick baking paper and cooking spray.

Then, in a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and vanilla paste you have. Remember, if you are also making a glaze, only use 3/4 of the paste for the cake. The remainder will go to the glaze.

Then, cream them together until they are well combined. You should see little black vanilla specks throughout the creamed butter.

Step 3: Add the sugar and eggs

Next, add the fine sugar to the butter. Then, beat them at medium-high speed until they become fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. The butter will also lighten in color and become a pale off-white.

Then, you can add your large eggs one at a time. Mix the batter well and scrape the bowl down after every addition. All of the ingredients need to be evenly combined.

Step 4: Finish the cake batter and bake

Finally, gently add the cake flour and mix it until your batter just comes together. You don’t want to overmix the cake batter.

Then, pour it into your lined loaf pan and bake it for 1 hour. Check the progress of the cake around the 45-minute mark to prevent overbaking the cake. Test the doneness using a toothpick or cake tested.

Once your cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.

Step 5: Make the glaze

First, whisk together the vanilla paste and milk. Allow the mixture to stand for 15 minutes. This will help the flavor to infuse properly.

Then, whisk in the powdered sugar and salt. Only start with 4 cups of sugar. this way, you can easily thicken the glaze with more if you’d want to. Whisk until you have a completely smooth glaze.

Step 6: Assemble the cake

Place the cooled cake onto the cooling rack. Place this rack over a tray or large plate.

Then, pour the glaze over the entire loaf cake until it is completely covered. Add any garnishes if you’d like before the glaze sets. Then, simply leave it out until the vanilla bean glaze hardens.

Serve immediately or store it inside an airtight container.

Expert Tips

  • You can freeze the scraped vanilla beans or excess vanilla paste for later use. They can be used to infuse liquids. Because these beans are so expensive, you don’t want any part to go to waste.
  • Another method we often use for making loaf pound cakes is to use melted butter and flour. First, lightly brush the sides with melted butter. Dust it with flour and remove any lumpy bits. This technique will provide a non-stick coating, but also help the sides of your cake brown nicely.
  • For this vanilla bean pound cake recipe, you can cool the cake inside the pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove it and place it on the cooling rack. Leave it at room temperature to cool completely.

Servings And Preparations Times

What is the secret to a moist pound cake

Final Thoughts –  Soft And Tasty Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Recipe

Let us know what you think about our vanilla bean pound cake recipe! It is an incredibly versatile cake that is perfect for any occasion. By simply using real vanilla pods, you are elevating it to a whole new level!

FAQs

What is the secret to a moist pound cake?

You can add some sour cream or buttermilk. Even a teaspoon of vinegar will help. These ingredients all contain acids. And as you may know, acids help tenderize the cake's crumb and makes it moist and tender.

What is the best flour to use for a pound cake?

Cake flour is always the best option for pound cake. It doesn't contain any leavening agents and will help create a tight crumb and soft texture. Bread flour (and even all-purpose flour) will create too much gluten. This will create a more open crumb and soft texture. This makes the cake difficult to stack or shape.

Why is my pound cake dry and crumbly?

This is most likely caused by overbaking the pound cake. When this happens, too much moisture (from the butter and eggs) has evaporated. This makes the texture crumbly, dry, and bland.

Can I use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour in a pound cake?

We don't recommend it. Self-raising flour contains a leavening agent (often baking powder). This will mess with the leavening agents already present in the recipe (aka eggs). While you may think it will make the cake fluffier, it could end up making it dense and rubbery.

Incredibly Easy Vanilla Bean Pound Cake Recipe - 1 Pod Only

Pound cake has always been a go-to recipe for any occasion. But, if you're looking to spruce things up, try our vanilla bean pound cake recipe!
Prep Time15 mins
Baking Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Can I use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour in a pound cake?, vanilla bean pound cake recipe, What is the best flour to use for a pound cake?, What is the secret to a moist pound cake?, Why is my pound cake dry and crumbly?
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Cakedecorist

Equipment

  • Small chopping board
  • Sharp pointed knife
  • Small spoon
  • 9x5-inch loaf pan
  • Non-stick baking paper
  • Non-stick cooking spray (or additional melted butter)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric or hand mixer
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Cooling Rack
  • Tray or large plate

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the pound cake

Ingredients for the frosting

Instructions

  • Prepare the vanilla beans
    To start, you will first need to prepare the vanilla beans.
    First, place the vanilla bean flat onto a cutting board. Then, slice it lengthwise down the center. You can split it in half.
    Use a small teaspoon or the back of a knife to gently scrape the gooey vanilla paste out of the pod. As you scrape off some sections, place them into a small bowl. This way you can see as you scrape the pod, making sure you get every last bit.
    If you are only using vanilla beans for the pound cake, 3/4 to 1 whole bean will be enough. And, if you are making a glaze, we'd recommend using a 1/4 bean. Trust us, it will be enough to impart a fantastic flavor.
    3/4 - 1 vanilla bean
  • Cream the butter, vanilla, and sugar
    Preheat your oven to 360ºF (180ºC). Line a loaf pan with non-stick baking paper and cooking spray.
    Then, in a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and vanilla paste you have. Remember, if you are also making a glaze, only use 3/4 of the paste for the cake. The remainder will go to the glaze.
    Then, cream them together until they are well combined. You should see little black vanilla specks throughout the creamed butter.
    1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • Add the sugar and eggs
    Next, add the fine sugar to the butter. Then, beat them at medium-high speed until they become fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. The butter will also lighten in color and become a pale off-white.
    Then, you can add your large eggs one at a time. Mix the batter well and scrape the bowl down after every addition. All of the ingredients need to be evenly combined.
    1 cup fine caster sugar, 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • Finish the cake batter and bake
    Finally, gently add the cake flour and mix it until your batter just comes together. You don't want to overmix the cake batter.
    Then, pour it into your lined loaf pan and bake it for 1 hour. Check the progress of the cake around the 45-minute mark to prevent overbaking the cake. Test the doneness using a toothpick or cake tested.
    Once your cake is fully baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
    2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • Make the glaze
    First, whisk together the vanilla paste and milk. Allow the mixture to stand for 15 minutes. This will help the flavor to infuse properly.
    Then, whisk in the powdered sugar and salt. Only start with 4 cups of sugar. this way, you can easily thicken the glaze with more if you'd want to. Whisk until you have a completely smooth glaze.
    1/4 vanilla bean, 1/2 cup milk, room temperature, 4-5 cups confectioners sugar, sifted, Pinch of salt
  • Assemble the cake
    Place the cooled cake onto the cooling rack. Place this rack over a tray or large plate.
    Then, pour the glaze over the entire loaf cake until it is completely covered. Add any garnishes if you'd like before the glaze sets. Then, simply leave it out until the vanilla bean glaze hardens.
    Serve immediately or store it inside an airtight container.

Notes

You can freeze the scraped vanilla beans or excess vanilla paste for later use. They can be used to infuse liquids. Because these beans are so expensive, you don't want any part to go to waste.
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