Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Ritz Carlton Pound Cake

Have you seen the recipe floating around Facebook for the Ritz Carlton pound cake from the 1920s? I couldn’t resist baking it! It sounded so luscious and guess what – it is! The recipe will be printed at the end of this post.

This is not a recipe for the strict calorie counter; not at all! One cup of butter, 3 cups of sugar, 5 eggs… and it is as rich as it sounds. One small slice is all you need. It is a large cake, dense but moist, so I shared it with friends. It would probably also freeze well – I would pre-slice it and freeze the slices, which would make it easier to thaw and serve a few slices at a time.

I followed the recipe to the letter, only using 2% milk instead of whole milk, and the cake turned out just fine. I used a Bundt pan instead of loaf pans. FYI, this recipe makes a lot of batter. It fit in the Bundt pan just fine, although it did rise above the top of the pan while baking (but no spilling over). Once it was out of the oven and cooling, it shrunk down and fit perfectly in the pan. I used Pam’s Baking Spray on my Bundt pan, and the cake slid out without a problem when I was ready to cool it on the rack. I also used a skewer as my tester when testing to see if the cake was done; I normally use toothpicks, but they are not long enough to reach through this cake, so the metal skewer worked very well.

The cake is absolutely delicious. It is moist; it is very rich; and the addition of the lemon juice and zest gives it just a hint of lemon that is very appealing. It would be great served with a tiny scoop of ice cream or sherbet but when I say it is rich- trust me! A small slice is all you need.

In the interest of honesty, I wondered if it was really a Ritz Carlton recipe. I cannot verify that, but I did find the history of the Ritz Carlton hotel chain. The cake recipe is supposedly from the1920s; and according to their corporate website, the Boston hotel did open in May 1927, so I’ll give them credit! Apparently, there were hotels established in Europe before that time, as well. 

Below is a picture of my cake, with the recipe following. Give it a try! I think you will find it to be a great cake for special events, family get-togethers, or for that social/church buffet!


 Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake (1920s)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (I used 2% and it turned out fine)
6 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray or butter and flour 2 loaf pans or one large Bundt pan.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each one.

Add dry ingredients in three additions to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and zest.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake cake(s) until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool cake(s) in pan(s) for 15 minutes. Turn cake(s) out onto rack(s) and cool completely.

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