I’m really trying to make Mother’s Day easy this year. That is, I wanted to share recipes, like Monday’s super easy butterscotch croissants, that are quick and simple, with easily accessible ingredients. This recipe is a nice ‘mix and bake’ that dads and sons, daughters, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or brothers could all get together and whip up for mom without problems.
Granted, vanilla beans aren’t always easily accessible for everyone, but the beauty of this recipe is that you can easily substitute grated orange or lemon zest, rum, or other ingredients in place of the vanilla.
Plus, look how adorable they are? At least as minis like this. Super cute!
These are perfectly delicious just like this, withsweet icing, or also excellent with a scoop of ice cream, or…
Yes, that’s how I really feel. It’s so fragrant and dense, yet fluffy, and utterly delicious. And that icing. Mouthwatering. Yes. I went there, okay? Get over it.
Make it. And don’t forget cherries on top. Because I said so.
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
with Vanilla Bean Icing
Makes 2 8.5×4.5-inch loaves, 1 standard bundt cake, or 24 mini bundts
FOR THE CAKE
(For lemon or orange, replace the vanilla bean with 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon or orange zest, reduce the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon, and add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon or orange juice)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 vanilla bean
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 eggs, plus 6 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
FOR THE ICING
(For lemon or orange, replace the vanilla bean with 1 teaspoon finely grated zest, and replace the vanilla extract with 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon or orange juice)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
To make the cake: Grease and flour your baking pan(s), being sure to get into the corners and curves thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter on medium high speed for a few seconds until smooth and shiny. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Mix the seeds and the butter together on medium high speed for about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl.
With the mixer on medium high speed, very slowly add both the white and the brown sugars. Continue mixing until the mixture is light and fluffy, and almost white in color (heavily speckled with the vanilla seeds), about five minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice, as needed.
While the butter is mixing, combine the eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl, or large measuring cup, and mix together lightly. When the butter mixture is ready, reduce speed to low and slowly add the egg mixture in a thin stream, until insorporated, then beat in the salt.
Sift one cup of the flour on top of the batter and gently fold it in with a spatula. Repeat this process twice more, until all of the flour is used and the batter is mixed completely.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s), spreading it evenly, and bake for about one hour for loaves, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes for a standard bundt, or 12 to 15 minutes for mini bundts, until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack, and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the pan. You don’t have to remove the cake from the pan until its cooled completely, but I like to turn bundt cakes out onto flat serving dishes or cake plates while they’re still hot. This will help them flatten on the bottom so they sit more level-ly. Cool completely before icing.
To make the icing: In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar together with 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Stir in the vanilla extract. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into the icing until evenly distributed.
If your icing is to think, add more cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. The icing should drizzle easily, but still be thick enough that you can’t see through it. I achieved this consistency with 4 tablespoons of cream.
Pour or drizzle the icing over the cooled cake(s).
Recipe by Darla