Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Caramel Cascades Icing

This cake is crazy good! sensational! heavenly!……….
You’ll have to take my word on this, although I know many who would testify that this is true. I have co-workers who beg me to bring this to work. There is never any left to bring home, not even a crumb, much to the chagrin of my dear husband!

A number of years ago, when I visited my son at college, I brought this cake along to share with his roommates. I found out later that, before his roommates caught wind of the fact there was cake in the house, my son hid it in a secret place claiming, “It was just too good to share!” In defense he said, “You know mom, they really wouldn’t have appreciated it!” Now my son is usually quite kind and generous, but this cake brought out a whole other side of him. 🙂 Of course once you try this, you’ll understand his predicament!

I’ve been making this cake for years and it has become a signature Café recipe. It’s been touted to cure just about any ailment that’s known to man! (at least that’s what my friends say when they’re vying for me to make one for them, hehe!) I love to take it to potlucks, to new moms and to friends who just need a sweet touch of love.  It doesn’t take long to throw together and the caramel frosting, along with being incredibly delicious, can be drizzled on in any pattern that strikes your fancy! Try it for yourself. Expect rave reviews. Just know this……….. once you taste it, you might not ever be the same again!

P.S. This is an amazingly simple way to make pound cake compared to the traditional way which involves creaming the sugar and the butter, then adding the dry ingredients alternatively with the wet. It comes out perfect every time – you can read more about it here.

Poppy Seed Pound Cake

3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
½ cup crisco
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
5 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 recipe Caramel Cascades Icing

1. Spray a bundt pan very well with Bakers Joy or grease and flour carefully (I usually spray the pan then, with a paper towel, rub the sprayed shortening into all the crevices and lightly spray one more time. 

2. Place flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, extracts, baking powder and salt (in that order) in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
3. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. 
4. Pour into the well greased bundt pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until  a wooden skewer or cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost as directed below.

NOTES : 

-This is wonderful with Caramel Cascades Icing or just sprinkled with powdered sugar. 
-I like to use Crisco sticks. They are alread pre-measured – just use a 1/2 of a stick.
-I always use skim milk because that is what we drink but you can use any kind of milk.
-I gave this recipe to a friend a number of years back- her bundt pan was smaller than mine and she had quite a mess in her oven after the cake started rising. I measured my pan and it holds 15 cups of water to the brim – if your pan is smaller than this, you might want to divide the batter and make a small loaf cake also.
Caramel Cascades Icing

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup milk, (I use skim)
4 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided (you may need a bit more)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons espresso powder (this only gives the tiniest hint of coffee flavor but is mostly used to give the icing an beautiful deep color)
½ teaspoon almond extract (optional, I think it makes the cake taste quite fine)

1. Place butter in 2 quart microwaveable bowl. Melt butter in microwave for 1 minute on high. Add brown sugar and milk and whisk until brown sugar lumps are dissolved. Place in microwave and cook for 2 minutes on high. Mixture will boil furiously.

2. Add 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and whisk until well mixed. Add vanilla and almond extract.

3. Place cake on cooling rack with cookie sheet or aluminum foil underneath rack. Slowly pour frosting over cake covering all surfaces. Let frosting drip for several minutes. With spatula, scrape frosting back into bowl. Add 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar or enough to make frosting thicker but not too thick. (You want to be able to drizzle frosting in ribbons over cake.) With whisk or table fork, drizzle frosting over cake in pretty pattern (like a cascading waterfall!). Wait several minutes for frosting to harden slightly and then repeat drizzle of frosting, building up several layers. Let cake sit for at least 30 minutes before transferring to a platter. (I like to take a small dull knife and gently smooth the edges at the bottom of the cake). Pour yourself a cold glass of milk and mmmmm your way through one or two pieces!

PRINTABLE RECIPE



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