Take a look at this recipe. Does it look odd to you? It should. This pound cake recipe is actually a math word problem. You can use it to teach kids basic math skills while keeping them engaged and entertained in the kitchen. They can convert the listed amounts of each ingredient into other units of measurement, so instructions are easier to follow. For example, how many eggs do you have if you have 1/3 of a dozen eggs, plus 1? Print this recipe out for them, and also print out the recipe for Classic Pound Cake, which lists the ingredients in traditional measurements. Think of the classic recipe as the teacher's answer key.
Kids can portion out the ingredients using different weights and measurements to come to the same result. They could also portion out the ingredients twice — once by weight, once by volume — to compare the differences. When children discover that math is essential for making cake, complaints about it being “boring” magically disappear.
Storage Notes: Leftover pound cake can be tightly wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Extra pound cake may also be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.
- 285 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
- 3/5 of 1 pound granulated sugar, plus more for coating the pans
- 1/3 of 1 dozen large eggs, plus 1
- 120 milliliters whole milk
- 2 fluid ounces sour cream
- 2/3 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 kilogram all-purpose flour
- 1/3 tablespoon baking powder
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with butter or cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping the mixer and scraping the bowl between each addition. Add the milk, sour cream, vanilla and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder to aerate, add to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.
Sprinkle a little sugar in each loaf pan and shake the sugar around to coat the inside, then tap out the excess. Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake pulls out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely then remove the cakes from the pans, slice and serve. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if using.
From food writer and cookbook author Allison Robicelli.
Tested by G. Daniela Galarza.
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