Salted caramel pretzel pound cake
Serves 10 | total time
For the cake
- 75g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 200g caster sugar
- 150ml soured cream
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g plain flour
- 35g cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp milk
For the buttercream frosting
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tbsp milk
- a handful of snack-sized salted pretzels
For the salted sauce
- 80g soft light brown sugar
- 85ml double cream
- 30g unsalted butter
This is best eaten fresh, but will keep for 1 day in an airtight container.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line a 22cm x 11.5cm x 7cm loaf tin with baking paper. In a freestanding electric mixer bowl, beat together the butter and caster sugar for about 5 minutes. Mix together the soured cream, eggs and vanilla in a jug.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the soured cream mix and the flour mix to the butter and sugar alternately, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the milk to loosen the mixture, then scrape it into the prepared tin. Bake for 50–60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool fully.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the butter in a bowl until soft and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat for about 4 minutes until bright-white and pillowy. Add the vanilla and milk, beat until fully mixed, then set aside.
- For the sauce, mix all the ingredients with ½ teaspoon salt in a small pan; heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 1 minute before turning off the heat. Let it cool enough so you have a thick, drizzle-able sauce.
- To frost the cake, spread a generous amount of frosting over the top of the loaf and arrange the pretzels on top. Drizzle with the caramel sauce before serving in hearty slabs.
Recipe from Made in the USA by Florence Cornish, published by Kyle Books, priced £18.99.
Spoiler alert. This is not strictly a pound cake. But, saying that, it comes pretty darn close and is a real showstopper with minimal effort.