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Buttermilk Pound Cake

May/June 1994

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Pound cake gets its name from the traditional pound of butter used to make it. This low-fat version uses a combination of pureed canned pears and canola oil, along with a touch of butter, for a moist, rich result.


Buttermilk Pound Cake

Makes: 16 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 16-ounce cans pear halves in light syrup, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg whites

Preparation

  1. Puree pears in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly, until reduced to 1 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. (As the puree thickens and spatters less, gradually increase the heat to speed the process.) Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 10-inch tube pan or coat with cooking spray.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until the butter turns a light, nutty brown, about 60 seconds. Pour into a small bowl, stir in oil and set aside.
  4. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon zest, egg yolks and the butter-oil mixture to the reserved pear puree and whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, in two additions, folding with a whisk just until blended.
  5. Beat the 4 egg whites in a clean mixing bowl with clean beaters until soft peaks form. While continuing to beat, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the pear puree mixture with a rubber spatula. Turn the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool, right-side up.

Nutrition

Per serving: 277 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 31 mg cholesterol; 56 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber; 254 mg sodium; 107 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (23% daily value).

Carbohydrate Servings: 4

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1/2 fat


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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Moderate
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Servings
8 or more
Preparation/ Technique
Bake
Meal/Course
Dessert
Ethnic/Regional
American
Publication
May/June 1994
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