Pound cake is a Southern tradition, but a really good one requires a little work. In most recipes, butter and sugar must be beaten together for at least seven minutes. If you're short on time, you can have this cherry pound cake in the oven in less time than it takes to beat the butter and sugar in a from-scratch pound cake. How? Use a package of cake mix.
This is my shortcut version of a very good recipe that appeared in Southern Living Magazine many years ago.
The recipe can serve as a base for other quick-and-easy pound cakes. Consider using chocolate cake and pudding mixes and regular or white chocolate chips, white cake mix and coconut or white chocolate pudding mix with drained crushed pineapple (think piña colada cake) or spice cake mix and French vanilla pudding with grated apple for an apple spice cake.
In all of these variations, substitute another liquid (water, pineapple juice or apple juice) for the maraschino cherry juice.
The cake is perfect for end-of-the-school-year gatherings (I took it to my children's school last week as part of an after-concert dessert buffet) or for a cookout or picnic.
White cake mix
Vanilla instant pudding mix
CHERRY POUND CAKE
For the cake
1 package white cake mix
1 package (small) vanilla instant pudding mix
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained (reserve juices), stems removed and chopped, about 1 cup
For the glaze
2 cups confectioner sugar
4 tablespoons reserved maraschino cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
Set oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a Bundt or tube pan with nonstick baking spray.
Combine the cake mix, pudding, eggs, water, oil and almond extract in a large bowl and beat 3 minutes with an electric mixer.
Fold in the chopped cherries.
Spoon the batter into the pan and bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the glaze: Stir the sugar, water and almond extract together in a bowl until smooth.
Drizzle over the cake.
Makes 10 servings.
Reach Karin Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See her prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on television station WJBF (Channel 6). Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/karincalloway.