Viennese Pound Cake

Sandtorte

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    8 to 10

    servings

Appears in

When a Viennese cake starts with a mixture of creamed butter and sugar, it is called a “sand cake,” easily recognizable as a relation of the English pound cake, the batter of which is made from one-pound weights of eggs, flour, butter, and sugar. In this recipe from the revered Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel, the weight of each ingredient is reduced to 250 grams (9 ounces). Notice that Demel has such confidence in the quality of their ingredients that the cake has no added flavorings, but you may add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the grated zest of 1 lemon or orange, if you wish. The cornstarch is important, as it cuts the amount of gluten in the batter and does a good job of reducing the cracked top of flour-only pound cakes. It bakes best in an 8-inch Gugelhupf pan, rather than the larger pan used in other recipes in this book.

Ingredients

  • cups (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • cups sugar, divided
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Using a cylinder-shaped pastry brush, butter the inside of an 8-inch Gugelhupf pan. Coat with flour and tap out the excess.
  2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty standing mixer at high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add ¾ cup of the sugar and beat, occasionally scraping down the bowl, until very light in color and texture, about 4 minutes. One at a time, beat in the egg yolks, beating well after each addition.
  3. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until they form soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining ½ cup sugar and beat until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Fold the egg whites into the butter mixture. Sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt together. In two additions, fold the flour into the batter. Spoon into the cake pan and smooth the top.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert and unmold onto the rack and cool completely.

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