Apricot brandy pound cake

(FreeImages.com/Martyn E. Jones)


Makes two 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pans (about 8 servings each)

This cake has been among the favorites in my repertoire for decades. Serve one cake fresh from the oven; freeze the other to have on hand for unexpected guests. Top slices of the cake with dollops of sweetened whipped cream and brandied fruit.

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream
½ cup apricot brandy
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease and flour two 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pans.

Use an electric mixer to cream the butter in a medium bowl. Add about half the sugar and beat until it is well blended, and then add the remaining sugar. Beat until the mixture is fluffy, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Combine the flours, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Stir together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Alternately add the flour and sour cream mixtures to the butter mixture, stirring until just blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 1 ¼ hours or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes. Run a knife between the edges of the cakes and the pans, and then remove the cakes from the pans. Turn right side up and cool completely on the rack.

To store the cakes, after they are completely cool, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Add a layer of foil if freezing. Or, cut the cake into individual slices. Place the slices in zip-top bags; press to remove the excess air from the bags, seal, and freeze for up to 4 months.