Hello! It’s Monday and I am feeling the Monday blues like whoa this week. I mean, I’m ready to get into this week and get after things, but there’s always that lingering wistful feeling for the weekend that sort of hangs over Mondays. BUT, I’ve brought us a pound cake with a subtle whiff of marsala in the batter and a honeyed-marsala drizzle on top that should assuage those Monday feelings.
This cake took a few attempts before I landed on this one (including one loaf-sized iteration that overflowed all over the oven floor!) and it was well worth the effort because what we have here is a fine-crumbed cake that’s dense, like a pound cake should be, without being heavy and remains moist for days–making this the perfect cake for making in advance. Both the batter of this cake and the glaze are flavored with sweet marsala wine–the same wine you’d find in the creamy layer of a good tiramisu. The marsala in the batter comes through more subtly while the glaze punches it up a bit. Both give this cake a sweet, faintly boozy aroma that becomes more complex as the cake rests. Which brings me to the best thing about pound cakes, besides eating them with loads of fresh berries and whipped cream, is that they keep so well! The flavors just meld and the crumb retains its moisture beautifully, which means you can make this ahead of time to nibble throughout the week, or save it for the weekend and serve it as an elegant and easy dessert.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2½ cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup sweet marsala wine
- 1 cup sour cream
- for the glaze:
- 3 tablespoons mild honey
- 3 tablespoons sweet marsala wine
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray, or butter, a 10-inch tube pan (angel food cake pan) well with cooking spray.
- Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl and set aside.
- Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the marsala. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream in 3 additions (begin and end with the flour) until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and rap it gently on the counter to release any large air bubbles. Bake the cake on the center rack of the preheated oven for about 70 minutes, or until the cake is deeply golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Meanwhile, mix the honey and marsala together in a small saucepan to make the glaze. Heat the mixture on the stove and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and brush on top of the still-hot cake. Let the glazed cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely. Serve with berries and cream.*
- Wrap any leftover cake well in plastic wrap and store at room
tempraturefor up to 1 week.
You can also bake this cake in a 10-cup bundt pan.
*This cake is delicious with marsala macerated berries--just sprinkle the berries with sugar and a splash or marsala. You can even add a splash of marsala to some whipped cream if you want. Both are delicious!
Since there is alcohol in the glaze (and in the berries, if you choose to serve them that way), this cake isn't appropriate for children or people who should not consume alcohol.