A few days ago, Tim and I rearranged our work hours to go to the pumpkin patch in the middle of the day. We never found the pumpkin patch. Instead, where the map said the patch should be, we found a sweet little house and a lot of open land and, well, this:
Sometimes I forget how close you live to the country when you live in Nashville. The entire time we drove those sunny back roads, we never saw another human being. We saw the friendly guys above, some horses, a dog I thought was a llama and a large parcel of land with a big “for sale” sign, but there were no signs marked “pumpkins,” no arrows directing us a different way, so we drove the winding trail back to town, just us and the animals and the blue sky.
Back in town—Watertown, that is, population 1500—We found an antique store where the shopkeeper not only welcomed us in, but also told us about her daughter, talked about Maine, invited us back (“Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days”) and recommended another shop to check out. “Just before that old brick building, you see it? The open sign?
We visited a roadside stand with mums as big as toddlers, two of which now grace our front porch. We passed a high school marching band, practicing off Main Street. Then, I listened to Tim tell me about growing up in a small Ohio town where he and his brother would ride their bikes to the grocery store for their mom and where, when a person wanted Chinese food, he’d have only one place to pick.
So we didn’t come home with a pumpkin, but we did come home refreshed, which was essentially the point of the midday errand. Also, as everybody knows, you don’t have to visit a pumpkin patch to find pumpkin. And that brings me to today’s pound cake.
I like the idea of pound cake. It’s a name that sounds like what it means! According to What’s Cooking America, pound cake became popular in an era when many people couldn’t read and so being able to say “Use a pound of everything!” made a lot more sense than telling someone to memorize a series of steps you couldn’t write down.
The concept got me wondering about using flours besides all-purpose in a pound cake. Would einkorn still maintain the same proportions true to pound cake, provided I weighed it to measure rather than scooping out cups?
I am pleased to report it did. What’s more, incorporating a little fall flavor into the basic formula only took things up a notch. Below, a recipe for a true (half-)pound cake, based on a method that’s been used since the days when all towns were small towns and all cakes were baked at home.
Harvest Einkorn Pound Cake
Makes one cake
Traditional pound cakes don’t require baking powder or baking soda because they are leavened instead through eggs and air. Just eggs and air! Because of this, the initial mixing (creaming butter and sugar, then adding eggs one at a time) is important. While you’re creaming the butter with the sugar, you’re actually whipping air into the mixture, just as you keep doing with the eggs. Essentially, the more air bubbles, the lighter the cake’s crumb. If this seems overwhelming to you, don’t sweat it—Just follow the directions below, and you’ll be fine.
Note: Double this recipe to full pounds to make two pound cakes, each the size of a loaf pan. While weights are crucial here, I’ve also provided standard American measurements, should you prefer them.
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (1/2 pound) coconut sugar
4 eggs (1/2 pound)
Scant 2 cups (1/2 pound) einkorn flour
1/2 cup (1/4 pound or 4 ounces) pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heaping 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Butter a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, the einkorn flour, the pumpkin puree, the salt, the cinnamon and the vanilla, blending after each addition. (Alternate: mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, then alternately add these mixtures to the creamed butter/sugar. I was going for easy here, so I dumped everything together.) Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for an hour to an hour and a half, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.
24 thoughts on “Harvest Einkorn Pound Cake”
It’s so easy to forget how close to nature we can be, even when living in fairly large cities. It only takes us 30 minutes to leave the hustle and bustle of Rome behind but it’s still incredible how much everything changes within such a short distance. We are driving up north to Bologna for a wedding this weekend and while the destination is another (although small-ish) city, I cannot wait for the hours of driving and greenery that will surround us on our trip there.
As for the pound cake, I just made an Einkorn couronne, using wholemeal Einkorn flour, and it worked wonderfully, so I bet it works well in a pound cake. I generally find pound cakes lend themselves well to variation – I have tried a Kamut pound cake recipe before and it was wonderful. I also think a Rye pound cake would be delicious with some poached fruit on the side (quince if you can get your hands on them, failing that some pears or apples). I also tend to reduce the sugar by 1/3 and have never had any issues with how my pound cakes turn out.
Sophie, Why does everything so so romantic when it’s happening in Italy? “Leave the hustle and bustle of Rome.” “Driving up north to Bologna.” I love it! And the images of country surrounding the metro area, even in Italy. And as for pound cake, I saw your photo on Instagram and it looked amazing! I am so impressed!
I love your photos! 🙂 And, that cake looks AMAZING – great flavors!
Aw, thanks, Sara. You’re kind. : )
“…when all the towns were small towns.” Ok, I know I’m a romantic, but that sounds so wonderful. As does this cake. I love pound cake.
Isn’t it an interesting idea? To imagine America before skyscrapers and shopping malls? According to people who grow up in small towns, we’re romanticizing, but I can’t help it.
loving the new layout Shanna and the pound cake too of course! And I like that you’re displaying almost the full posts instead of just the first picture (as you used to i believe). I’m trying to display the full posts, but don’t seem to know how to do it! Some tips?
Thanks, Felicia! For our theme in Wordpress, we control how much is shown on the front page through “more” tags. I don’t know if that’s helpful or not? Feel free to email me if you’ve got more questions!
I love the way you can stumble across the most unexpected delights what you’re looking for something else (and there is nothing quite like Tennessee countryside).
A metaphor for life if ever there was one!
I love how you guys didn’t get frustrated that the pumpkin patch wasn’t there but were instead able to make the best of your day and find joy and beauty and antiques and mums.
A reoccurring life lesson for us has been to take what comes—in big things like future plans, in small things like driving country roads. We can’t control anything anyway, right?
Fancy pound cake. Thanks for sharing this cool photos.
You and me, girl. Einkorn lovers for life.
Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in the world when I’m using einkorn, trying to figure out how to use it on my own with no massive, trusted pastry text to guide me. But your posts remind me that I’m not alone, and that people are finding (lots) of success using einkorn as they would normal flour (for most things). <3
We’re a growing breed, Renee! I am hoping einkorn keeps growing more and more popular — It’s such a fantastic grain!
I so love this – what a wonderful place to live! And I haven’t baked – yet – with einkhorn flour but it’s on my to-do.
Oh, good, Nicole! Do it! We’re basically einkorn evangelists over here. : )
These recipes look wonderful. Just started an alkaline diet. Would you know if einkorn is alkaline. Thanks
I believe that when einkorn is sprouted, fermented, or “pre-digested” it is alkaline.
Thanks Tim 🙂
I can’t wait to try this recipe! If you’re looking for a plain pound cake, can you just leave out the pumpkin, or would I need to sub in something else for moisture?
That’s a good question. I honestly don’t know but if you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes.
Have you tried this recipe with a gluten free flour? I have been baking this pound cake since you posted It. But I have been having stomach issues with gluten for almost 4 months. Pumpking season just started and I dont find a decent recipe online.
Hi Natty, I haven’t! Based on my understanding of gluten-free four substitution, I would think you could try the same amount of an all-purpose gluten-free option here. Let me know how it goes!