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Sugar-crusted vanilla pound cake

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for sugar-crusted vanilla pound cake.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus cooling, standing
  • Serves 8
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Sugar-crusted vanilla pound cake
Pound cake is so called because traditionally it was made with a pound of each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. This version uses panela sugar in place of some of the more traditional white sugar, adding a caramel flavour and a crunchy sugar crust. It's best eaten on the day it's made.


  • 250 gm softened butter
  • 125 gm each caster sugar and panela sugar (see note)
  • Finely grated rind of 1 mandarin and 1 lemon (juices reserved for sugar crust)
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 250 gm (1 2/3 cup) plain flour, sieved
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Sugar crust
  • Juice of 1 mandarin and 1 lemon
  • 60 gm panela sugar
  • 40 gm caster sugar
Crushed strawberry cream
  • 80 gm strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp panela sugar
  • 400 gm crème fraîche


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170C. Beat butter, sugars, rinds and vanilla in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (5-6 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in flour and baking powder. Spoon into an 8.5cm x 22cm loaf tin buttered and lined with baking paper, smooth top. Bake until golden and cooked through (45 minutes-1 hour), cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack.
  • 2
    For sugar crust, combine juices and sugars in a bowl and stir until dissolved, then spoon over warm cake. Stand until cooled to room temperature.
  • 3
    For crushed strawberry cream, combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl, coarsely crush strawberries and stand until juices leach from strawberries (4-5 minutes). Whisk crème fraîche in a separate bowl until thick and smooth, fold in strawberry mixture and serve with sugar-crusted vanilla pound cake.


Note Panela sugar is produced mainly in Colombia, where it's usually sold in block form; in Australia, it's more often seen as a granulated product.
Drink Suggestion: A pot of good old English breakfast tea. Drink suggestion by Max Allen