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Does a Pound Cake Really Weigh One Pound?

Pound cake is thought to have originated in Europe in the 1700s, and some food historians point to France as its birthplace. In 1795, the first mention of pound cake in the United States appeared in American Cookery, the country’s first cookbook, which was published in Hartford, Connecticut. The original recipe was pretty simple -- mix a pound (.45 kg) each of flour, eggs (usually 10 eggs), butter, and sugar, and bake slowly. However, that recipe, which calls for four pounds (1.8 kg) of ingredients, produces a whole lot of cake. Today’s bakers usually use smaller quantities, mixing in cups of ingredients instead of pounds.

Let them eat lots of cake:

  • In the United States, sour cream pound cake is a popular variation. Some bakers add vanilla or almond flavoring, and occasionally dried fruit.

  • In France, pound cake is called quatre-quarts, or "four fourths."

  • National Pound Cake Day is observed on 4 March in the U.S.

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