New Recipe: How A Cold Oven Could Take Your Pound Cake To The Next Level

According to cookbook author and bakery owner Cheryl Day, cold oven pound cake was likely developed by gas stove manufacturers to hawk their products. In her book “Treasury of Southern Baking,” she writes that these recipes “first appeared in advertising campaigns designed to entice homemakers into replacing their wood-fired ovens with the gas stoves that were being introduced to the American market in the early 20th century” (via Epicurious).

So why bake a cake in a cold oven? “Low and slow is the key to this cake,” Day told Epicurious. “That gives the leavening—baking powder in this case—more time to work. The cake is so dense with eggs and butter that it really needs the extra time.” Stuart Farrimond, author of “The Science of Cooking,” added that “The longer cooking time gives more time for the air bubble to inflate slowly, and so [it] give[s] a better rise.”

Jarrett Melendez of Epicurious tested Day’s cake recipe in a cold oven set to 325 degrees after the cake is placed inside and in a conventionally preheated oven. He found the former cake to be fluffier, with a more burnished crust and a full inch taller than the other cake. So the next time pound cake is on the menu, you might want to start it in a cold oven.

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