Pound cake is dense and rich. (Its counterpart in bizarro cake world would be angel food cake.) For that reason, it's best paired with fillings that are bright in flavor (think citrus or berry). Its soft but sturdy texture provides the perfect counterpoint to an added element of crunch in its layers. For simpler affairs, this cake stands on its own with a drizzle of jam or sugar glaze. It's coffee and tea's best friend.
Honey Pound Cake
(Makes 10 cups batter, two tall 8-inch round cakes or three regular 6-inch round cakes)
20 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 ounces honey
8 large eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for the pans)
2 cups whole milk
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray and flour pans in your chosen size.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer), beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, and optional spices at medium speed until fluffy and lighter in color, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure there are no butter lumps, about 5 minutes. Drizzle in the sweetener on low speed until just combined.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, until completely combined. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through mixing and after adding the last egg.
4. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour to the butter mixture until just incorporated. Slowly add half of the milk until combined. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining flour and mix until just incorporated. Add the last of the milk and mix until combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans' positions halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, 45 to 55 minutes for 8-inch round pans or 35 to 40 minutes for 6-inch round pans.
6. Transfer the cakes to a rack to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a flat surface, like plates or a clean countertop. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting, filling, or storing.