When it comes to dessert, my motto is usually “More is More.” A pan of plain brownies doesn’t cut it in my world. They need to have Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate syrup, dark chocolate chips and a shot of Kahlua thrown in. There are, however, a few things for which I am a purist. Shortbread cookies and pound cake, for example. Some things are just better in their pure, simple forms.
Don’t get me wrong – you can still add stuff, but the key is to keep it simple. To enhance, not overshadow. Sometimes, that’s a thin line to balance. For a girl who trips over her own two feet and walks into walls (this girl), that can be tricky. This week, I tried something that could have pushed ‘simple’ over the edge, but didn’t. It worked beautifully and started with some of my favorite things:
1. Lots & lots of butter, cream cheese and some gorgeous brown eggs
2. A bowl of soft, fluffy, sifted all-purpose flour; I’m a messy sifter
3. Macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and Cream of Coconut
4. A bag of dried tropical fruits – mango, papaya and pineapple
The result was a soft, moist, not-too-dense pound cake with all of the flavors of the islands. I’m not going to lie. My heart melted at the first bite. This, to me, is a perfect cake. No layers. No frosting. Just pure, delicious cake. It was super easy to whip up, and made two large gorgeous loaves. Here’s how I did it.
NanaBread’s Tropical Cream Cheese Pound Cake:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup Cream of Coconut
3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 6-oz. pkg. dried tropical fruit
To start, lay your butter, cream cheese and eggs out in advance. You’ll want them to be at room temperature when you start putting this together.
Preheat your oven to 325F. Spray 2 large non-stick loaf pans with Pam spray for baking (or grease & flour both pans).
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running, gradually beat in the sugar, then add the salt, vanilla, almond extract and Cream of Coconut. Beat until thoroughly combined. Turning the mixer down a notch, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder; whisk to blend well. Roughly chop the dried fruit into 1/2″ pieces, then add the fruit, macadamia nuts and coconut to the bowl of flour; stir until combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold until all of the flour mixture is incorporated. Divide the batter in half and spread evenly into each loaf pan. Tap the pans gently on the counter a few times to help remove air bubbles, then bake at 325F for 60-75 minutes, rotating once half-way through baking. The cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the top of the cake. You’ll want to keep an eye on it so you don’t over bake these. An over-baked cake is a dry cake.
Remove from the oven and place the pans onto wire racks for at least one hour. After one hour, remove them from the pans and allow them to cool on the racks for another hour. One loaf can be sliced and stored in an airtight container for now; the other loaf can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and zipped into a large freezer bag and stored in the freezer for later. Or you can make a friend’s day and share a loaf. It’s up to you, but I’d taste it first and then decide. You might just decide to hang on to both.
Note: This recipe was adapted from a cream cheese pound cake recipe by my blogging friend & baker Anne, the genius behind the From My Sweet Heart blog. If you haven’t seen Anne’s blog yet, you need to drop in for a visit. She’s a lovely lady and her love of baking shows in all of her recipes and photographs. If you drop in, please tell her I said hello.
16 responses to “Tropical Cream Cheese Pound Cake”
I’m with you on keeping some things in their pure and simple form. Shortbread cookies for one, but I am anxious to try some of the savory shortbread recipes I’m seeing. This pound cake does look moist and soft and clearly not as dense as some. Great recipe.
I’ve seen the savory shortbread recipes on the internet as well, and I’m a little cautious about trying them. It’s like ordering your favorite thing every time you visit a certain restaurant because you’re afraid anything else will be disappointing. I love simple buttery shortbread cookies so completely, I’m afraid rosemary or lavender just wouldn’t cut it for me. I’ll be interested to see if you try one on your blog. I’m a chicken, so I’m going to need someone else to go first. No pressure, Paula.
Oh Jeanne……this looks fabulous!!! You know…honestly….I usually will find a way to sneak coconut into almost any dessert….I love it that much! But when I first made this cake, I did so because I needed “pound cake croutons” for another recipe…..so I kept it pure. I LOVE the addition of the coconut flavors and the dried tropical fruit!!! And though the cake is nice and tender….don’t you just love the crust it forms on the top!?! You did a BEAUTIFUL job enhancing this cake! Now I’m wanting to make it again just to add “stuff”! Or…I could just come over for a piece of yours! ;- }
You know you’re always welcome, Anne. I’ll put a pot of coffee on.
PS – that crackly top is my favorite part, too!
OK…I’m seeing a recurring theme of tropical things across the dessert-web. I think ya’ll need to just pack up and come to where the coconuts grow! :) I’d let you climb my tree and get one even!
On that note–I think I will make this–it looks wonderful. And I already have my Bob’s Oats out and ready to find your recipe for granola…adding, of course–coconut etc! :)
I think I’ve made it perfectly clear that I’ve been on a coconut bender for several months now. I just canNOT seem to get enough. How bad is it? I found myself staring at whole coconuts in the produce section like they were gold bars. It’s sick. But I can’t stop. You don’t know how tempted I am to visit you in Hawaii just so I can climb that dang tree. On a more realistic note, I can’t wait to see your homemade granola!
I’m with you on the more is more! This looks awesome and oh how I love a slice of pound cake!
I love a good pound cake and I don’t care who knows it. :)
Now that’s a pound cake! Simple. Sweet. I’ve never seen Cream of Coconut around here, but I’ll be on the lookout for it. I can only imagine all the trouble that can happen with that stuff hanging around.
If you can’t find it, let me know. I’ve got a box of goodies started your for June’s OKMH. Happy to throw in a bonus Cream of Coconut so you can try it. Might also come in handy for a certain scheduled recipe exchange in mid-June. Pina-colada-whaaaaat?
Fact: I have only made pound cake once and it involved toasted pecans and being covered in ice cream and caramel sauce. Just so that I’m a rules-follower, would it be appropriate to serve this with Megan’s Coconut Frosting? OR would that be anathema?
p.s. I love that your Cream of Coconut comes in a shelf-stable container so that you can use it at will. I’m pretty sure they only sell the stuff in cans up here. Oh, The Tundra.
What do you mean you can’t find Cream of Coconut is a shelf-stable ‘use as you go’ container? Why are they trying to punish you up north? That’s just wrong.
Ya, I walk into walls too, always have. This cake looks so moist, and I just love the tropical flavors.
Ha! So glad to know I’m not alone, Kari! :)