We’ve been back from Hawaii for a week. Eight days and nine long nights of endless jet lag bed hopping. Hawaii is paradise, but the jet lag is hell. It took back to school boot camp to rehabilitate the kids, and not a minute too soon. After spending Saturday night laying at the foot of the bed to escape the two little squirming bodies in my warm and cozy spot, I was ready to head back to Hawaii, all by myself.
Instead of running away, I’m keeping the Hawaiian paradise feeling going as long as I can in my cooking, with lots of coconut and vanilla. When things get bad, I have a little bottle of perfumed rehydrating water I bought at the Spa without Walls that smells almost as great as sitting under a frangipani tree. If I close my eyes and breathe deep, I can almost believe I’m back on the Big Island.
These individual vanilla coconut pound cakes were a great back to school snack surprise. We ate a surprising amount of pound cake in Hawaii, which Sophie promptly baptized vanilla pancakes. So basic, so comforting, just the thing for a family still dreaming of sunsets with feet in the sand.
I’ll have more details of our vacation, including restaurant and activity recommendations for families, later in the week. Until then, be good to yourself and treat yourself to the simple joy of pound cake.
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 cups of cake flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste
- ⅓ cups of shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butter a loaf pan (mine is 6 inches by 11 inches)
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it turns light brown and emits a nutty aroma. Stir and keep a close eye on it, as you don’t want to burn it.
- Transfer to a shallow bowl and put in the freezer to congeal and cool, for 45 minutes to an hour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the chilled browned butter and sugars together with an electric mixer. Beat them until creamy and light, at least 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time then add the vanilla and coconut.
- Add the flour mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon until just mixed. You don’t want to overmix batters once flour has been added as that increases gluten and makes for tougher cakes.
- Transfer batter to pan, smooth out the top, and place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake until golden and the blade of a knife comes out clean, 60 to 80 minutes.
- Cool for at least 30 minutes before turning out the pound cake onto a cooling rack.