The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for firm ("carve-able") pound cake, or just cake, recipe

Kroha's picture

Looking for firm ("carve-able") pound cake, or just cake, recipe

Hello everyone, I will be making a 3-dimensional train cake for my son's and daughter's birthdays.  I have it all planned out and need to bake several pound cake in loaf pans.  The engine and the train cars will be carved out of those loaves.  I am wondering if someone has a recipe for pound cake that does not crumble or "melt in your mouth" but stays together well.  It can be another type of batter, I just need something firm and delicious.  I might make several flavors (chocolate, vanilla, whatever), so toddler-friendly variations would be fine.

Thank you in advance.


sicilianbaker's picture

The Professional Pastry Chef has all the recipes for sponge, pound cakes that are carvable.

its worth the price the book costs, its the same recipes the professional bakerys use so they are very reliable. I won't post the recipe on here because it wouldn't be fair to the author.

Chef Stacy's picture
Chef Stacy

Good Morning "Sicilianbaker".  I JUST joined the site, having found this post through a Google search.

Thanks for not posting the material from Chef Friberg's book.  As a fellow professional, his book is one of the several in my "Go-To Reference" library. I didn't specialize in bakery or bakery arts in school, but over the years I've expanded my skill set(s) and my clientelle is considered a niche market.  I recently decided it was time to update my professional reference books.  The two books for baking I purchaed were the one mentioned and Mastering the Art of Baking and Pastry from the CIA and I can honestly say that Chef Bo Friberg's is the one I always go to first.

I have the book in front of me and I was wondering about one of the recipes you referenced as carvable.  I do a great deal of sculptured cakes as of late. I am in total accord with you on both choices but have a question for you.

 The sponge cake in all it's varities are my standard for carved cakes, but there are times I really want/need to use a pound cake but my design calls for cake baked in pans which are not loaf pans or tube pans as sited in his recipes.  I love his Vanilla-Butter Pound Cake - it's a real hit with my clients (changed slightly to suit my taste).  However, I often need 1/2 sheets (my most common size) or various rounds - and so far my limited efforts/tests using those pans have not yielded me the kind of results I'm looking for - and yes for testing I used his recipes exactly as written. They are always fine when baked in the standard loaf, tube or bunt forms - but just can't find the right time/temp combo for the pans I use most.   Can you tell me what temp and time you use for 1/2 sheet at either 1 or 1 1/2 or 2" inch pans or any of your standard  round baking pan sizes?

The sponges are great for most carves items but sometimes a pound cake is really what I need - such as the cake I'm designing now for client.

Any help you can offer would be great.

Bon Appétit,

Chef Stacy

New York, NY 10128
Gluten-free/allergen friendly confections

Nim's picture

Do post pics of the trains after you are done...It sounds exciting!

Ryeblossom's picture

Use an old-fashioned pound cake recipe. Firm and delicious.

Beat together 1 lb. butter with 1 lb. sugar. 

Add one by one 1 lb. eggs (about 8-10, depending on the size of the egg), and mix well after each addition. 

Add slowly 1 lb. all purpose flour. 

Mix well for 1 more minute. 

Bake at 350F until done (I don't remember for how long, maybe 45 minutes or so). Check with a toothpick for doneness. 


That's the recipe I use for birthdays. NordicWare has a cute 3D train cake pan, and the above recipe would be enough for the whole pan + 5 or 6 more carts (if I'm not mistaken). They also have a locomotive pan.

Janknitz's picture

the pound cake before carving. It will be much firmer (but not frozen solid)