FOOD & DRINK
10/27/2014 07:00 am ET Updated Oct 28, 2014

This Is Why Pound Cake Is Called Pound Cake

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Pound cakes are one of the easiest things to bake. It's one of those cakes you can just whip together and impress people with. You don't even need a recipe to make one because the recipe lies within the name.

Pound cake gets its name from the fact that it calls for a pound of flour, a pound of butter (yes!), a pound of sugar and a pound of eggs. That's it. If that sounds like a lot of cake, you can cut the ingredients in half -- so long as the ratio remains the same, that's all that matters. Pretty simple, huh?

The original recipe dates back to the 1700s, but today many variations can be found on this simple cake. People have begun adding leavening to make it less dense; orange zest to give it a burst of flavor; chocolate to make it more, well, chocolatey. That's the beautiful thing about pound cake: it's a blank canvas -- that's pretty much food proof -- for whatever your heart desires.

But what we like most about this cake is how successful it is at liberating the amateur baker from the rigid guidance of recipes. The amount of times people have been told that baking is an exact science is enough to scare anyone from getting creative in the kitchen. But with a pound cake recipe -- one that you can cook off the top of your head -- experimentation becomes simple. And that's when great baking begins to happen.

Give it a try, you'll see. But if you're not ready for that kind of baking freedom, check out the pound cake recipes below.

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