Pound cake is a versatile cake that can be eaten any number of ways. You can eat it plain, topped with fresh fruit or ice cream, or even toast it. You might not think about cake as a food that you normally toast, but pound cake is the exception to that general rule. It is dense enough to hold up well to slicing and toasting, and toasting it amplifies the buttery notes in the cake while adding a little bit of texture to the exterior. In short, it makes a good pound cake even more delicious.
You can do it with slices of fresh pound cake, but the real magic is the way that the toaster breathes new life and flavor into a slightly stale cake that might otherwise be past its prime. The last quarter of any loaf of pound cake that I have is generally destined for the toaster – and I’ll also use this trick with frozen pound cake that I’ve been storing in the freezer and want to refresh. I enjoy toasted pound cake for breakfast and for dessert. For breakfast, I’ll often top the cake with a generous smear of jam. For dessert, I’ll opt for ice cream or a quick berry compote, like this one. The compote is made with fresh (or frozen) blackberries and raspberry jam, and it comes together in the microwave in just a minute.
There is one trick to toasting pound cake and that is to put the slices of cake into your toaster vertically, with the short side of the cake pointing up. Most toasters are too deep for a slice of pound cake to fit in horizontally, and you never want to have to poke around in your toaster with a fork just to get a stuck piece of cake out. Start slowly, as the cake is best when it is a light golden brown color.
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake is my favorite type of pound cake to use for toasting, but any unfrosted pound cake can be use, including Lemon Buttermilk, which is delicious with the berry compote. Chocolate Pound Cake can also be toasted, but I prefer to serve that one with both berry compote and ice cream.
Toasted Pound Cake with Quick Berry Compote
2 slices pound cake, 3/4-inch thick
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
Place pound cake vertically in the toaster. Toast until light golden.
Combine blackberries and raspberry preserves in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute (or 90 seconds, if using frozen berries), or until mixture is bubbling and the berries have softened slightly.
Place a slices of toasted pound cake on a plate and top each with half of the berry compote.