An Asian Inspired Pound Cake

condensemilk 1
Condensed Milk Pound Cake

I love condensed milk. I have not used it much in baking, but really, I should experiment with it more often. It is a common sweetener in Asian countries. I remember drizzling it in between a hot pandesal to have as breakfast or as a nighttime snack. It’s great drizzled on fruit too, from papaya to avocado and to the popular Filipino Fruit salad. I also know it makes a great pastry cream without cornstarch and this method is widely used in the Philippines.
I am happy that Pichet Ong frequently employs this sweet alternative to sugar throughout his book “The Sweet Spot” . I’ve always wanted to make his condensed-milk pound cake and was waiting for an opportunity to present itself.
This past weekend, we visited “hungry” hubby’s aunt in DC. Tea-time is a favorite in-between/after meal custom at her house and slices of pound cake with tea seemed like an ideal combination at the moment. The rain that hounded us all weekend even added to the desire to just hang out and drink tea.

Condensed Milk Pound Cake
from Pichet Ong’s “The Sweet Spot”

1 cup (8 ounces/226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 1/3 cups (7 ounces/200 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces/ 106 g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, chopped, or tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (8 1/2 ounces/ 239 g) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven 325 F. Generously butter an 8 1/2x 4 1/2 loaf pan and set aside.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
Put the sugar and the chopped vanilla bean, if using, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the vanilla bean is finely ground. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve and return the sugar mixture to the food procesor. If not using the vanilla bean, just put the sugar in the processor.
Add the butter and salt and process until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Add the condensed milk and pulse until well incorporated, about 15 times, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Add the sifted dry ingredients and pulse until no traces of flour remain, about 10 times. Add the eggs and pulse just until combined, about 5 times. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla extract if using and finish mixing by hand to fully incorporate the eggs.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool completely in the loaf an on a rack, then unmold.


A close-knit crumb

Cooking Notes

There were no gotchas at all with this recipe. It’s as simple as whirring it all together in a food-processor. How easy is that? My pound cake did not attain the dark brown color that was shown in the book, I’m not sure if it was because I used two smaller loaf pans than the one specified in the recipe.

Standing in line in the rain for cupcakes

The gloomy weather did not stop me from falling in line outside Georgetown Cupcake to savor the best cupcake in DC.

Lavash baker at Yas Bakery

We also did manage to visit several ethnic grocers to stock up on some ingredients not readily available in Richmond, Va.
Ahh and there’s nothing like warm lavash right out of the tandoor oven! I could easily fold this unleavened bread, while it is still soft, in several layers and stuff it in my hungry mouth with or without butter.

And now, I think I’m ready to brew some cardamom tea to go with my pound cake. 🙂


34 thoughts on “An Asian Inspired Pound Cake

  1. I love condensed milk and have yet to try it in baking so this recipe is a great inspiration! Was it too sweet though, with the half-cup of sugar?

  2. I really need to find the time to make all of your delicious recipes right away! Oh, how I would go for a pound cake like this. Beautiful photos!! P.S. where in the world did you get such a neat looking loaf pan?! Love it!! 🙂

  3. Hi Kamran – I got the cake pan from Sur la table. It’s disposable and I think they have it year round but mostly during holidays.
    Hi Dana- the cake did poof up quite a bit and yes I do love this disposable cake liners that make it easy to give as gifts.
    Thanks abowlofmush!
    Hi Cakelaw – definitely try using condensed milk, I’m gonna try to experiment with it some more.
    Hi Anh! yes, condensed milk is such a great sweetener!

  4. You had me at condensed milk, but adding in cardamom tea? That’s just mean! I have this book, but haven’t made anything from it yet. Sounds like this’ll be the first recipe to try – yours turned out beautifully!

  5. Thanks Rosa!
    Hi Caitlin! Yep, that pound cake went so well with the cardamom tea. I have only baked from the book twice, I need to try more of his recipes.
    Hi Lydia! My hubby does not like condensed milk…he doubts anything that comes from a can, but I grew up with it so I am used to it.
    Hi Felicia! I know what you mean about eating it on its own, I can easily do the same specially with some fruit!

  6. Looks lovely. I make an eggless version of this.
    I’m not really a fan of condensed milk, but I did like the taste and texture of this cake.
    Would love to know how pastry cream is made from condensed milk? The one without cornstarch?

  7. I love condensed milk on pandesal too, though it’s been years since I’ve done it. It’s like I’ve completely forgotten about that combo!

    And your pound cake looks like just the stuff for coffee in the morning (i’m not a tea drinker;))

  8. I love condensed milk! My dad used to eat it with a spoon, which I thought was kind of gross when I was little, but I totally do it now (in secret, of course). Did it change the texture of the cake? I imagine it would make it tender and kind of dense and sweet. It sounds amazing, especially with the cool weather. I don’t even care that it’s a million calories per slice.

  9. I LOVED condensed milk when I was younger. I used to lick it off the can! I don’t like sweet stuff so much now, but this cake would be a great trip down to childhood memories! 😀

  10. mmmm I love a good slightly sweet bread with coffee or tea. Very sweet of you to make this to bring to the auntys. Hope you guys had a nice weekend

  11. I have cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk in the pantry. I’ve been seeking out the perfect recipe. I do believe this is it. Perfect!

    I’m going to give it a try first chance I get because my grand-daughter has requested a Strawberry Shortcake Party for her 7th birthday and she will be coming to my house to celebrate. (she lives very far way:(

    Veron, what’s your thoughts on the notion of your pound cake becoming a Strawberry Shortcake? I’m a bit worried because I’ll be searching for delicious strawberries in November!

  12. I’ve tried this recipe too – was fascinated by the fact it had condensed milk in it. Result was nice though not something I’ve craved since. Always pleasing to get a bit of pound cake and a cup of tea every now and then 🙂

  13. I love condensed milk. I grew up putting it on pandesal too. I made some Tres Leche cupcakes once and all I wanted to do was eat the condensed milk a spoonful at a time

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