Streuseled Maple-Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This is a classic cream cheese pound cake with a dense, moist texture to which we add the extra touch of Crown Maple Syrup. In the summer we top slices with fresh blueberries and grilled peaches brushed with a little maple syrup. A dollop of crème fraîche swirled with a little maple syrup finished the plate perfectly. In the fall or winter, layer cubes of the cake in the Roasted Apple and Plum Parfaits. A nice slice of cake is also great by itself with a cup of tea or coffee. Makes two 8 ½ by 4 ½-inch or 9 by 5-inch loaves.

Ingredients

Streusel Topping:
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons Crown Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
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Pound Cake:
8 ounces cream cheese, very soft
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup granulated maple sugar, sifted or buzzed in a food processor to remove large lumps*
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon Crown Maple Syrup
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously butter the loaf pans.
  2. Make the streusel topping:  In a small bowl, combine the flour, Crown Maple Syrup, butter, and pecans and mix together with a fork or your fingers. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until they are completely smooth, 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the white and maple sugars and salt and continue to beat until light and fluffy, 5 more minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Crown Maple Syrup and eggs. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the cream cheese mixture, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding more. Scrape down the bowl. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing on low until it is all incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beat for 1 more minute until the batter is completely smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Sprinkle half the streusel on each cake.  Bake for 35 minutes and then turn the oven down to 300°F and bake for another 45-50 minutes, tenting the tops of the loaves with foil if they get too dark. The cakes are done when a cake tester comes out clean and the crack in the top of the loaf is just barely moist. Remove the cakes immediately from the pans and cool them on a rack.

* The cream cheese must be very soft in order to make a smooth batter. Maple sugar and syrup do speed up browning, so watch the pound cakes carefully and tent them with foil if the tops get too dark before they are bakes through. You will have the best results with glass or lighter colored pans, as dark pans also hasten browning. But if the cakes get a little crusty on the outside, don’t worry; people have been known to fight over those end slices. If you can’t find maple sugar in a store near you, substitute light brown sugar.

Get more great recipes at www.CrownMaple.com