Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Panetela: Pound Cake

 Panetela with whipped cream topping for the picture's sake. I like it plain or with ice cream.

I remember helping my grandmother make this panetela when I was barely four years old. She was very strict about how it was done, down to whether to stir to the left or to right, back and forth or all around. No electric mixers for her. The flour needed to be sifted three times. Everything was done very precisely.

As the years passed and my adult life became complicated, I pulled out the electric mixer, skipped the sifting, and hoped for the best, but the end result is not the same. So here it is as my grandmother instructed down to the triple sifting.

2 cups flour, sifted three times
2 tbsp baking powder (incorporate this into the flour)

1/2 cup (1 stick butter, not margarine)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract (the real thing)
pinch of salt

Let your butter sit at room temperature until soft. Let your eggs sit at room temperature so they are not cold straight from the refrigerator.

Using a fork, in a large bowl combine your butter with 1 cup sugar until creamy. Beat your eggs in a separate bowl and drop them into your mixture. Mix. Add your tsp of vanilla. Now switch over to a spoon. Slowly add a little bit of your flour (mixed with the baking soda) into your mixture and blend by  moving your spoon back and forth only (folding the batter), not circular (I know it's obsessive compulsive, what can I say?) dribble a little milk... back and forth, pour a little flour...back and forth, dribble a little milk...back and forth . . .  you get the picture. Somewhere in the middle of this routine add a pinch of salt. Back and forth. Once all your ingredients are combined into a smooth batter, pour this into a large baking pan or two smaller pans that have been greased.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Do not open the door until you've seen through the oven window that it is golden on top. Check for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the middle. You know the routine. To store it, you can cover the pan and refrigerate it.
Note: This is a basic recipe for panetela, from here you can elaborate. More to come in future postings. 


  1. Sharline, your comment came to my email, but I keep gettin an error when I go to post it. The topping is whipped cream, but I prefer to eat it plain or with vanilla ice cream. You can leave it in the pan and cover with saran wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate it.

  2. The last few comments aren't posting.

  3. Its ok about the comment. I just wanted to let you know that I made it and it was phenomenal! My husband and I just had a piece before heading to bed. My boys (1yr old and 3 yrs old) are going to love it in the morning!

  4. I'm happy to hear that Sharline! This is one recipe that is tried and true. Whoo Hoo!!

  5. ooh, I just noticed that the directions with the pictures are different than the directions at the beginning. The pictures say 2 cups of sugar, but the plain directions say only 1 cup of sugar. I made it with one cup of sugar.

  6. It is one cup. I'm trying to replace the picture now, but I'm having a lot of trouble with blogger this morning. Thanks for pointing it out.

  7. lol, blogger can be a pain sometimes. I bet if you edited like you did with the "four/flour" it'd be ok.

    Good to know I made it right. :-D

  8. Is the one stick of butter the one that's 1/2 cup, because I know there are some giant sticks and those are usually 1 cup butter. Just wondering I do want to make this panetela :)

  9. Nathan it's 1/2 cup. I'll be more specific in the future.

  10. Ivonne, right after Cuban bread pudding, this is my very favorite homemade dessert! I love to eat it with coco rallado (shredded coconut on heavy syrup) just out of the can! (I love just about anything with coco rallado on top, including flan) or, when I am absolutely in a homemaker mood, I made my very own ice cream and eat it á la mode. God, that panetela you made looks heavenly! To your health!