For The Perfect Pound Cake Crust, Sprinkle A Bit Of Sugar On Top

Pound cake is a beloved classic dessert that's stood the test of time. When it was first introduced in the 1700s, the recipe called for exactly one pound each of sugar, butter, flour, and eggs. The past few centuries have brought about some modifications to make the dessert even more enjoyable, like putting the batter in the oven before preheating to make the pound cake bigger and fluffier. One factor that sets pound cake apart from other types is the added texture achieved by adding sugar over the top.

Not all pound cakes are created equal — for example, those with a sugar crust are always a cut above. When you sprinkle sugar over the top of your cake before baking, the topping caramelizes, adding a nice crunch to the otherwise soft and fluffy cake. If you've ever enjoyed a freshly baked blueberry muffin with a crunchy, sweet topping, you know the benefit of an added sprinkle of sugar. Even though there's already sugar inside the cake, the extra bit on the outside will add a hint of sweetness without making the cake too saccharine. A classic pound cake recipe calls for granulated sugar, so since you're already using it, you can easily sprinkle some on top.

Experiment with different types of sugar

Granulated sugar is super accessible, as most home cooks probably already have it stocked in their pantry. If you're going to the effort of making a pound cake from scratch, however, you might want to add a lesser-known (but equally delicious) sugar known as Demerara. Even though they share a light brown color, the major difference between brown and Demerara sugars is that the latter is considered raw and is made from cane syrup. The granules are coarser than granulated or superfine sugar, ensuring they don't clump together and that they retain a crunchy texture.

If you decide to use Demerara sugar, the top of your pound cake will have a firmer crust, as well as a slightly caramelized color and flavor. While you can sprinkle the sugar directly on top of your cake, you can also add Demerara sugar directly into the pan if you want some crunch around the cake's entire exterior. The key is to first coat the pan with cooking spray before sprinkling the sugar into all of the pan's crevices. The sugar will then stick to the cake batter throughout the cooking process. When adding sugar to the batter itself, however, it's best to avoid Demerara sugar, though brown sugar can be used to achieve a molasses flavor.