Forty-five different pound cakes. I’ve baked that many throughout my cake-baking history.
But this one -- my 46th -- is a checkerboard pattern of equal doughs, unlike any I’ve attempted before. This is the one I’ve elected to bake.

This triple-marble pound cake, from the September/October issue of Bake from Scratch, seems tricky to assemble, with its three distinct doughs. One is dulce de leche (melted caramel), one is chocolate (melted dark chocolate + cocoa), and one is vanilla. Indeed, I weigh each dough (11.13 oz. each) slowly and accurately, to ensure their fair representation.

In order to maintain my own unflustered patience, I wait to heat my oven until I’m done measuring and scooping and placing my doughs in the pan. Otherwise, I risk melting my scoops. A checkerboard pattern of dollops need not be intimidating. Just take your time.

Swirling the the final batters on top is the right thing to do, because we want the end result to be made up of a beautiful, random, scrumptious mix of flavors.

Once in the oven, I worry for my cake’s outcome. Will it look good? Will it feel good? Will it taste good? Baking for 1 hour 20 minutes feels more like four days, when you’re waiting for that perfect cake to come out of the oven.

But, guess what? My cake has risen beautifully! And look at the colors inside! Like a good pound cake, this one is soft and firm, sweet but not too sweet. Take a bite and you’ll want another and another. Unlike a typical pound cake, however, this is a patterned demonstration of what can happen when we bake with persevering confidence.

See how it’s turned out. Congratulations, everybody.