Pleasing Pound Cakes

-- By Alabama Living Magazine
Grandma’s Pound Cake

Go to almost any cookbook on your shelf, and chances are there are multiple recipes for pound cake. In the popular Calling All Cooks Two, (Telephone Pioneers of America, Alabama Chapter 34, 1988) we found 49 recipes for pound cake alone, with variations involving flavorings, the number of eggs, and types of glazes. There are recipes using cream cheese, sour cream, almond extract, vanilla flavoring, orange juice, milk, and even bourbon. Cecil McMillan, owner of the famed Blue Moon Inn in Montgomery, includes a six-ingredient recipe for “Easy Pound Cake” in his cookbook, noting, “You can let your children make this.” His “Sour Cream Pound Cake” was “so popular at Georgia Baptist Hospital,” he writes, “that we often served 24 lbs. a day in the cafeteria.”

The earliest pound cakes are believed to have originated in Great Britain in the 1700s, and as the name suggests, called for a pound of each key ingredient: eggs, flour, butter and sugar. Cooks later modified the original recipe to their own needs, adding baking powder and flavorings so the cakes evolved into desserts their families liked and preferred. The name “Pound Cake” endured, however, and the popularity of this basic cake has lasted for generations. Our readers confirmed this by sending us more than 40 different recipes. Enjoy the ones we’ve printed here, and save us a piece!
– Lenore Vickrey


Cook of the Month: Susan Harrison, Dixie EC

Susan Harrison found a recipe for “Selma’s Virginia Pound Cake” in an old cookbook several years ago, and tweaked some of the ingredients to give it the signature taste of her Lemon Pound Cake. “I substituted lemon juice for some of the milk in the batter,” she says, “and I added the lemon zest, and instead of almond extract (used in the original recipe), I used lemon extract.” She also added lemon zest to the glaze, “and that really makes a difference.” The lemony flavors have made her pound cake a favorite of her family. “I make it a lot for my family and often keep one in the freezer,” says the retired home economics teacher and State Department of Education administrator. “It freezes so well, and it’s really best when you warm a slice in the microwave.” We’re ready for a piece right now!

Lemon Pound Cake

                1 cup butter, softened

                ½ cup solid shortening

                3 cups sugar          

                5 eggs

                2¾  cups + 1 tablespoon flour

                3/4 cup milk

                ¼ cup lemon juice

                1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                1 teaspoon lemon extract

               Zest of 2 lemons

                ¾ teaspoon baking powder

Cream together butter and shortening. Add sugar and continue to cream until perfectly smooth (about 10 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended. Add flour a little at a time. Slowly add milk, then extracts and lemon zest. Add baking powder last. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. If a tube pan is used, cut a piece of wax paper to fit and place in bottom of pan. Pour cake batter into pan and place in a cold oven. Turn temperature to 340 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Remove cake from the pan. When completely cooled, glaze cake.

Glaze:

                2 cups powdered sugar

                1 lemon, juice and zest

Add juice to powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar or juice until desired consistency is obtained. Stir in lemon zest. Slowly pour over cake. This cake freezes well. Slices can be reheated in a microwave oven.


Pecan Pound Cake

                1 cup butter or margarine

                3 cups sugar

                6 eggs, separated

                3 cups cake flour

                ¼ teaspoon baking soda

                1 cup sour cream or yogurt

                2-4 cups pecans, chopped

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.       Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside about ¼ cup flour. Combine remaining flour and soda, add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Fold in stiffly beaten egg white. Dredge pecans in reserved flour and fold into batter. Spoon batter into greased and floured 10-inch tube or bundt pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1½ hours. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Wanda Monk, Cullman EC


Family Favorite Pound Cake

                1 pound butter, room temperature

                1 pound box confectioner’s sugar

                3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

                ½ teaspoon baking powder

                7 large eggs, room temperature

                1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla to mixture and blend well. Sift flour and baking powder together and add to the mixture. Beat at medium speed 1-2 minutes. Pour batter into greased tube pan. Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for one hour or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Debbie Spurlock, Pea River EC


Grandma’s Pound Cake

                6 eggs, room temperature

                1 pound butter, room temperature

                1 cup milk, room temperature

                3 cups sugar

                ¼ teaspoon salt

                1 teaspoon almond extract

                4 cups all-purpose flour

Cream butter, sugar and salt. Add almond extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating really well. Add flour and milk a little at a time and beat well until batter is smooth. Grease a 10-inch tube pan well and dust with flour. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour 40 minutes.

Carmel Icing:

               2 cups brown sugar

               ½ cup half and half

               6 tablespoons butter

Cook all ingredients slowly in heavy pan until it forms a soft ball when tested in water. Remove from heat and beat by hand until it starts creaming. If icing hardens before you are finished, you may add a little more half and half to keep it spreadable.

Edwina Faith Bell, Clarke-Washington EMC


Cream Cheese Pound Cake

                3 sticks butter

                3 cups sugar

                2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

                6 eggs, separated

                3 cups plain flour

                2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream butter, sugar and cream cheese thoroughly. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and add creamed mixture. Beat egg white until stiff. Add flavoring and egg whites. Pour into a 9-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 1½ hours.

Ceffie Peterson, Dixie EC


Chocolate Pound Cake

                3 sticks butter or margarine

                3 cups sugar

                5 eggs

                3 cups flour

                ½ cup cocoa

                ¼ teaspoon salt

                1¼ cups milk

                1 tablespoon vanilla

                ½ teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and add sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Add vanilla before last flour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake in greased and floured tube or bundt pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cook’s tip: I like to heat a can of chocolate icing and drizzle over cake. Optional: garnish with peanut butter cups.

Beth McLarty, Cullman EC


Amaretto Butternut Pound Cake

                2 sticks lightly salted butter, room temperature

                6 extra-large eggs, room temperature

                3 cups sugar

                3 cups all-purpose flour

                1 cup sour cream

                ¼ teaspoon baking soda

                2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

                2 tablespoons Southern Flavors butter nut flavoring

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare pan with butter and flour. Sift 3 cups flour. Measure again and place back into sifter with baking soda, sift again. Cream butter, add sugar, cream again. Add eggs one at a time. Blend in sour cream. Add flour mixture, blend. Add amaretto and flavoring, blending gently. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Turn into prepared pan. (Cook’s note: I use an angel tube pan, bottom lined with parchment paper.) Bake for 1½ hours. Remove from oven. Place on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Helen G. Johnson, Central Alabama EC


Red Velvet Pound Cake

                1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature

                3 cups sugar

                5 large eggs

                3 cups all-purpose flour

                1/3 cup cocoa

                ½ teaspoon salt

                ¼ teaspoon baking soda

                1 cup whole buttermilk

                1 1-ounce bottle liquid red food coloring

                1 teaspoon white vinegar

                1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup bundt pan with baking spray and flour. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beat in 1 at a time. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, alternately with wet ingredients. Beat at low speed just until combined after each addition. Bake about 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze.

Cream Cheese Glaze:

                3 ounces cream cheese, softened

                1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

                1 tablespoon milk

Mix and drizzle over cooled cake.

Linda Lee, Cullman EC


Cynthia’s Banana Pound Cake

                1½ cups shortening

                2 cups sugar

                4 large eggs

                2 cups mashed ripe bananas (6 medium-size bananas)

                1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

                1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                3 cups all-purpose flour

                1¼ teaspoons baking soda

                1/4 teaspoon salt

                1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes.              Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Combine bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Combine flour, soda and salt; add to shortening mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in pecans. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove cake from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

Janice Bracewell, Covington EC


Brooke Burks

Buttermilk Pound Cake is a real treat for the old-fashioned pound cake lover. Traditional pound cakes are made with lots of butter and eggs. This creates a texture that any good pound cake lover knows is next to heaven. Adding buttermilk to the recipe makes for an even more moist cake that cuts the sweet just enough, making room for any type of delicious sweet berries or even a glazed topping. You won’t be able to get enough!

Buttermilk Pound Cake

               2 cups cake flour

               1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

               1 cup softened, unsalted butter

               1 1/2 cups sugar

               3 eggs

               2 teaspoons baking vanilla

               1/2 teaspoon butter extract

               3/4 cup buttermilk

This cake starts with a cold oven, so no preheating! Prep a bundt pan or tube pan with butter or cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar with a mixer for three minutes until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and butter extract and mix well.

Alternate buttermilk and flour on low speed until all incorporated. Do not over-mix! Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Turn out onto cake plate and enjoy! Especially good served with lemon curd or berries!

Themes and Deadlines:

Nov.: Pies | August 7
Dec.: Cinnamon | September 4
January: Winter veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, collards, turnips, etc.) | October 2

Please send us your original recipes (developed or adapted by you or family members.) Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” once per calendar year.
Online: alabamaliving.coop
Email: recipes@alabamaliving.coop
Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014
Montgomery, AL 36124

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