Pound Cake- A recipe in the family for about 150 years
The Pound Cake has a long history that dates back to the 1700’s. The well know cake originally obtained its name from the quantity of the ingredients used to make it…a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, a pound of eggs, and a pound of butter. Over time many variations of the cake have been made and the quantity of the ingredients has been decreased.
For me, this cake is very special and brings back many wonderful memories. This recipe was the “ go to recipe for my family. My mother did not bake much, but when she wanted a cake this was the recipe she used.
My sister found our Mama’s recipe for the Pound Cake after her passing and she had it copied onto a cutting board. I have this very special cutting board hanging in my kitchen.
Each time I pass the cutting board and look at the recipe, I smile and think, yep, that was Mama cutting back on sugar and fat when able and that was just like Daddy to add it back.
It is heart warming to see their handwriting and also their personalities from the changes they made to the recipe. Mama added Lemon extract, changed the recipe from butter to margarine and decreased the amount of sugar. Daddy changed it back to butter.
This recipe is from my Grandfather’s sister. It is thought that this recipe came from their mother (my Great Grandmother). That would make this recipe approximately 150 years old since she was born in 1861. Who knows, maybe she got the recipe from her mother? That could be possible since pound cakes have been around since the 1700’s.
My version of the recipe is a combination of both my mother’s and my father’s changes to the base recipe.
Old-Fashioned Pound Cake
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- Mix it all together
2 sticks of soften unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract (generous…spill over the measuring spoon a little bit)
1 Teaspoon Lemon extract (generous…spill over the measuring spoon a little bit)
Butter Softening Trick:
I did not have a chance to place the butter out to soften and allow it to come up to room temperature. To speed up the process, I will frequently grate the butter instead of waiting for it to warm up and soften on its own. During the time it takes to prep the ingredients (measure the sugar and measure out the flour) the grated butter will be at room temperature and will cream up nicely.
- Cream butter with sugar.
The recipe calls for Cake flour. I did not have any on hand, so I removed 2 Tablespoons of Flour per cup (total of 4 Tablespoons) and replaced the removed flour with a 2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch per cup (a total 4 Tablespoons of corn starch).
2. Sift the flour into the creamed butter
3. Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon extract
4. Pour batter into buttered and floured tube pan. Pam spray with flour works great.
This tube pan was the official pound cake pan of my mother’s. It was a wedding gift to her and my father in 1957. A Bundt pan works great too.
5. Bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes. When done, the pound cake will be golden brown around the edges, pass the clean tooth pick test, and will be slightly pull away from the sides of the pan.
Keeping with nostalgic family theme, the Pound Cake was placed on my mother’s cake platter. Another one of her wedding gifts.
- Avoid over mixing to prevent a tough cake
- Use your mixer to just bring the ingredients together and then use a rubber spatula to mix
- This is a dense tight crumb cake that has a bouncy texture. It is not a crumb cake that is loose and soft.
I hope you enjoy this classic Pound Cake. It is perfect to serve by its self with a cup of coffee or maybe with some berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) on top with whipped cream. Let me know how you enjoyed this cake in the comments.