01 February 2009

The Best Pound Cake

In my birth family I was known for never being able to get a cake out of a pan in one piece. I could make great pies, but whole cakes escaped me. However, when I got married, Mike's aunt gave me Southern Sideboards (Jackson Jr. League). In it was a recipe for Selma's VA Pound Cake. Mike had requested pound cake for dessert and being a newlywed, I wanted to try to make it. Well, I did it and it turned out of the pan perfectly! No more jinx. I tinkered with the recipe a little, and this is my version of that cake. It's been a success for 30+ years now. And it really did get rid of the jinx. I rarely ever have trouble with any cake coming out of the pan now.

Typically I bake this in a square tube pan that belonged to my grandmother, but it also works well in many other pans. Sometimes I bake it in a couple of loaf pans. In the loaf pans, I sometimes sprinkle some sugar in the bottom of the pan and lay in a few rose geranium leaves before adding the batter. One year DD#2 asked for pound cake for her birthday and I baked it in the sandcastle pan to surprise her. That turned out well.

Served on a sunflower 15" Fiesta pizza tray.

Another year she had a bee themed birthday and the pound cake got baked in Martha Stewart's bee skep pan. Did I mention this is her favourite cake?

One year a couple of 4th graders wanted to take Martha Stewart's igloo cake to school the day before winter break. They also did the snowing in of the igloos after they were baked.

As you can see the cake lends itself to a number of different presentations and toppings. My favourite is a simple lime/sugar glaze. The bee skep got a honey glaze. The igloos got sifted confectioner's sugar. Served with macerated strawberries and whipped cream is another fav at our house. And you know, it is great just plain. Because it really is THE BEST pound cake.

Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Grease and flour a large tube pan.

Cream butter and sugar till smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour a little at a time. Slowly add milk, flavouring and salt. Put in the baking powder last. Pour batter into pan and place in cold oven. Turn temperature to 325ºF and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan.

Notes: Other flavourings can be added as desired. Some I have used are:
rose geranium sugar in place of the regular sugar
added some food grade lavender flowers
added some lemon zest and used a lemon glaze

You get the idea.

Bookmark and Share


Alison said...

I love the Southern Sidesboards cookbook. I discovered it on the CK board and bought a copy on ebay. There's not a bad recipe in it, I don't think.

Becky said...

Alison, I've never tried a recipe from that I didn't like.