Monday, March 5, 2012

The Very Best Pound Cake

This is my all time favorite pound cake recipe.  It's not dry, as some are apt to be, it's not too heavy/dense, and it's very versatile, which always earns big points for me.  I got this from a lady I used to go to church with, who got it from another lady she went to church with - suffice it to say, it's fed plenty of Baptists with no complaints.

Pound Cake
1/2 lb. butter
1c. shortening
3c. sugar
5 large eggs
1/4tsp. salt
1/4tsp. baking powder
1c. milk
1tsp. vanilla - overflowing
1tsp. lemon extract
3c. all purpose flour

Lay out your butter, eggs and milk for approx 30min. to bring to room temp.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour a bundt or tube pan.
Add flavorings to milk and sift your dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.  Add dry ingredients in thirds, alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Pour into your pan and bake for 1hr. 25min.  I test by inserting a toothpick into one of the cracks that will be in the top of the cake.  When it comes out with just a few crumbs, it's done.

Chocolate - Add an additional 1/4c. milk and sift 1/2c. cocoa in with the other dry ingredients.
Lemon - Omit the vanilla and use 2tsp. lemon extract.  Also, add the zest of one lemon into the creamed mixture.  Finish off by using the juice of half the lemon you zested, mixed with powdered sugar to make a lemon glaze. 

This cake can be iced, dusted with powdered sugar, or drizzled with glaze.  It's also heavenly used in place of shortcake with some fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  I've even used this recipe for a wedding cake at the request of the bride, who went to church with the lady this recipe was orginally acquired from.  She had grown up eating it at church dinners and it was her favorite.  For that, I ommited the lemon extract, using more vanilla in it's place, and iced it with an intense chocolate frosting.  Though I thought it an unusual request at the time, with ivory flowers for the decoration, it was actually a pretty striking cake.

We usually make this with palm shortening, raw sugar and unbleached flour, but Crisco, white sugar and regular, bleached all purpose flour work fine too.

The cake pictured above is the lemon version, which is my personal favorite.  Well, next to the plain with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

I've linked this post with The Homestead Barn Hop, The Country Homemaker Hop, and The FarmGirl Friday Blog Hop. 
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  1. The best recipes are almost always the ones that have been well passed around!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks - it is. I even had to sneak a little sliver before going to bed.
      And I have to give my daughter Bree all the credit. She made this one.

  3. Instead of the all purpose flour, salt and baking powder, can you substitute self rising flour?

    1. No, you can't do that. There is the equivalent of 1&1/2tsp. baking powder and 1/2tsp. salt to each cup of flour in self rising flour. Since this recipe only calls for 1/4tsp. each of baking powder and salt, to the 3c. of flour, the self rising flour contains too much salt and levening to work for this cake. In fact, one of my children accidentally put self rising flour in the all purpose tub once and the pound cake Bree made (using this recipe), blew over the top of the pan and ran down in the bottom of the oven. We didn't know until the spilled batter cooked and then burned. It was a mess.

  4. Ahhh.. That explains so much. Hahah. Thanks trying this one tonight!