Southern Sweet: Pound Cake

Yogurt Cake with marmalade glaze

Image by 3liz4 via Flickr

Some Things He Likes; But He Loves Pound Cake!

Real Southern Man Mason Grissett is 4 years old.  He enjoys playing with his cousin Cade and sister Bella.  He enjoys University of Alabama football.  He likes to rake things in the yard.  But Mason Grissett LOVES his Great Aunt-Betty’s Pound Cake.  His Great-Aunt Betty has promised to make him one.  For weeks he has walked in his great-grandma Brown’s kitchen and inquired of every dessert, “Is that Aunt Betty’s pound cake?”  He loves this cake.  He desires it.  He is anticipating it.  It is that good.

Perhaps no other Southern cake dessert represents Southern cooking as well as the simple pound cake.  It is fairly basic in its formulation, yet lends itself well to endless customization.  The actual name pound cake derives from the original recipes that called for one pound of each main ingredient—sugar, butter, eggs and flour.  Today most recipes maintain the same 1:1:1:1 ratio, but use only 8 ounces of each main ingredient.

What is incredible about the simple pound cake it that it has the same ratio of the same ingredients as the simple sponge cake.  So what is the secret to the delicious pound cake?  The ingredients are added in a different sequence than a sponge cake—the pound cake creams the butter and the sugar first.  The eggs and the flour are then added.  And that simple difference sets it apart from other simple cakes.  The result is a dense, buttery treat that stands up well to different flavorings and additions.

The possible variations that Southerners have championed are endless.  Some add flavorings or extracts.  Some add fruits or fruit curds.  Some add sour cream, cream cheese or buttermilk. Some add chocolate.

Some say Real Southern Man Elvis Presley liked his made with whipping cream.

Southerners love this kind of variety and customization—and the pound cake obliges us all. The simple pound cake also allows for multiple applications.  Some swear by having some ice cream on the side.  Others want it with fruit over the top.  The author is partial to a slice toasted for breakfast.

Mason Grissett likes his pound cake straight, maybe with a glass of milk on the side. To be honest, though, he has yet to get his promised cake. He is still waiting, anticipating, longing for a slice of that most Southern of cakes, the pound cake.

To vote for Pound Cake in the Southern Sweets Showdown, visit our Facebook page or vote right here on the site.

Mason’s Favorite:

Aunt Betty’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

3 cups sugar

1 cup butter

8oz sour cream

6 eggs

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

¼ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon lemon extract

½ teaspoon rum extract

Cream sugar and butter together.  Add sour cream.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Alternately add sifted dry ingredients and eggs mixing continuously.  Mix in flavorings. Spoon into greased & floured tube or Bundt pan.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hr to 1 hr 10 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cake cool then turn out.

Or check out Elvis Presley’s Favorite Pound Cake.

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