Monday, May 4, 2009

Grandma Mac's Perfect Southern Pound Cake

In my mind a perfect pound cake like Grandma's, is moist, tender, light, fluffy, creamy, and buttery, all at the same time.

Grandma Mac's Perfect Southern Pound Cake

Was it wrong to have pound cake for breakfast? If there was fruit involved?? If it is, I don't care.

My grandma was known for her pound cakes. If there was an occasion, she made a pound cake for it. If we were coming for dinner to her house, she made a pound cake. If she came to your house for dinner, she brought a pound cake. And they always came on a pretty plate that she did not ever expect you to return. In fact, if you did happen to return it, she might be likely to bake you another cake!

Grandma lived to be almost 98, and actually lived on her own up until those last couple of years. By the time Grandma died, my Daddy {her son} and my Mama {her surrogate daughter} had also both passed and in those last months of her life she had been taken to live in north Alabama with an aunt on my father's side. She left her old house to one of my cousin's who helped her around the house a lot, and I have no idea what happened with all her stuff, but I sure would have loved to have had Grandma's old bundt cake pan.

I think Miss Edie may have gotten it, but if so, she was a deserving recipient. Her family once lived by Grandma, and even after they moved into another home not too far away, she made regular stops to visit and check on Grandma, up until she passed away. I'm still hoping that maybe one day that pan will show up at my house.

Like most everybody else, Grandma's original pound cake started off with a pound of flour, butter and sugar, but like most, also evolved a bit over time. I can tell you that three different family members have given me three different recipes that they all say were Grandma Mac's recipes and that they each got directly from her. Seems Grandma, like most other cooks, went about changing up the recipe over the years.

I relied on the recipe that one of her sons, my Uncle Jim, who has taken on the roll of the bearer of pound cakes at every family event, has passed on to me. For my cousins who may pop by here to grab Grandma's recipe, the only variation I made was to decrease the salt from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon since I use kosher salt and to increase the baking powder to a full teaspoon from 1/2.

In my mind a perfect pound cake like Grandma's is moist, tender, light, fluffy, creamy, and buttery, all at the same time. You just cannot get that out of a box. This recipe meets all of that criteria.

If you want to add some strawberries, just slice and mix 'em up with a goodly bit of sugar in a glass bowl, cover and then set them aside in the fridge to macerate, giving them a good stir every once in awhile. By the time you bake and cool your pound cake, they'll be good and ready. A nice custard sauce is excellent too. Y'all this cake is just so dang good - I sure hope ya try it someday!!

Recipe: Grandma Mac's Perfect Southern Pound Cake

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 12 servings

  • 3 cups of presifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of margarine, softened at room temperature
  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of whole milk or half and half
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla or almond extract
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons of lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour or prepare a 12-cup bundt pan with Baker's Joy baking spray; set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; set aside.

Beat the butter and margarine on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time and continue beating on medium until mixture becomes fluffy. Add eggs, one a time, blending each egg in completely before adding the next.

Reduce speed to low and begin to alternately add the flour mixture and the milk into the creamed butter, starting and ending with the flour, until all is fully incorporated. Add the extracts and blend it in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out the top evenly. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Place the pan onto a cooling rack and cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out onto the rack to cool completely.

Cook's Notes: My grandmother used Gold Medal flour for her cakes. I use White Lily. Sift flour, then measure. I use all butter instead of margarine and I also mostly use all vanilla though I mix flavors at times.

Tip: When measuring flour for making cakes, spoon flour into the measuring cup to overflowing, then use a straight edge to level off, rather than scooping the measuring cup into the flour, which compacts the flour, causing you to use too much and resulting in a very dense and dry cake.

Sour Cream Pound Cake: Omit the milk, add one additional egg and 1 cup of sour cream.

Chocolate Pound Cake: Add 5 tablespoons of unsweetened baking cocoa (like Hershey's), increase sugar to 2-3/4 cups, and use only the vanilla extract. For an added chocolate boost, add a generous squeeze of Hershey's syrup.


Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.
Check These Recipes Out Too!

Apple Upside Down Cornmeal Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Banana Maple Bundt Cake

Posted by on May 4, 2009

Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Umm that looks so good Mary. I love pound cake anyway you can make it. I love paulas grandmother pauls poundcake as well. I guess I am a sucker for sweets.

  2. I think pound cake sounds great for breakfast! It is no worse than eating a pancake slathered with syrup. At least you were getting in a serving of fruit. Sorry you didn't end up with your grannys cake pan or recipe. My grandmas chocolate mayo cake went with her too and I wish I had it.

  3. It's NEVER WRONG to have pound cake for breakfast. ever.
    yumma lumma !!
    I LOVE AND ADORE POUND CAKE, and will most definitley try this out :)

  4. Thanks for your support ladies! ;) I've never been much of one to follow the 'rules' anyhow!

  5. Oh that looks so good. I think it makes a very nice breakfast!! My Ma-Maw used to make a sour cream poundcake--talk about good. Sad to say, I didn't get that recipe from her either--or her watermelon pickles or her chicken and dumplings. I guess I kind of thought she would always be there and I would have time but life has a way of sneaking up on you and before you know it, it is too late. Sheila in NC

  6. Oh this looks so good! I will be making this very soon.

  7. thats such a sweet story. I love grandma's (and miss mine)....I will probably try this recipe just because of your story.

  8. Aww, A few years ago (probably 10-15), my grandma started giving away all her important stuff to the kids and grandkids, so no one would fight over anything when she died. I guess she thought she was going soon, but she's not going anywhere soon, I can tell! :) And I did feel blessed to get a tea cup and saucer from the china set she had from her great-grandmother (or something like that), that had sailed across the sea to come to america.

    But your right, it's real just important to keep things like that in the family, and not sent to goodwill.

    Thanks for this tasty recipe! I've been wanting to make your strawberries with fluff, but didn't want to buy pound cake, lol, I'm a little cheap sometimes :)

  9. Sheila, I know! I'm STILL tryin' to recreate my Grandma's chicken spaghetti and I'm sure that it's simple. It's not the kind with cheese in it and I'm pretty sure she used a hen, but I can't quite get the seasonings the same. She knew it was my favorite so she'd fix it special for me! Wish I'd of watched her sometime. She made a killer roast too that was just so tender and full of flavor.

    Thanks Lou Ann! Please let me know if you do.

    That Girl - I really miss my Grandma too. And my Mama. And my Daddy. Waaaa.... I'm gonna cry!

    Krystal, it's really easy to make too and truthfully LOTS better than the store bought kind if I don't say so myself!

  10. I know what you mean about after a death everything getting discombobulated and things not going where they should. It's funny, my remaining siblings descended upon my late mother's house like a cloud of locusts and while I cared nothing for the "valuable" things, it's the little homey weird things that I miss -- the beat-up kettle, the shoeshine box with the broken hinge, the German weatherhaus. *sigh*

    That pound cake looks so good it ought to be renamed "Grandma Mac's Put on the Pounds Pound Cake"!!!

  11. Same here Penniwig - those are the same sorts of things I would have wanted from her too and funny thing, those are very often the things most people throw away or donate!

  12. I absolutely treasure the few special items that came to me after I lost my grandma, great- grandma and my husband's grandma. I'm fortunate that I have a signature recipe from all three and I love to cook or bake them and think of "the grandmas". I usally make them for holiday dinners so that they are specially remembered by the family on that day.

    I bet your grandma your grandma would be proud of this pound cake. It looks so good with those fresh berries!

  13. Poundcake for breakfast is certainly ok, it pairs so well with coffee:) This looks and sounds absolutely delicious.

  14. The recipe looks and sounds delicious.

    My grandmother passed away 3 days shy of her 101st birthday! SHe lived on her own as well.

    Inspirational ladies, to be certain.

  15. I have a pretty strong feelin' that I inherited my Grandma's 'constitution' so I 'warn' my son all the time to watch out, cuz I plan to live to be 100 and will be around a looooooong time. :)

    Thanks everybody!

  16. I really need to make a cake!

  17. I'm going to make this pound cake Mary, because 1) I love pound cake, 2) I love grandmas, 3) I love to hear people reminisce.

  18. Hi Mary!

    I love your site! I look forward to it everyday!

    I have to tell you I decided to make this cake for a friend who just had a baby. Well... Dumb me didn't realize that bundt pans actually came in different sizes and boy did I ever have a mess in my oven! Yikes! Smoke alarms, the whole bit. Now having said this, I am a decent baker and cook - but my mind was having a serious moment yesterday.

    So I cleaned it all up and started over. Used a bread pan and my 8 cup bundt pan. And it was so worth it! Wonderful!

    Keep up the great posts!

  19. Oh my gosh Tracie! I am SO sorry!!

    I am truly sorry for all that drama, YIKES, what an experience, complete with smoke alarms!!! I am glad that you loved the cake though!!

    If it's any consolation, I've done the very same thing before - not with this recipe but with others (yes, I've done it more than once) I was trying for the first time. Now if I try a cake I've not done before, I put a pan underneath to avoid that mess again!

  20. Great idea!

    Now let me add to the funny! I live in Wheeling WV - it is hot and muggy here. And of course our AC broke Monday. So... what do I do? decide to clean the oven after my mess. How hot did my house get? LOL it sure did make me and the hubby laugh at my antics.

  21. Overflowing cakes make a mess, so I guess you had no choice, but if my A/C broke I'd be livin' in a hotel! I don't think I could stand it!!

    Have a great weekend!

  22. Hi Mary,

    This evening my 7 year old son & I
    made Granma Mac's poundcake...It is in the oven as we speak...and it
    smells so good..He wasn't sure he would like it because he never had it before you know how 7 year olds are...loved licking the bowl and beaters...he said.." I think I will like this Cake... Thank you
    for sharing the receipe with us.

  23. Awww Faith, so sweet! Let me know what you think!!

  24. Can I just come on over to your house? I would be big as a house if I did!

  25. Sure Karen! Come on over!! Course, we don't generally eat like this EVERY day unless of course, WE decide to start a southern food blog LOL!! Truly this pound cake is THE BEST. I swear!! :)

  26. I had a slight disaster the last time I made pound cake. It turned rock hard upon cooling! I think I left it in too long and I had my oven on fan forced. So next week I'll try your recipe and fingers crossed they don't turn into 'pound cookies' as my wonderful boyfriend called them! He even called his mother in SC to tell her what happened and I was so embarrassed. I definitely think my oven was too hot using the fan forced so I'll use the regular function this time around.

  27. Hi Su - fortunately I never have experienced that issue - but then I only have a straight electric oven - sounds like you have a convection oven? I am totally clueless on those! Hope you enjoy!!

  28. Hi oven is much too fancy for me! It's also electric, but 'multi-function' and has 9 different settings. The regular setting other than fan-forced would be conventional.
    Either way, that's what I'm going to put it on next time, as I believe fan-forced can also dry the cake out.

  29. Hi Su! I DREAM of a beautiful Viking oven, but I live in an all electric house and there are no gas lines. To cook on a gas stove I'd have to install gas lines and a propane tank outside. My old electric oven has been on it's last legs for years, but keeps hanging in there. You don't see me bake much here because it is so hit and miss with that old oven. Once it finally dies out I'll have to decide what I want to replace it with, but to be honest, all these new ovens are a bit intimidating to me!! If you make this cake, and you think about it, please let me know how it goes!

  30. Thanks Mary, the recipe went great this time around. I used the regular setting on the oven, not fan forced, and it stayed soft and moist. I also used buttermilk instead of half & half (I can't buy half & half, and I wanted to use up the buttermilk I had).

    So all up, it went well!

  31. Oh good Su! I've never done this particular recipe with buttermilk but I'll bet it was still pretty good! Glad it went well.

  32. Just want you to know that this recipe is like my grandmothers poundcake recipe!

    Like you grandmother she would alwasy bake her pound cake for us to enjoy.

    You site and recipes are excellent, and it is the best Southern recipe/food sit I have been to and I have been to thousands!

    Your recipes remind me of my family recipes, and I come from a long line of excellent Creole cooks from New Orleans and Lake Charles Louisiana.

    Thank you so much for the great recipes and photos!

    Your site is a true pleasure to read, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

  33. Oh my gosh - thank you so much!! I feel very honored to share my kitchen. Hope to see you again!!

  34. I have you on my Facebook. Saw this recipe and had to try it. I made it today. Not only did it look pretty but it was so delicious. Just had another piece while typing this. Thank you for sharing all your recipes. Your the best, Eve

  35. Eve, you are so welcome!! I am so glad that you enjoyed it and thanks so much for taking the time to come back and leave your comment - means the world to me!! Try a piece toasted - it is incredible.

  36. Thank you so much Mary. I've been asking around for this recipe and I'm so glad that you've gone through the test and trial process of creating Grandma Mac's Pound Cake. I have one of those plates that she gave Mom with a pound cake on it. I will definitely use it with the recipe you're provided. I'll even post a pic when I make it too. Thanks for sharing the memories.

  37. I think I am going to make this right now or in the next lil bit!! :D

  38. My cousin makes a fantastic "pound" cake, although her's is referred to as a butter cake instead. Funny thing is, she doesn't use butter, but Crisco instead! I'm telling you, it is awesome! Everyone is always looking forward to when she shows up with the cake. She even stated that once Crisco took out the transfat several years ago, that her cake has never been the same! It's still great though. I made one last week, and it is so gooooood! Question...I saw a mention of a syrup cake, but haven't found it on the site. Is it still here? I'm going to look again. Thanks so much!!!

  39. I started following you on Facebook and I am happy that I found your site. You have wonderful recipes and great stories that accompany them. Today, I made the pound cake, it looks delicious but I am following the recipe and will not eat until tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your recipes with others. Merry Christmas!

    1. I hope you enjoy the cake - try a piece toasted. Divine!! Merry Christmas to you too!

  40. I found your site in a Google search and I am so happy that I did. Thanks for sharing your recipes and the stories that accompany them. Today, I made the pound cake, as difficult as it is I am refraining from eating it today. It looks and smells delicious. Again, thanks for sharing your recipes with others. Merry Christmas!

  41. Grandma Mac pound cake recipe does not say anything about adding the margarine after softening it and it does not mention adding the lemon extract before baking. Can you help with this because I am making it today. Thanks

    1. Oh gracious, I guess I didn't word that very well did I?! You cream the butter & margarine together (I just use all butter myself but Grandma Mac used the combo) and you add the extracts together (I mix the flavors up at times but mostly use just vanilla). Hope that helps!

    2. Thanks that helps and I am going to make it now. Love your recipes.

  42. I can't wait to try this recipe. Can I use reg salt instead of kosher? If so, would the amt needed be the same.

    1. Absolutely! I list kosher because that's what I use, but most real bakers don't I don't think. :)


Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog.

Related Posts with Thumbnails