Monday, May 4, 2009

Grandma Mac's Perfect Southern Pound Cake

A perfect pound cake like Grandma' used to make, moist, tender, light, fluffy, creamy and buttery, all at the same time. Shown here with my skillet peaches.
In my mind a perfect pound cake like Grandma's, is moist, tender, light, fluffy, creamy, and buttery, all at the same time. Shown here with my skillet peaches.

Grandma Mac's Perfect Southern Pound Cake

Was it wrong to have pound cake for breakfast? If there were peaches involved?? Or strawberries with real whipped cream. 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 gave her old house to one of my cousins who helped her around the house a lot, and I have no idea what happened with all her things, but I sure would have loved to have had Grandma's old bundt cake pan.

I think Miss Edie, a long time family friend, may have gotten it, but if so, she was a deserving recipient. Her family once lived right 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 moved 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 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.

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.

I've included my skillet peach recipe, shown above, but if you want to add some strawberries instead, it's very easy. 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 a southern pound cake is just so dang good - I sure hope ya try this version someday!!

For more of my favorite cakes, visit my page on Pinterest!

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Recipe: Grandma Mac's Perfect Southern Pound Cake

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour 10 min

Total time: 1 hour 20 min
Yield: About 12 servings

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

Tip: When measuring flour for making cakes, stir or whisk flour in the bag or canister, then spoon it into the measuring cup to overflowing, using a straight edge to level off. Avoid scooping the measuring cup into the flour, which compacts the flour, causing you to use too much and resulting in a more dense and dry cake.

Skillet Peaches: Toss 4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (or 1 pound frozen sliced peaches, thawed) with 2 tablespoon lemon juice; set aside. Melt 1 stick butter in a skillet, adding 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Blend 1/4 cup bourbon/whisky (may omit) and add peaches, stirring regularly until peaches are well glazed. Spoon over pound cake with a scoop of ice cream on the side. Drizzle pan juices on top.

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

Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Omit the margarine and substitute 1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, softened at room temperature.

Chocolate Pound Cake: Add 5 tablespoons of unsweetened baking cocoa (like Hershey's) and use only the vanilla extract. For an added chocolate boost, add a generous squeeze of Hershey's syrup.

Lemon Pound Cake: Prepare as above, except eliminate the extracts and substitute 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and the zest from one lemon.

Lemon 7-Up Pound Cake: Substitute 1 cup of lemon lime soda (like 7-up or Sprite) and add zest from one lemon. Reserve lemon juice for powdered sugar glaze, if desired.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on May 4, 2009

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