A friend of mine has been out of work for an extended medical leave. She was able to finally return to work yesterday, so I brought a pound cake to celebrate. If you don't live in the Southern United States, you might not understand pound cake. Growing up in the Midwest, the only pound cake that I ever knew was the straight from the freezer-case grocery store type. We moved to the South over thirty years ago and not too long afterwards, I was introduced to REAL pound cake - WOW!YUM!MMMMM!AMAZING! This is a totally different animal than the take-it-or-leave-it cake that I had known; dense and buttery sweet with a lovely golden brown crust that seems to melt on your tongue.
When a co-worker brought a delicious pound cake to work one day many years ago, I knew I had to have the recipe. I began to make pound cake myself, one of the first steps to becoming a bonafide "Southern Lady"! Real pound cake is not difficult to make, but does involve a number of steps including creaming the butter and sugar, combining the dry and wet ingredients separately and then alternately adding them to the creamy butter, being careful not to over-mix or under-mix. Not exactly rocket science, but I did have a few flops until one day I was perusing through Southern Living. (a magazine all fine Southern ladies read!) I was intrigued when I read about a super easy method that could be used with any pound cake recipe. They had validated this method in their test kitchens and declared it to be a success. Really........? I was a bit doubtful, but decided to give it a whirl. I am here to tell you that I have spent many years making pound cake by this method and it definitely not only works but seems to be foolproof!!
The co-worker who I blame for my pound cake addiction is Wanda. Wanda is a great cook but she is a pound-cake-maker extraordinaire!! She has been known for years in her circle of family and friends for her fabulous pound cakes and I have heard that people will beg, borrow and/or steal for them! :)When I shared this easy method with Wanda she was quite skeptical too, but tried it and became a believer. Nowdays, she can whip up her amazing cakes one, two, three.........
AND SO CAN YOU! Give it a try, expect rave reviews, you might not ever be the same!
P.S. This cake is sensational on its own or with a light dusting of powdered sugar. This time I did add small bits of raspberry (the polka dots) and, since it is LEMON WEEK, I am including a recipe for a lemon icing that will rock your socks! 🙂
Southern Living Easy Method for Making Any Pound Cake
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Layer in mixer in this order; flour, sugar, butter and shortening, milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder
3. Beat at low 1 minute.
4. Scrape sides of bowl.
5. Beat at medium 2 minutes.
6. Pour batter into a well greased and floured 10 inch tube or bundt pan.
7. Bake at 325 for l hour and 30 minutes or until it tests done in the middle.
8. Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
9. Removed from pan and cool completely.
Lemon-Raspberry Polka Dot Pound Cake
1 ½ cups frozen raspberries (With fingers break up the raspberries into small frozen pieces. If they are frozen too hard to crumble let them sit out for a minute or two but do not let them unthaw - crush while frozen.- if your fingers get too cold, just run them under warm water for a few seconds. Place crumbled frozen raspberries back in freezer while preparing the batter.
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
½ cup solid shortening (like Crisco, do not substitute more butter for the shortening - this is what makes the pound cake so moist!)
1 cup milk (I usually use skim because that is what we have in the house)
2 teaspoons vanilla
zest of two lemons
5 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
powdered sugar or Lemon Icing
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease your bundt or tube pan******* very well. I use a baking spray like Baker's Joy, rub it into all the grooves with a paper towel and then spray lightly one more time - it is a sad day when your pound cake sticks to the pan 🙁
3. Place flour, sugar, butter, shortening, milk, vanilla, zest, eggs, salt, and baking powder in bowl of a stand mixer.
4. Beat at low speed (#1 on Kitchen Aid mixer) for exactly one minute. (I use a timer.)
5. Scrape down sides of bowl and then beat at medium for two minutes (#6 on Kitchen Aid mixer). Gently fold in the frozen raspberries.
6. Pour into well greased pan and bake at 325 for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (I usually set my timer for one hour and check - if cake is getting too brown, I cover with foil for the remaining time.)
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
8. Flip from pan onto cooling rack and cool completely.
9. Enjoy just like it is (the Southern way!), dust with powdered sugar or ice with Lemon Icing.
1 stick butter
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup milk
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 2-pound bag powdered sugar
1. Place butter, milk and granulated sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl.
2. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring after each minute, until all sugar is dissolved. (Mixture will bubble furiously.)
3. Remove from microwave, add 5 cups of the powdered sugar and whisk, adding powdered sugar as needed until you have a thick but pourable frosting.
4. With cake on a cooling rack placed over a sheet of foil (to catch the drips), drizzle frosting attractively over cake. (I use my whisk to do this part.)
******* I gave this recipe to a friend a number of years back- her bundt pan was smaller than mine and she had quite a mess in her oven after the cake started rising. I measured my pan and it hold 15 cups of water to the brim - if your pan is a lot smaller than this, you might want to divide the batter and make a small loaf cake also.