Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Very Tall, Buttery Pound Cake ~ Mother Taught Me How

My mother would serve a piece of cake to you, then immediately rip it out of your hand so she could examine the texture...always a big concern of hers.  Now, my children complain they can't enjoy anything I make without my barraging them with questions about it...like mother, like daughter, I guess!  

I have a cute little story to share with you:  When we were young, we had a neighborhood grocery store.  My mother sent my sister (she was probably about seven or eight years old) to the store to get a pound cake.  She was gone quite a while; and when we checked on her, she was weighing every cake in the store to find one that weighed exactly one pound!  We submitted this story to the local newspaper's magazine section, and it was printed along with a cartoon drawing of her weighing the cakes...which we felt looked just like her, ponytail and all!

I adapted this pound cake from a recipe I found in the newspaper many years ago, and it has quite a history. The Reverend Beverly Asbury named his cake The Bishop Asbury Pound Cake.  There was a Bishop Francis Asbury; however, Reverend Beverly Asbury was unaware of any family connection.  This is as close as I've seen to a true pound cake, which would actually have one pound each of the main ingredients.  It's tender and buttery and definitely the tallest and richest pound cake I've made...so, if you want to wow everyone with your pound cake, this would be it!

                                                      Oh, Wow!

                         
                                          That's One Tall Cake!
                                          
Approximately 12 large servings

Ingredients
  • Non-stick baking spray
  • 1 lb. butter with salt (4 sticks - or - 2 cups), room temperature
  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. eggs (about 10 large or 8 extra large), room temperature
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8th tsp. ground mace spice
  • 4 c. all-purpose plain flour, sifted (In the South, we use White Lily--it is ideal for creating light and fluffy baked goods, as it is milled from only 100% pure, soft, red winter wheat.)

                                           Oh, What a Pretty Texture!


                                          Mother Would Be Proud!

Directions
  1. Grease and flour a 10" tube pan (not a Bundt pan...the batter will overflow) with the non-stick baking spray.  If you use a tube pan with a removable insert, please see my Very Happy Birthday Pound Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting with photos on how to line the pan with wax paper.
  2. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below the one you will bake the cake on, just in case your pan leaks a little grease and/or cake batter.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325ยบ.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Scrape the bowl.
  5. Using a medium mixer speed, add the eggs one at a time just until the yellow disappears...be careful not to over mix!  Scrape the bowl again.
  6. Add the lemon juice and vanilla.
  7. Whisk the mace into the flour and incorporate about 1 c. of the dry ingredients at a time to the batter.
  8. Scrape the bowl one last time and give the batter a little extra mix.
  9. Pour the batter into the pan* and bake for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted and the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger.
  10. Cool overnight.  (For a moist cake, Mother instructed me to cover it with a clean dish towel and let "sweat" while cooling.)
  11. Gently run a very thin-bladed knife around the edges and tube of the pan, then invert the cake onto a serving dish.  Carefully remove the tube and wax paper, if used.
*Tip:  Mother taught me to achieve a pretty texture in a cake, run a knife in opposite directions through the batter; but since the pan I use for this cake has a removable tube, I don't run it all the way to the bottom of the pan. Also, when I use my pan with a removable tube, I skip the next step which would be to drop your filled cake pan(s) on the counter a few times to release air bubbles.  When I do drop any cake pan(s) with batter on the counter, I always land up with batter on my ceiling, or unpredictable places, but I surely do have a cake with a pretty texture!
Pound cakes are best when you let them rest a day or two, and they freeze great (which makes them even more moist)!  I like to serve this wonderful pound cake as shortcake with a premium vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream with crushed strawberries or fresh, sliced peaches.  See my Black Forest Cherry Trifle for preparing the whipped cream.  For the strawberries, I just wash, remove the stems, slice, crush and serve with no added sugar!  Also, don't hesitate to enjoy this cake plain or toasted with a good cup of coffee. 

Having a good pound cake around is a Southern must...it's so versatile and perfect for drop-in guests!

                                                 Come On In...


                                          Have a Piece of Cake!


And Enjoy Mother's Day!


Printable Recipe

14 comments:

  1. Love the little story, how cute and sweet it is! And this pound cake does look awesome, it must taste buttery and delicious. I think it will definitely make every mom feel proud of! Thanks for sharing the cute story and this beautiful cake :-)

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  2. Pound cake is a favorite of mine, but -- I've never attempted to make one this big. It really looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing the cute story and beautiful as the above reader expressed.

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  3. That is one gorgeous pound cake Bonnie! I don't think I have ever seen one that big and tall! And I LOVE the story about your sister weighing the cakes--how cool that the newspaper printed the story with a cartoon!

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    1. And Happy Mother's Day to you too Bonnie! I can't believe I forgot to post that!!

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  4. That is one beautiful and very tall pound cake, so tall..I bet it could play in the NBA ;) Seriously though..I wish I could come over and have a slice! Happy Mother's Day, Bonnie!

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  5. Hi Binnie, this is a must try cake.I love the fact that you can freeze it. Thanks for sharing your sisters story. Regina

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  6. I'm a huge fan of pound cake and your towering version looks amazing! The texture is picture perfect...and I love story about your sister :)

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  7. Such a cute story! And wow, does that cake look delicious served with strawberries - beautiful! :)

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  8. Beautiful texture, moist, dense, and buttery. Baked this yesterday, and I had to add 30 minutes to the 1hr-45min for the pick to come out clean. Oven temp was right, checked it with two thermometers. It's a mystery. But this cake is the closest to the pound cakes I remember from my youth as any I have tried. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Hi Marsha! That is odd about the length of time your cake took to cook. My sister made it with perfect results. I'm not a food scientist; but when I had my house, I had the ovens calibrated by a technician. I see you used two thermometers...I know some are more accurate than others. I'm so glad you liked it, even though it took longer for yours to cook. Thanks for sharing your experience...please visit often!

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  9. Hi, I'm new to baking. I have a question, you didn't have to add baking powder or salt to your all purpose flour? Can't wait to try this one!

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    1. Hi Cheryl! This is a classic, true pound cake. There is no need to add baking powder or salt (I use butter w/salt anyway). The eggs are the raising agent in this cake (and it calls for a lot).

      I do hope you try it...it's so fantastic and versatile! If you have any more questions, please let me know. I try to write my recipes as if my daughter were standing beside me.

      Thanks so much for visiting, and sweet success!

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  10. Does cake have to sit in the pan overnight

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    1. I just feel better if it sits overnight. I know then that it will be completely cooled and will release without coming apart. Also, it will not be gummy inside. I would say that it should be cooled a minimum of two hours. If you release a pound cake too early, it might taste good (warm), but differently. However, it may not release well, or it could crush easily and perhaps be a little gummy. Always cut a cake with a serrated knife, taking care not to smash the cake as you slice it! Thanks for your inquiry and reading my blog...good luck and enjoy!

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