Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pound Cake: A Love Story

Mama's Pound Cake

If there was a way that I could make a living out of baking, eating, and discussing pound cake, I would. It fascinates me in its simplicity, the ingredients are common baking ingredients. But, it is the execution of combining those ingredients together that makes the pound cake so special, unlike any other dessert. The moist density, the flaky top crust with the buttery rim of delicious perfection, the subtle flavors of vanilla, almond, or lemon all come together to create this signature cake.

Marbled Pound Cake
 Almost every family has its own pound cake recipe that has been prepared over the years. Pound cake recipes become part of a family’s tradition and are handed down from generation to generation. If you have a handwritten recipe from a loved one, cherish and preserve it.

Georgia Peach Pound Cake
You know that you can count on the cake presenting itself at every family event. If there is a new baby in the family, let’s make a welcoming pound cake for the expanding family. Sadly, if there is a funeral, the pound cake provides much needed solace. Accept our condolences. The pound cake speaks and represents our emotions in ways that words cannot express.

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

And, the process of making pound cakes is as varied as the people who prepare them. Of course, there are the standard ingredients of butter, sugar, eggs, flavoring, flour, and leavening agents. But, the recipes can differ with the addition of milk, heavy cream, shortening, sour cream, or cream cheese. Recently, I even made a pound cake using sweetened condensed milk. It was delicious!

Key Lime Pound Cake

Between the preparation and the baking time, you will invest about two hours of your life into creating just one pound cake. But, oh, the rewards…a hearty cake that can stand up to the elements! A pound cake has never dried out in my house because it has never lasted long enough to get to that point. It can be frozen and still retain the fresh-baked taste when thawed. While I find it at its best unadorned, the pound cake holds up under a covering of thick buttercream frosting or a light and thin glaze. Use it as a base for strawberry shortcake if you want to know true pleasure.

Chocolate Pound Cake

For those of you who do make pound cakes, I’m sure you, too, have experienced satisfying moments in the baking process: watching the ingredients come together to form the most beautiful batter known to man, gathering your strength to lift the mixing bowl so you can spoon the thick batter into the pan, negotiating with the gathering crowd as to whom will lick the beaters, and feeling the encouraging thump as the finished cake slides easily from the pan.

Everyone should feel this sense of accomplishment. You can start with some of the recipes I’ve included here. If you're lucky enough to have someone bake a pound cake for you, have no doubt that you are loved!



  1. I wish my family had a pound cake recipe that's been handed down :( But all of those cakes look so delish!

  2. I'm trying to make my own tradition, Chels. I don't have a handed-down recipe either. I've made Mama's Pound Cake so many times that it has become part of our family. I even gave the recipe to my grandma and she makes it now, too. Just find a recipe you like and make it your own.

  3. Amen, Kim! Since moving to the south, I have learned the joy and deliciousness of poundcake. Just recently made my first one (& posted about it) ... with a recipe handed down to me from my mother-in-law. I absolutely cherish that recipe!

  4. Oh thank you so much for posting these awesome Pound cake recipes! I cant wait to try them!

  5. What a wonderful post, I loved it. My mom has a pound cake recipe that she will pass down to us when she is gone. It is the best thing ever! She doesnt make it often but when she does oh boy is it good!

  6. I have lots of recipes and methods my mother and grandmother taught me but very few good desserts and no cakes at all.

    My mother made pies and my grandmother made cookies - so everything I do starts a tradition for my family. I can't go back but I can go forward.

  7. I've loved seeing all your pound cakes.


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