My dad’s birthday was last week, and I told him that part of his gift would be a homemade birthday cake. Low and behold, his request was my late grandmother’s original pound cake recipe. Over the years, I have adapted her recipe to make it skinnier, leaner and less dense in order to keep my figure, so finding her original recipe was no easy feat. Finally, after calling a few relatives, including my Aunt Rita (my grandmother’s younger sister), we sorted it out. My three daughters actually made the cake by hand (instead of using a mixer) and while that’s a lot of work, you could taste the difference. Please understand a mixer is perfectly fine to use, because unless you need to work your biceps, save yourself the workout.
Pound Cake with
Makes one old-fashioned pound cake
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup Crisco
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon, orange or almond extract
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup evaporated milk
Store-bought caramel sauce
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter, Crisco and sugar on high speed until it turns a pale yellow. Reduce the speed to medium and carefully add in the eggs one at a time. Beat until the mixture is well combined. Reduce the speed to low and add in the vanilla and lemon, orange or almond extract.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add ½ cup of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, interspersing it with ¼ cup of the milk. Continuing alternating with the remaining flour mixture and milk. When all of the flour and milk have been added, increase the speed to medium and beat until everything is well combined. Then, reduce the speed and beat until the batter is smooth.
Spray down the insides of a bundt pan with cooking spray. Carefully pour in the cake batter and gently tap it on the counter so the batter settles.
Place the bunt pan in a cold oven and bake at 350F for approximately one hour and 20 minutes. Rotate the pan half way through, and cover it with foil if the top starts to brown (this time can vary based on the oven, so pay attention). The cake is done when a toothpick or cake tester is placed in the center and comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges, and once the cake cools enough, transfer it to a plate. After slicing a piece, drizzle it with caramel sauce.