Tag Archives: Heirloom

Grandmother’s Southern Poundcake

11 Jul

Handing down family recipes is an important tradition all over the world.  I admit, I’ve not been a big collector of heirloom recipes, but the more I cook, the more I’m realizing I should be.  We all have certain cherished food memories and one of the strongest food memories I have of visiting my grandmother’s house in Georgia (aside from the Lima beans, which I still love) is her pound cake.  I would reach into the big flip top storage freezer and pull out slices of pound cake, scarcely being able to wait even a few minutes before getting another.  When discussing this with my mother in recent weeks, the part I told her I remember most wasn’t the flavor or the texture, but actually the crust–so naturally, the first test as to whether or not I pulled this family recipe off correctly was the sweet crunchy crust.  I’m pleased to say it was a success!  The cake flour gives it an extremely fine crumb that is strangely dense and impossibly light and airy at the same time.  Of course, the crust was just as I remember it.

Like all southern recipes, it’s not for the faint of heart when it comes to healthy eating, but treat this recipe with gentle love and respect–it’s a true heirloom!  The recipe that follows is almost exactly as my Grandmother wrote it down on her recipe card.

Note:  Mom thinks the “secret” ingredient to the pound cake is the added flavorings.  The original recipe calls for McCormick’s Vanilla Butter & Nut flavoring (actually written by Grandmother as “Butternut Flavoring”).  When I couldn’t find it in my grocery store here in SoCal, I called McCormick’s only to be told they don’t sell it within 100 miles of me!  They also told me it was a unique flavoring and nothing could be substituted, but of course, I wasn’t going to let that stop me.  I’ve included the measurements for both the original flavoring, if you can find it (likely if you’re in the South), and my substitution.

Also, in a bid for true authenticity, I purchased an angel food cake tube pan just for this recipe.  I’m sure you could substitute a different pan, filling each pan 2/3 of the way and adjusting the baking time.  This recipe does make a lot of batter, so you will likely have to bake two separate cakes if you use something smaller.

Grandmother’s Southern Pound Cake

  • 1  8 oz package cream cheese
  • 3  sticks butter
  • 3  cups sugar
  • 6  eggs
  • 3  cups cake flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla butternut flavoring OR
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring + 1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Cream together cream cheese, butter and sugar
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg
  4. Fold in flour and salt a little at a time
  5. Add flavorings
  6. Pour batter into an angel food cake tube pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours; it should be golden brown on top and the crust will likely be cracked in a perfect ring right around the middle.

The cake is good for eating just by itself but I think it is truly perfect when served with strawberries and whipped cream (I think I ate this exact thing for dinner all last week…)

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