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A classic pound cake recipe makes one of the most versatile cakes for all occasions. This pound cake recipe is an heirloom cake recipe handed down from my grandmother.
The thing I hold most dear that I inherited from my grandmother is her love of time in the kitchen. It seemed that there was nowhere else in the world she’d rather be than in her small kitchen cooking and baking for her family and friends. Her counters were scuffed from years of use and there was always a hint of the smell of lemon Pine Sol from where she scrubbed her floors each evening before she went to bed. I can’t remember a time visiting her when I was growing up that there wasn’t something bubbling away on her stovetop or baking in her oven. As soon as you got close enough to the old screen door, you were greeted by smells of cookies or cakes baking that she’d wrap up to take to someone from church that wasn’t feeling well, had surgery or were welcoming a new baby. A casserole would most likely be in the bottom oven to go along with it since grandmother firmly believed in feeding people and feeding them well.
When I married, grandmother gave me a notebook, which I’ve mentioned a time or two, full of her recipes she’d written down for me. Many of these recipes we’d made time and time again together in her kitchen and others were some that were reserved for special occasions. This classic pound cake recipe was one of those recipes that was included but one that I could almost make by heart. I loved that at the top of the page, she’d written “My Pound Cake.” She knew that over the years we’d used other pound cake recipes from time to time, but that I always asked for “her” pound cake. To me, it was the best I’d ever tasted. Light, but sturdy. Flavorful, but not so much that it was overwhelming. Tender, but not crumbly. In a word, it was perfect!
Now, when I make grandmother’s pound cake, I can’t help but think of all those families she shared it with over the years – to celebrate, to mourn, and just because. Her gift of sharing of herself through her cooking and baking, along with her kind words, made an impression on the little girl I once was and even more so on the grown up I am today. Even though I inherited her love of the kitchen, I only wish I’d inherited more of her selflessness. She was truly a great lady.
Here’s her Classic Pound Cake Recipe. I hope you love it.
Classic Pound Cake Recipe
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extract
- Preheat oven to 300º F. Prepare large bundt pan or three loaf pans with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- Cream together butter, vegetable shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 6-10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding another. Reduce speed of mixer to low and add flour and milk alternately, making sure to combine well but not to overmix. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake 1 ½ hours or in loaf pans for 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. You can follow my tips for how to tell when your cake is done.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 – 15 minutes on a wire rack before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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I’ve been searching for a perfect pound cake recipe and can’t wait to try this. What can I use in place of vegetable shortening as it’s not available where I live.
This recipe is really good. I was looking for a recipe that did not cost an arm and a leg to make. It was my very first pound cake recipe that I tried and I will look no further. I handwrote the recipe and at the fop of the page I wrote “Granma’s Recipe”. Thank you!
This was the recipe I chose for my first pound cake ever. Loved it!
I do not have to look any further. I handwrote the recipe and at the top of the page I wrote “Grandma’s Recipe”. Thank you!
I’m happy you enjoyed it too, Debbie. It’s an heirloom recipe handed down from my Grandmother and my Mama baked it too. It’s certainly special to my family and I hope it is to yours as well. xo
I finally got around to making this and I’m glad I did! It’s delicious and definitely a classic, like only a grandma could make — right down to the sweetness. I forgot to lightly flour my pan after preparing it and some sides stuck, so about a third of it is perfect and the other has spots missing. Otherwise, a picture of our slices would be identical. As someone who loves to bake and didn’t have a grandmother after the age of 9, let alone a baking one, this warmed my heart and condo on this cold Winter morning. Love to you and yours, and thank you so much for sharing a piece of her.
Aww, thank you so much for sharing this sweet comment! I am happy to hear that you liked the cake and my memories of my special Grandmother! Thanks Glamazon! xo
A family member wants a Star Wars cake for his birthday and pound cake is his favorite. I was wondering if I could add red and blue (for Sith and Jedi) food coloring to the batter without ruining the cake? Thanks so much!!
I’ve not tried that, William. You could always decorate in red in blue with either berries or frosting if you want to stick to the cake recipe. I hope it’s a great birthday! Thanks!
This recipe is fantastic. I didn’t have vegetable shortening so I replaced with coconut oil, the texture of the cake is beautiful, and it’s absolutely delicious, with a subtle coconut taste!
So glad you liked it. I love this cake with coconut oil, too.
I was wondering do I need to sift the flours on the southern pound cake. Recipe doesn’t say.
I sift the flour before measuring. Hope you enjoy!