Growing up, my grandmother was iconic of a strong and capable lady. We called her “super Granny” and to us, that’s exactly what she was– our incredible grandmother who could do just about anything. And at six feet tall, even her stature testified to her capability.
Granny fixed our plumbing and was our electrician on call. She pulled up carpets and installed new cabinets. Her skills were impressive and she was always more than generous with her help and her time.
While everyday problems and projects showed off her more handyman-esque skills, holidays and special occasions showcased how capable she was in the kitchen. Holidays at Granny’s house meant chiming grandfather clocks, pot roasts with gravy, and always a pound cake that she was famous for.
Her pound cake really is the best. For decades, people have requested it by name for parties and dinners with friends. The recipe is a family favorite. My grandmother makes this cake, my mom makes this cake, and now, on special holidays, I make this cake. I am so happy to have this sweet slice of my family’s heritage to share with my family and friends, and now with you.
I shared this cake with my church family at our Christmas dinner last week and one of our older members commented that it tasted just like the pound cake his granny used to make. That made me smile. Yep, this cake is a classic.
I’ll be making this cake again along with our traditional frosted tea cakes and date & pecan squares for our family’s Christmas dinner. You can find the recipe below and consider making it for your holiday dessert too. I know you and your family will love it!
When you look at the recipe, it’s not hard to see what inspired its name. Butter, sugar, and eggs in abundance. But my food philosophy is to fill our bellies with healthy, whole foods on a daily basis, to limit excess sugar in the just about everything that we eat, and to approach everything with balance and moderation. So, a couple of slices of pound cake, enjoyed (and delighted in!) once or twice a year are no problem.
A couple of important things to note:
- Cake flour. It’s lighter and will make a difference in your cake. Using regular flour (especially unsifted) will result in a denser cake that takes longer to cook. Use cake flour if you want the BEST old-fashioned pound cake. I actually used regular flour the last time I made this cake and regretted it. Don’t skip the cake flour. Trust me.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Not butter that’s been heated in the microwave to soften. Just take out the ingredients and set them out on the counter 1-2 hours before you are ready to bake your cake.
- The sweating the cake under the cover is one of those “decades of making this cake” tried and true tips to make this cake truly the best.
- 1 1/2 C butter, room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 C sugar
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 C cake flour, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy with the mixer on medium speed.
3. Add each egg, one at a time, blending after each addition. Add both extracts.
4. Turn the mixer down to low and add the salt and the flour a little at a time until it is all added. Turn the mixer back up to medium speed and mix for one more minute.
5. Grease and flour a tube pan. Pour the cake batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar evenly across the top of the batter.
6. Bake for 90 minutes in preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (If the cake is not finished at 90 minutes, let it cook for another ten minutes, checking again afterwards).
7. Remove the cake from the oven and set it on the counter and let it rest for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, run a butter knife around the outer edges of the tube pan. Lift the cake out from the pan’s outer piece by pulling up on the center tube (while using a pot holder). Set the cake back down on the counter and cover it with a cake cover and let it ‘sweat’ for ten more minutes.
8. Run the butter knife around the bottom of the cake, separating the bottom of the cake from the pan. Carefully and quickly turn the cake over onto your flat hand or plate, remove the pan’s tube piece, and then flip the cake back right side up on a serving plate.
9. Serve with coffee, hot tea, whipped cream, fresh fruit, or other scrumptious things.