Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gert's Mama's Pound Cake

I know, I know. You're thinking, "Weird name for a cake, guy." Well it is a weird name I suppose. Perhaps a more fitting name for a recipe site would be the more generic "Sour Cream Pound Cake" but that just is so generic and doesn't tell the story of this cake.

But first, let's talk food history. Why is a pound cake a pound cake? Well, originally a "Pound Cake" was just that, a cake consisting of a pound each of the main ingredients. In fact if you get Pound Cake in Great Britain you're going to get that traditional variant with the addition of fruit. Here in the states we'd consider a "real" pound cake to be more of a fruit cake. They're pretty dense and heavy.

In the South, the Pound Cake is a must for most special occassions. Whether it be a birthday, church dinner, picnic, or family reunion you can bet at least one Pound Cake will be there. However, the ancient recipe has been altered a bit to produce a cake that is lighter and more moist. This tends to suit our modern tastes a bit more than the original recipe that lacked any type of leavening.

Now back to that weird name. "Sour Cream Pound Cake" is just so generic. So, this is the title Mama had written on the little slip of paper on which she'd jotted this recipe some 35 years ago. Gert was a lady who worked with my brother in one of his first jobs as a floral manager. Her mama was a great traditional baker too and made this cake often. When my mother got a sample she had to have the recipe so Gert had her mother write it down and gave it to my mother. I suppose Mama didn't get or didn't remember Gert's Mama's name because this recipe went into the file as "Gert's Mama's Pound Cake." We just called it "The Cake." So, if you heard Mama say "I'm going to bake a cake." You could be sure she meant a Sour Cream Pound Cake from this recipe.

So, I now give you: Gert's Mama's Pound Cake


1 cup butter (softened)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
8 oz. Sour Cream
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
3 cups Plain Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Lemon extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift flour and slowly add flour and sour cream - alternating each and ending with flour. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into well greased tube cake pan or Bundt Cake pan. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Allow to cool and glaze, ice, or garnish with powdered sugar

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