October 6, 2014

Mandy’s Pound Cake

Down South, or at least in my circle of friends and family, pound cakes are identified by whose recipe was used. You don’t have vanilla pound cake or lemon pound cake or buttermilk pound cake, you have Aunt Virginia’s Pound Cake or Ms. Shirley’s Pound Cake or MayBelle Prichard’s Pound Cake. And you have all of their recipes because they’re all different.

Aunt Virginia’s pound cake was the one most sought after in my family. But, God rest her sweet soul, I always found it to be a little too eggy and dense. So every time I’d make a pound cake, I’d start with Aunt Virginia’s recipe and alter it a bit. After several years and a lot of research, I finally nailed down what I think is the best pound cake recipe ever.

Seriously.

The first time I ever saw a certain renowned hotel's famous pound cake recipe I was both mortified and elated. It’s almost exactly like mine. I was mortified because it took me years to perfect my recipe and, if you hadn't been on my pound cake journey with me over the years, you might think I’d just used theirs. I didn't, by the way. You can ask my mama. But I was elated too because that must mean my recipe is good enough to be famous!

You can change up the extracts to suit your fancy. Sometimes I use all vanilla. Sometimes I use vanilla and almond. Sometimes I use butternut and sometimes I use all lemon (just always use 3 teaspoons total). But my favorite combo is vanilla and lemon. The lemon is still subtle enough that the cake doesn't scream, “Pucker up, heifers! I’m lemon!” but it’s just the right amount of brightness to compliment all the warm notes of a traditional pound cake.

And, in keeping with the Southern tradition, I’m going to call this Mandy’s Pound Cake. It feels a little weird to name a recipe after myself but I've heard Mama call it that enough times that it sounds natural now.

A classic Southern pound cake that's moist and delicious with hints of vanilla and lemon.

Mandy’s Pound Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) real, salted butter
1/2 cup shortening*
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or a combo of 1 tablespoon vinegar and whole milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. If substituting buttermilk with vinegar and milk, be sure to mix them together (in a plastic or class container – not metal) before you set them out to come to room temperature as the vinegar needs time to react to the milk. Grease (with shortening) and flour a 10-inch tube pan**; set aside.

"Creaming" is a very important step in most cakes, especially pound cakes, so take care to follow the instructions carefully. In a large bowl or stand mixer beat butter and shortening at medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed, until light, fluffy and very pale yellow in color (5-7 minutes). When the mixture has almost doubled in size, everything's been properly creamed. Don't mix longer than this or the mixture will "break" and your cake won't rise correctly. 

Add extracts and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add flour mixture and buttermilk to creamed mixture, mixing at low speed until combined, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan, then plate top-side up. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

*You need both the butter and the shortening as the butter tastes rich and delicious but the shortening has a higher melting point and makes a more tender cake. If you don’t have shortening, use all butter but I highly recommend using a combo of both. P.S. don’t make this with margarine and then fuss at me because your cake didn't turn out right.

**After having a conversation with some of my blogging buddies one day, I learned that “tube pan” means something different in different parts of the country. Where I live, a tube pan has a flat bottom and most often, a removable center. Where they live, it's what I call a bundt pan. You can make this in both but if you use a bundt pan, make sure it’s 12-cup or larger (or only fill 2/3 full) as the recipe makes a lot of batter. I do not recommend making this in a pan that doesn't have an open center as you will most certainly have to over-bake the cake to get it cooked through in the middle.


PRINTABLE RECIPE

And just so we're all on the same page, this is what bundt pans and tube pans are to me:





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38 comments:

  1. This looks fabulous ! I have 2 questions - first, can I use two loaf pans successfully (we like the smaller size) , and then Second question, does it freeze well ?

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    1. I can't say for sure about the loaf pans since I've never made them that way myself but I think if you're dividing the batter, it should be OK. This cake freezes beautifully!

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    2. Thank you (from West Columbia!)

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  2. Mandy, I would like to make this in my Cast Iron bundt pan. Any suggestions about changes in time or temp since it's such a dark pan? Or do you think it will be ok, since it has so much thicker walls than a traditional tube pan? Thank you! (ps. I <3 all your recipes and I can't wait for Thanksgiving because it's going to be almost all "South Your Mouth" food this year!)

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    1. I think it would be great but I'd check it at an hour as it will likely cook faster.Thanksgiving sounds great! LOL!

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    2. I would lower the temperature by 25* to 325* when baking in cast iron.

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  3. This looks like a very good recipe. There are multiple ways to measure flour and they produce significant differences in amounts of flour, and then quite different results in the end product which causes mixed (and sometimes unpleasant) results. When you make this recipe, do you scoop the flour and level or do you fluff the flour and sprinkle it into the measuring cup? Or, do you have weight measurements? Thanks for your recipes from a GRITS (Girl Raised in The South).

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    1. I fill a measuring cup with spoonfuls of flour then level it off.

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  4. I LOVE YOUR BLOG AND HAVE MADE MANY THINGS FROM YOUR BLOG...I JUST HAVE ONE QUESTION ABOUT MANDYS POUNDCAKE....YOU CALL FOR 2 STICKS OF SALTED BUTTER? I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT IS CORRECT, MOST OF THE POUND CAKE RECIPES OUT THERE ARE WITH UNSALTED BUTTER... THE POUND CAKE LOOKS DELICIOUS, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE BEFORE I MAKE IT...

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  5. Well alright Mandy with your bad self! I'm going to take this one for a spin.

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  6. I just made one with whipping cream and butter and 6 eggs--going to try yours when gone.
    What about the buttermilk--does it matter if non-fat? That's all I've been finding lately.

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    1. I've made it both ways since it IS hard to find regular buttermilk these days and I can't really tell much of a difference. And what's up with that? If we're cooking something with buttermilk in it, I think it's safe to say it's not a low-fat recipe anyway, right? Gimme the good stuff!

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  7. Your "tube" pan is what I've always been told is an angel food cake pan. Guess it's a regional thing. But I have a question about the removable center--pause for blonde moment--how do you keep the cake batter from dribbling out the bottom? As you can tell, I've never made an angel food cake either! Thanks--Barbara

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    1. The weight of the batter holds it in place.

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    2. I have a tube pan and it has a removable center. Something must have happened to it cause it ran out all over my oven. What a mess I had. Will not use it again. I have another one but I sure liked that one. Someone it must have gotten lopsided or something. It was awful. It was another cake I made not yours. Am going to do yours in my other tube pan. LOL

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  8. I'm stopping by from Weekend Potluck to say this pound cake looks delicious! I like your tip on using both butter and shortening.

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  9. Ok Mandy, so I had to come over and tell you that I made your pound cake! I have been trying to find a recipe that I like as I've never had much luck with them turning out right. I'm embarrassed to say that in every recipe I tried I used margarine:( So when I told my husband I was trying out another pound cake recipe he frowned (new better than to say anything). After I served him a piece of Mandy's Pound Cake he said THIS IS THE ONE! Well I then showed him the recipe I printed from here and told him it was another woman's recipe. He just looked at me at stuffed another piece of your cake into his mouth (yeah, he knew better than to say anything) So thank you Mandy for giving me the BEST pound cake recipe I've ever tried (or cooked:)

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    1. Oh, Adrian! Oh! You have just MADE my whole day. Maybe my whole month! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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    2. Mandy, I also made your cake this past week and it was delicious and very moist! I substituted 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice for one of the tsp of lemon extract. Thanks for a great recipe!

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  10. Can I use cake flour instead of all purpose flour

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    1. I'm not sure. I mean, you can but I don't know what to adjust to account for the cornstarch that's in cake flour. Maybe nothing. I haven't made it with cake flour so I really can't say.

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    2. http://bakingbites.com/2007/05/subbing-all-purpose-flour-for-cake-flour/

      1 cup of cake flour is equivalent to 1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons (1 cup – 2 tbsp)

      1 cup of all purpose flour is equivalent to 1 cup of cake flour plus 2 tablespoons (1 cup + 2 tbsp)

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  11. Hello Mandy, I am a very keen follower of your site from the U.K. I am going to have a go at your delicious sounding Pound Cake, but I am not sure our cups are the same as yours and we don't have sticks of butter! Is there any chance that you could let me know what the conversion is in weights? Please! I understand if it's too inconvenient. In the meantime, keep up the good work, I love your recipes! Thank you, Rosie

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    1. Hi Rosie, this is a good website for converting recipe amounts. Hope this helps! http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking/

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  12. Hello Miss Mandy! I am about to make your pound cake as a tester(I always follow a recipe, then make a second one with my own touch). Have you ever put fruit such as blueberries or raspberries in your PC? Just askin. Thank you in advance for replying.

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    1. No, I can't say that I have. Pound cakes can be so finicky, I think I'd be scared to try!

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  13. I was taught that the tube pans with removable bottoms were actually angel food cake pans. I'm happy to have my mom's tube cake pan with a permanent bottom. They are very hard to find now. I also have a smaller tube pan that belonged to my grandmother. She called it her half-pound cake pan. I've made MANY pound cakes through the years, but am anxious to try yours. I'm not eating sugar these days, but maybe there will be a potluck soon!

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  14. I love pound cake....so does my husband and dad (because they don't care for frosting) they loved it....my dad so much, he called me this morning and asked me to make another one. So it is in the oven. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

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  15. I LOVE pound cake and can't wait to try this one - it kind of reminds me of my Grandma's recipe. And ladies, you can get an old fashioned tube pan from Amazon!!

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  16. when I don't have buttermilk on hand, I use a combination of sour cream and milk which works much better than the vinegar method. my family can always taste the vinegar.

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  17. I love this recipe. I have made this cake 2-times. Only change I made was I used 2-Cups of flour with 1-cup of Cake flour. Great Texture!

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  18. I would like to know how you can make this gluten free?

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  19. Hello Mandy, can you tell me what I have done wrong. I have made the recipe twice now and both times it comes out of the oven great but then collapsed in the middle when cooling. It still tastes great though!

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    1. There could be several culprits but if I had to guess I'd say either the butter and sugar weren't creamed enough (or maybe too much) or the cake wasn't cooked through enough (oven temperatures vary greatly). Or perhaps did you use margarine instead of butter? Here is a great article that trouble-shoots why cakes fall. Hope this helps!! http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/09/how-to-keep-a-cake-from-falling/

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  20. ***** 5 stars from me! I made this recipe the other day with my little girls and we all loved it! My FIL asked if I could make it chocolate. Can I just add cocoa powder to this recipe?

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  21. Yes, you could add about 4 tablespoons of cocoa (or more if you want more chocolate flavor). You could also add a little espresso powder to bring out the chocolate flavor. I think I would omit the lemon extract, and just use more vanilla.

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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