Pound cake was one of my late grandmother’s favorite desserts. She loved all desserts, but pound cake was special I think because she also loved the English practice of High Tea and poundcake fits perfectly into that tradition. About a year before she died, she gave me all of her recipe cards and cookbooks. Anyone in the family will tell you that she was not the world’s greatest cook and she would tell you herself that she never enjoyed cooking. That’s why it might seem strange that her collection included probably 50 books and over 100 handwritten recipe cards, some in her writing, some in her mother’s writing. So maybe she didn’t like cooking and maybe she wasn’t even good at it, but she loved all the things that come with cooking: the family, the friends, eating, cocktails, boisterous party-goers, colorfully printed paper napkins and plates, candles, flowers, nut bowls, guest lists, menu planning, hosting, birthdays, Christmas, brandy, sherry. All of it.
It was no surprise to me that the largest section of her collection was desserts. And do you know there are at least 10 different poundcake recipes in that section? Lemon pound cake is what I’ve got for you here. Maybe I’ll eventually make all of them: chocolate pound cake, almond pound cake, Old Dominion pound cake, coconut pound cake, pumpkin pound cake, blueberry pound cake, lavender pound cake, praline pound cake, Peckens pound cake from the kitchen of Katherine Isbell, Mrs. Burket’s pound cake. I wish I’d thought to ask who Mrs. Burket was. Katherine Isbell was a friend or neighbor of my great-grandmother, I think. There are many recipes from her kitchen in the boxes.
- 1 cup soft butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Glaze, optional:
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Set oven to 325ºF and grease and flour 2 loaf pans.
- Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs one at a time and combine well. Add vanilla.
- Whisk dry ingredients together and add half to the batter.
- Add half the milk and lemon juice.
- Add remaining dry ingredients and remaining milk/lemon. Mix until smooth.
- Pour into loaf pans.
- Bake 50-60 minutes.
- Make glaze by adding lemon juice to sugar and mixing until a thick, pourable consistency. Pour over cooled cakes.
Other Recipes from Grandma Hornsby’s File: