Bake Assorted Pound Cakes For Fall Entertaining

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A classic pound cake is delectable served plain with a cup of coffee or tea any time of day. Pound cakes are versatile and can be baked in assorted pans and used for making scrumptious trifles, or simply served with fruit and whipped cream. Since pound cakes freeze well, keep a couple in the freezer for when you need a dessert but don’t have time to bake. PHOTO BY ANN CIPPERLY

By ANN CIPPERLY

When you need a dessert that almost everyone likes and is easy to prepare, a pound cake is ideal. The ingredients are easy to keep on hand, and the cake mixes up quickly. Pound cakes can be baked in tube pans for an elegant presentation, or in loaf pans for ease in serving and having an extra one to share. Since pound cakes freeze well, they are great to make ahead for when you need a dessert for tailgating.

For a classic pound cake, little has changed from recipes over 100 years old. Early recipes called for a pound of each ingredient. Over the years, the amounts vary, but it is basically the same flavor. In recent decades, a variety of pound cakes have been created in assorted flavors with glazes and frostings.

Pound cakes can be sliced for creating a trifle with layers of pudding, fruit and whipped cream. A delicious, simple dessert any time of year is sliced pound cake served with fresh or stewed fruit and whipped cream, or served with ice cream and chocolate or caramel sauce.

One year, I baked two pound cakes in a tube pan, stacked them and placed a Barbie doll in the center. I decorated the cakes as a long, full skirt for a granddaughter’s birthday cake. It would have worked with one pound cake, but I wanted it to be stunning. Pound cakes can also be baked in layers and are especially good filled with sweet, fresh fruit and frosted with whipped cream.

Chocolate pound cakes are popular as well. They can be served plain or frosted. They also make a yummy trifle layered with chocolate pudding and whipped cream. While I had made my mother’s chocolate pound cake for years, recently I tried experimenting with a moist whipping cream pound cake by substituting cocoa for some of the flour, which gave the cake a light chocolate flavor. It worked well with the cooked chocolate icing that had a deeper chocolate flavor.

Pound cakes are so popular that many families have recipes that have been passed down. Esther Williams remembers that her mother Virginia Whatley would take a sour cream pound cake to people when they were celebrating or grieving. She also gave her friends a pound cake at Christmas.

The late Jane Walker and her beloved cook Ruth Wallace made many pound cakes with old-fashioned caramel icing for parties and events. I remember one year helping Jane with a banquet for the Boys and Girls Club. Jane was a founder of the organization, as well as co-founder of the Youth Development Center. For the banquet, we served slices of her pound cakes for dessert to over 200.

Jane’s pound cakes were always a hit at Trinity Methodist’s bake sales. After she passed away, Ruth made the cakes in honor of Jane for many years. Ruth had worked for the Walkers for over 25 years.

Peggy Dyar’s recipe for her Nana’s Caramel Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting has a delicious, rich flavor made with brown sugar that only cooks for two minutes. I made this cake to take to the lake, and it was a hit. The caramel frosting is also good on a vanilla pound cake. Be sure to beat the frosting a few minutes until it is thick before pouring over the cake.

As I looked over files for pound cake recipes, there were many good ones in a variety of flavors. Teresa Ogletree’s Maple Walnut Pound Cake recipe is from her husband’s aunt Leigh Whatley’s recipe for Granny’s Pound Cake has three flavorings, and Starla Haynes shared Betty’s Kahlua Chocolate Pound Cake made easy with a cake mix.

When making pound cakes, I generally use unsalted butter. If the recipe calls for milk or cream to add alternately with flour, begin and end with flour. While most recipes call for a teaspoon of vanilla, I generally use two or three teaspoons for a plain pound cake. Coat the baking pan with nonstick spray with flour when you are ready to pour in the batter. Start testing pound cakes before the full cooking time using a toothpick inserted in the center to see if it comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans about 10 minutes before removing.

In the South, pound cake is relished for dessert any time of day. I have heard friends say they like to toast pound cake to serve with a cup of coffee in the morning. I have also heard of people making pound cake French toast, but I have not tried that yet.

Look over the following recipes and clip them all for making pound cakes throughout the year. Don’t forget to put a couple in the freezer for times when you need a dessert but don’t have time to bake.

Classic Vanilla or Chocolate Whipping Cream Pound Cake

Serve plain or with chocolate or caramel frosting.

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whipping cream

2 to 3 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and cream alternately. Stir in vanilla.

Pour into a well-greased tube or two loaf pans. Bake at 300 degrees and test at 1 hour and 15 minutes. Ovens and pans vary. May take 1 1/2 hours.

For Chocolate Pound Cake:

In above recipe, use 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup cocoa. Prepare as directed.

Fudge Icing:

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 stick butter

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Beat until icing thickens. Quickly pour over cake.

Caramel Frosting:

Use Caramel Icing on Jane Walker’s recipe or the frosting recipe on Peggy Dyar’s recipe for Nan’s Caramel Pound Cake.

Jane Walker’s Caramel Cake

Years ago at a banquet for the Boys and Girls Club, Jane Walker and her beloved cook Ruth Wallace made enough of these delicious cakes to serve to over 200 people. Opelika was blessed by Jane’s dedication to community service. For her pound cakes, Jane used Martha Grady’s (another lady dedicated to service) cake recipe, which belonged to Martha’s mother.

3 sticks butter, room temperature

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 cup milk

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Measure flour before sifting. Cream the butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time. Add dry ingredients, which have been sifted together, alternating with milk. Add vanilla. Pour into greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (check for doneness before the full baking time).

Caramel Icing:

3 cups sugar

1/2 cup sugar to brown

3 Tbsp. flour

2 sticks butter

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix 3 cups sugar, flour, salt, butter and milk. Cook stirring until the butter is melted. In the meantime, brown the 1/2 cup of sugar in a small iron skillet stirring constantly. When the sugar melts and is a light brown color pour into first mixture. Cook to the soft ball stage.

Remove from heat; add one teaspoon vanilla; beat until creamy and the right consistency to spread on cake. Should your filling get too thick, add a few drops of milk.

Virginia Whatley’s Sour Cream Pound Cake

Esther Williams

My mother (Virginia Whatley) believed that a pound cake makes everything better. She carried pound cakes all over Lee County to people celebrating and grieving. Now that she is gone this has become my tribute to her. All of her friends receive a pound cake at Christmas and I always keep a pound cake in the freezer in case there is a death in the community. When I bake, I spend the day baking and fill the freezer. When you get everything out, you may as well keep baking.

3 cups sugar

2 sticks butter, room temperature

6 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. soda

8 oz. sour cream

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg. Sift dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream, blending well between each addition. Start and end with dry ingredient.

Pour in tube cake pan that has been coated with nonstick spray. Bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until tests done. Cake should spring back when done.

Maple Walnut Pound Cake

Teresa Ogletree

Recipe from Mildred (Ogie’s Aunt Merrie)

2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. maple flavoring

1 tsp. vanilla

4 large eggs

1 cup walnuts or pecans

On wax paper stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. In large bowl, cream butter, sugar and flavorings.

At medium speed, beat in eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. At low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until barely blended. With a wooden spoon, fold in walnuts.

Turn into lightly 2-quart tube pan. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. With a small metal spatula, loosen sides; turn out on a wire rack, cool completely.

Granny’s Pound Cake

Leigh Whatley

2 sticks butter, softened

2 1/2 cups sugar

Cream butter and sugar.

6 eggs

Add to cream mixture in a mixer.

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. rum flavoring

1/2 tsp. lemon flavoring

1/4 tsp. almond flavoring

1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg

Add flavorings to above mixture.

3 cups sifted cake flour

1/4 tsp. soda

1 cup sour cream

Mix flour and soda; add to batter slowly alternating with sour cream.
Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan in a 250-degree oven preheated for about 30 minutes until rises; then cook 1 hour at 325 degrees. Test with cake tester after 45 to 50 minutes.

Nana’s Caramel Pound Cake with Caramel Frosting

Peggy Dyar

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup vegetable oil

5 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Caramel Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Beat sugars and butter at medium speed until blended. Add oil, and beat until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour batter into a greased and floured tube pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from pan, and cool on wire rack. Drizzle with Caramel Frosting.

Caramel Frosting:

1 box light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

5 oz. evaporated milk

Dash of salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring first four ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often. Boil, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; add baking powder and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 5-7 minutes or until thickened. Drizzle quickly over cake.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Pecans

Dinah Motley

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups sifted cake flour

Dash of salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans in greased and floured Bundt pan.

Cream butter and cream cheese: add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.

Add flour and salt; stir well. Add vanilla and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until center is done.

Betty’s Kahlua Chocolate Pound Cake

Starla Haynes

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup sugar

1 large box instant chocolate pudding

2/3 cup oil

4 eggs

1/4 cup vodka

1/4 cup Kahlua

1 cup water

Glaze:

1/4 cup Kahlua

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Grease and flour Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour all cake liquids into combined dry ingredients at one time and beat for 3 minutes. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes (check for doneness at 45 minutes). Cool and invert on cake plate.

Glaze when cake is almost completely cooled.

To make glaze, gradually add 1/4 cup Kahlua to 3/4 cup powdered sugar, mixing until desired consistency (You might not use all of the Kahlua). I like mine a little thicker. Drizzle glaze over cake.

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

From the origin of the name “pound” cake, this recipe calls for a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. A dense cake, with no leavener, just relies on the air whipped into the batter.

Idoline Graves and Carolyn G. Stubbs

2 cups butter, softened

2 ½ cups sugar

4 cups flour

10 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Alternate flour and eggs, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla. Place in a tube pan that has been greased and floured.

Bake at 325 degrees for 75-90 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Pound Cake with Chocolate Chips

Deidra Bell

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 ½ cups sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

6 eggs

1 1/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two loaf pans.

Combine flour, salt and soda in a medium bowl.

In a large mixer bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks 15 minutes; remove from pans. Freezes well.

Mom C’s New York Pound Cake

1 cup butter, softened

1 2/3 cups sugar

5 eggs

2 cups cake flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. mace, optional

Cream butter, beat in sugar and eggs one at a time until light. Combine flour, salt and mace if using. Fold in flour gradually. Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until tests done.

Elmira’s 7 Up Pound Cake

Margaret Whittelsey

Elmira was my family’s cook growing up.

3 sticks butter, softened

6 eggs

3 cups flour

3 cups sugar

8 oz. (1 cup) 7 Up

1 tsp. vanilla or lemon extract

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time. Add 7 Up and mix. Stir in flour and vanilla or lemon.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Check for doneness after 1 hour. Cool on wire rack.

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