Nana’s Pound Cake

pound cake

We’ve dug into our family recipe archive once again to share with you this delicious pound cake recipe; Nana’s Pound Cake. This recipe has been with the family for over forty years. We’re not really sure how old it is, or where it originally came from. Nana said her Aunt Josephine taught her how to bake it some forty years ago, and she’s has been baking it ever since. When you taste it, you’ll understand why. This recipe is too good not to pass on, and so we’re archiving it here for our own family reference, but sharing it with you, dear foodie friends, as well.

Nana's Pound Cake

Rachel and I joked that it’s called a pound cake because you’ll gain a pound from eating it – the ingredients certainly aren’t “light”. But that isn’t where pound cake gets its name.

A traditional pound cake is made with a pound each of four ingredients; butter, flour, eggs, and sugar. The pound cake can still be considered a pound cake so long as it keeps a 1:1:1:1 ratio (just to get all Alton Brown food science on you here).

This recipe, while incorporating all of the ingredients of a pound cake, doesn’t strictly adhere to that ratio. So if you want to call the pound cake police on us go ahead. But give this cake a taste and you’ll quickly turn yourself in; it’s a darn tasty pound cake.

Nana's Pound Cake

This month, at 92 years old (and in better health than many “old people” 20 years her younger), Nana is passing the torch on this recipe to my Mom. Indeed, Nana literally gave my Mom the stand mixer she had been using to mix this recipe together for the past who-knows-how-many years. The cake in the photographs was the first official Pound Cake that Mom made with Nana’s mixer.

Nana's Pound Cake

Nana’s pound cake is a deliciously dense and moist cake. Enjoy a thick slice just by itself, or with a big scoop of whipped cream or frozen strawberries on top. Nana said she loved making this cake because it keeps so well – she’d make it in advance for guests, and found it tastes even better after it sits. We wouldn’t know – it never lasts long enough to tell.

From our table to yours, enjoy.

Recipe: Nana’s Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb salted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cup flour

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. In another bowl combine wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat for 20 minutes.
  4. Pour into greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 min at 325 degrees.

Note: Allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing and baking for best results.

Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes (1 hour if in convection oven)

 

7/30/17 Update – We get a lot of questions on this so I thought I would make it again and update this post with some feedback to the comments.

  • Do you really need to mix it 20 minutes? Yes! After mixing just a few minutes, compared to after mixing for the full 20 minutes, I could see a noticeable difference in the consistency of the batter. It becomes much more incorporated and velvety. I let my Stand Mixer run at high speed.
  • Another important point is to make sure your egg and butter are room temperature. I did not leave my milk out, I added it cold, was fine.
  • As far as the extract. I used vanilla as the recipe called for. My Mom says she used almond sometimes to change it up. I don’t see why you couldn’t use another extract too.
  • I beat my butter first, then added the eggs and beat, then the rest of the liquid. I was concerned because the butter wasn’t really incorporating with the liquids. But after I threw everything else in and beat for 20 minutes it was all perfect. I’m no food scientist or pro baker but it came out darn tasty!
  • Convection vs Standard Oven. The recipe calls for 1 hour 20 minutes. After one hour exactly I checked the oven and it looked and smelled done. I tested with a toothpick and it came out clean. I did not want to over bake so took it out and it was fine.  So if you have a convection, check it at an hour.
  • Tube Pan vs Bundt Pan – I Googled this. Apparently Tube Pans are for Angel Food cake usually. I had neither and had to buy one, and went for the bundt pan. Came out great. I have not baked in a loaf pan. Maybe next time I try. If you have please share your feedback.
  • Aging – My family, myself included, believe this cake gets better the older it gets. It’s fantastic the first day, but on day 2 or 3 it gets a little denser. That is assuming you don’t eat it all up first day.
  • Toppings – We enjoy whip cream and frozen strawberries toppings. It is great by itself as well.

Lastly, it is so fun to be able to check on the comments of this post. Nana is 97 and doing well. I tell her all the time how much people love her pound cake that we shared on the internet. So thank you for stopping by and trying her recipe. We hope you enjoy it!

Nana's Pound Cake

 

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