A recipe that has been passed in my family for generations, this pound cake recipe is truly the best you’ll ever have, and easy to bake.
Every single Christmas, without fail, my dear Aunt Dot would send us a couple pound cakes. She would bake 4-5 batches of these cakes, and would send them to us, wrapped in foil and tied with a red macrame cord, which she must have bought in bulk.
She took pride in baking these pound cakes, and of course, she would. Her recipe is a family recipe, that was written by her mother, along with a dear family friend. From there, the recipe was passed down to Aunt Dot, and then down to me.
One summer when we were visiting her up in Idaho, she pulled all of the ingredients and set out to show me exactly how to make this pound cake.
“Pay attention now Brooke,” she would say. “The batter needs to look just like this at this point.”
She was serious and darn straight she was determined to make sure I took it just as seriously. And I did, to a point. But truth be told, she intimidated the heck out of me, so much so, that I was hesitant to even bake said pound cakes.
But this year is different. My sweet Mama gave me envelopes loaded with handwritten family recipes. Slowly, I’ve been going through the folders, one recipe at a time, admiring each one and on some, trying to decipher the penmanship. Then I came across Aunt Dot’s pound cake recipe. Written in her own handwriting, and giving credit to the original creator of the recipe, I decided now is the time to make this recipe.
Lucky for me, my Mama’s cliff notes version was right behind Aunt Dot’s, including all of the same ingredients, with modern day mixing and baking conveniences. So I gathered my ingredients, along with my own mental notes of the recipe, hints of flavor that I wanted to add, which was lemon.
Pound cakes are dense. Natch. Dense because they’re made with a pound of butter, a pound of cake flour, and a pound of sugar. It’s because of this that it gets its name. But for me, I wanted more lemon flavor, so I added lemon juice and zest for the win.
Here’s the kicker; like most family recipes, there’s always a secret ingredient. Aunt Dot’s pound cake is no different. The secret ingredient in this recipe is a tablespoon of sherry. Seems a bit odd, I know, so I made two batches; one with and one without the sherry. The verdict? Although it’s only one tablespoon, the sherry makes this recipe sing. It’s just not the same without it.
Another recipe note: Aunt Dot gives cooking times for different sizes of loaf and cake pans. Back in her day, a loaf pan was a “no joke” loaf pan. It was a big size. When she referred to smaller loaf pans, she really meant what I would consider a regular sized cake loaf pan of today. And what we call small loaf pans were simply non-existent to her. Just a little food for thought for ya.
So without further adieu, here is my family recipe for the most delicious Pound Cake!
Best Ever Poundcake Family Recipe
- Standing mixer
- loaf pans
- bundt cake pan
- baking rack
- 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups cake flour
- 8 eggs large, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp sherry
For The Frosting
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
- In one bowl, cream butter and flour with a pie crust creamer until it resembles corn meal.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat eggs until thick and lemon colored.
- Add sugar, mixing until combined. (after adding 1st cup sugar to eggs, beat about 1 minute; add 2nd cup of sugar and beat a minute more.
- Add flour and butter mixture to egg mixture. On top of this, add salt, baking powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and sherry.
- Beat for 5 minutes on high.
- Spray pans with nonstick spray, then flour all sides. Pour in two regular bread/loaf pans. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. Then raise oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. Cool on baking rack.
- If using a bundt pan, bake at 250 degrees for 40 minutes and then at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Cool on baking rack.
For The Frosting
- In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Once the cakes have cooled, spoon over cakes, letting the frosting drip down the sides.