As anyone who’s actually tasted this will tell you, this is some damn good cake.
ETA: This cake took 3rd place in the Poundcake Division of the 2008 Maryland State Fair
In my good spirits I’ve decided to divulge the recipe..
1. I cannot express how important it is that the eggs and butter are at room temperature. I also will recommend you use a good mixer for this. Heavy-duty is what my grandmother says. Scrape down the bowl regularly.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Use Baker’s Joy if you trust it. I don’t.
4. Put the butter into the mixer. Turn it and let it run til it’s all smooth and silky.
5. Add the shortening – mix til uniform.
6. Add in the sugar one cup at a time.
7. Once that is incorporated, turn the mixer on medium-high and whip the shit out of it. You want to let it run until the mixture is no longer yellow-white, but all white. And fluffy – this takes about 3-5 minutes. Feel free to walk away for a bit. Watched pots and all that.
8. Add the eggs one at time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl halfway through.
9. Add in the flavorings. I gave you my grandmother’s measurements, but I can’t make up my mind on this. I tend to go 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla and at least a full teaspoon of lemon extract and up to 1 1/2. I’ll say to taste.
10. Here is where some care needs to taken in terms of your mixing. If you overmix the flour, you’ll get a brick. It is called a poundcake but we still want a kind of lightness to it and being mean to the flour won’t get you anywhere good.
11. Add the flour one cup at a time, wait until it is almost incorporated before adding the next – Don’t worry so much about scraping down at this point. You want it mixed in as few passes of the paddle as possible.
12. After adding the last cup, only mix it a few passes. Most of the flour should be mixed in, it’s okay if it’s not. It’s thicker than you’d expect for a cake batter. Don’t trip.
13. Take the bowl off the mixer and add the soda. Using your spatula, fold the soda into the batter, lifting from bottom to the top – be gentle, but thorough. It’s gonna be nice and satiny.
14. Put it in the bundt pan. Spread it out evenly. I give the pan a wiggle, like my grandma does. Is it important? I dunno.. but grandma does it, and as such, so do I.
15. Bake it for 30 minutes at 350. Then reduce the heat to 325 and bake for another 60 minutes. If a toothpick comes out clean – take it out of the oven.
** If your oven is whack, check the cake after first 15-20 minutes – if you see brown edges already, reduce the heat asap. If your oven has a glass window and a light – use it. If not, do not open the door anymore than you have to – it fucks with the heat. My grandma also insisted on us not making a bunch of ruckus around the oven. . . “you’ll make my cake fall.” Is it true? No idea, but I’m careful not to make a ruckus around the oven while my cake is baking.
16. Let it cool 10 minutes, then flip it out of the pan. If it sticks – stop using Baker’s Joy and go back to Crisco and flour.
17. Mom-mom always uses a nice coating of powdered sugar, and as such, so do I. What you do with it is really none of my business.
Now.. Sprite vs. 7-up? I don’t like 7-up, so why would I use it to bake when I’m going to end up with leftover soda I won’t want to drink.