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Terri Hunter

My mama worked at Kelly’s Tea Room when she was in high school. It was there where she learned to make the most delicious pound cakes known to humans.

Did you know pound cake got its name from the ingredients? It was made from a pound of sugar, a pound of flour, a pound of butter, and a pound of eggs. Supposedly it originated in France where it is called Quatre-Quarts, which translates to four quarts with the quart referring to a pound.

Well, I’m going to tell you now, if you make a true pound cake, you’re going to have to extend the regular sized pan with aluminum foil, because it makes a very large cake.

Mama’s recipe was really a 3/4-pound cake. It fits nicely into a regular Bundt or tube pan. I grew up with Mama baking pound cakes on a regular basis. Before she had an electric mixer, my daddy beat the batter by hand, so I know that can be done. Anything for a pound cake!

For a 3/4-pound cake: Get all your ingredients together before you start mixing. You’ll need 3 cups of plain flour, 3 cups of sugar, 3 sticks of softened butter, and 9 eggs, which you have had the foresight to put on the counter earlier so they will be at room temperature. You also have to have a tablespoon of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of lemon extract. I always crack all of the eggs first into a bowl so I can just dump them in when their time comes.

Cream the butter and sugar. Then add three eggs and a cup of flour. Don’t be in a hurry. Let them get good and beaten. Do that two more times. Then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

Pour into a well-greased and floured Bundt pan or tube pan. Don’t skimp on the greasing and flouring or that cake will stick so tight dynamite couldn’t blast it loose. Ask me how I know. Place in a preheated 350-degree oven for an hour and 20 minutes. Every stove is different, so test to make sure it’s done. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then dump it onto your cake plate.

A real pound cake takes 4 cups of flour, 4 cups of sugar, 4 sticks of butter, a dozen eggs, and 1 1/4 tablespoons of both vanilla and lemon extracts as well as a very large pan.

If you try Kelly’s Tea Room’s recipe, please save a slice for me.

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