Mama Bessie's Pound Cake
My mama’s recipe is the perfect "plain" cake. It's delicious on its own with a glass of milk, but it is really great "shortcake-style," with some sliced peaches and strawberries.
Makes 12 servings
4 cups cake flour (not self-rising cake flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan, tapping out the excess flour.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl.
In a glass-measuring cup, combine the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. One at a time beat in the eggs. In three additions, beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides
of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the sides and tube section of the pan and lift off the pan.
Slide the knife under the cake to release it from the tube section. Cool completely on the cake rack. Remove the cake from the tube section. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap until ready to serve.