This is an old-fashioned three-quarter pound cake and is it ever dense! This is no light, fluffy cake! Paula Deen makes a variation of this cake (shockingly using LESS butter, otherwise the same recipe!) that was her grandmother’s pound cake.
This is pretty utilitarian, once you get the hang of it, and the variations are infinite.
Grandmother’s Lemon Pound Cake
3 cups Flour
3 cups Sugar
3 sticks Butter, softened
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Milk, or Cream
4 tablespoons Lemon Extract
3 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
Lemon Zest, optional
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. Combine. Add extracts and lemon zest. Add flour (throw baking powder in with it) alternating with milk, starting and ending with flour. Make sure all ingredients are well combined.
Pour batter into a well-greased and floured tube pan. Bake 1 hour at 350. Check cake with a skewer. Depending on your oven, it could take another 20-30 minutes. My oven does it in about 1:10, but I’ve had ovens that range all over the map.
NOTE: There is a debate among bakers of pound cakes on whether or not to start this cake in a cold oven or to preheat it. I’ve tried both ways and I can’t tell a damn bit of difference. Also, I’ve tried baking at 325 for an hour and then turning it up to 350 for 20 or so minutes. If you have a solid modern oven that regulates heat well, I wouldn’t screw with it.
Options: If you want a plain pound cake, eliminate the lemon extract. If you want a chocolate pound cake, eliminate the lemon extract and one tablespoon of vanilla and substitute Dutch-processed cocoa — three or four tablespoons — depending on how chocolatey you like your cake.