Sour Cream, Butter and Lemon Pound Cake

This Sour Cream, Butter and Lemon Pound Cake recipe goes back a couple of generations. It was my husband’s grandmother’s recipe for an old-fashioned Sour Cream, Butter and Lemon Pound Cake. My mother-in -law taught me how to make it. It’s almost foolproof with its easy directions. (She nicknamed it her “One-step Pound Cake.”) When it comes to good tasting cakes, this is a reliable show stopper! This cake has been served to many people from all over the world, and they all rave about it and it’s addicting flavors.

I have a funny story to tell you about this cake.

A major incident happened that became part of the “McGourty Folklore.”This happened a month or so before my husband and I were married –when I was still getting “to know” my future family.

One day while I was staying with his parents, in Aptos California making preparations for our upcoming wedding at the Santa Cruz Mission, I was helping my husband’s mother with the cleaning of the household. I was finishing up my chores while she was busily making something for dinner. She realized that she needed to make a quick trip to the grocery store for some ingredients for that night’s dinner. As she was leaving the house, she told me “Susie you’re the only one that I can trust to take care of my cake, please take the cake out when the timer goes off.”

My father-in-law, who was very intimidating to me at the time and never seemed to crack a smile was sitting at the kitchen table talking with his closest friend (and brother-in-law) Uncle Jack. I finished up what I was doing and waited for the timer to go off. The timer went off; I got the hot pads, and opened the oven door. There I saw a cake in a tube pan that looked just like an Angel Food Cake. Quickly I asked my father-in-law where I could find an empty Coke bottle. He looked at me in bewilderment and asked what I needed a Coke bottle for? I said “there’s an Angel Food Cake in the oven and it needs to be inverted” (which is standard for angel food cakes while they cool). So he motioned me toward the pantry.

In the pantry, I found an awfully old and dusty Coke bottle. So I grabbed it and quickly washed it and inverted the heavy cake over the neck of the bottle. Now my husband-to-be had told me that his mother was a great cook, but try as she might, his mother just couldn’t make an Angel Food Cake. From the “heaviness” of this cake I thought that it definitely wasn’t a good Angel Food Cake! Then I started to leave the kitchen to go to see what my betrothed and his siblings were doing in the game room.

All of a sudden, behind me there was a huge crash-bang-boom. I looked around and saw my father-in-law and Uncle Jack with big ear-to-ear “bunny rabbit smiles and laughter” on their faces as the cake and the bottle had fallen and split all over the counter and the floor. Then I heard running feet. I watched in horror as my future husband and his siblings sampled the fallen cake pieces on the counter as they picked up the remaining pieces on the floor.

“Oh MY God” I screamed! No-no we’ve got to put that back together! No I’ll make a new one!” What kind of Angel Food Cake is it?”  It wasn’t an Angel Food Cake –far from it! It was this treasured recipe of his grandmother’s Pound Cake! Boy ! Was I ever embarrassed!”

There was one good thing about the “Pound Cake Incident” though. It really broke the ice with my father-in law. That’s how I figured out that he was just “testing me” and trying to see how much gruff I would take from him. He was really a softy down deep.

You’ll love this cake! –It’s so reliable! Not a Prima donna like a cheesecake! Your friends and family will love it! It serves AT LEAST ten to fifteen people. If you keep it refrigerated in a “cookie tin” it’ll keep for weeks. It is most yummy served with tea or coffee.

This cake tastes best made a day or two ahead of serving so the flavors intensify.

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes MAKES 10 SERVINGS.

Ingredients. (Best Results all ingredients should be at room temperature.)

  • 1 Cup Unsalted softened butter
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 3 Extra-large Eggs , Lightly beaten
  • 2-1/2 Cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons Baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons Lemon zest , (Grated lemon peel-generous amount)
  • 1 teaspoons Vanilla extract , (generous)
  • 1/2 teaspoons Nutmeg
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Powdered sugar , for dusting and presentation

Preparation Directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. The oven rack should be in upper half of oven.
  2. Combine ingredients in a large mixer bowl in order of ingredients.
  3. Blend well, scraping up the bottom of the bowl to get all the ingredients dispersed well throughout the mixture.
  4. Set timer and beat the mixture THREE minutes at medium speed. Scrape well to make sure all ingredients are combined evenly.
  5. Pour into a greased (with Crisco)and floured tube pan.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees 60-to 70 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
  7. Cool the cake upright in pan for 15 minutes or so.
  8. After fifteen minutes cooling, carefully run a thin knife around the outer circumference of the tube pan, as well as around the inner tube itself. Rap the pan a couple of times on the counter. Then invert on a cake cooling rack for complete cooling.
  9. When cake is room temperature, lightly sprinkle some powder sugar over the cake for presentation.
  10. To place on serving plate, invert cake once to another plate, then again for final placement on the serving plate.
  11. Store in a  “cookie tin.”

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