Pound cake is a staple dessert in the south. Growing up, it was rare to not see it gracing the table of every potluck, church function and summertime get-together I went to. If you were lucky, it was homemade and accompanied by fresh fruit that had been tossed with sugar, which created a syrupy goodness to spoon over the pound cake.
Pound cake recipes first started appearing in 18th century American and English cookbooks. The name referenced the fact that the cake often contained 1 pound each of flour, butter, eggs and sugar. In an era where literacy was not common, this was an easy recipe to remember. Early versions also sometimes contained alcohol and fruit, making them sound similar to fruitcakes. Since modern leaveners and mixers were obviously not available, one had to rely on some sturdy arm muscles to whip air into the batter to create volume for the dense, rich cake. Although recipes today widely vary, this buttery cake is an excellent dessert to have in one’s cooking repertoire.