Grandma Hill’s Plain Cake

This is the recipe that my maternal Grandmother, Lorene Hovis Hill used for her pound cake. She called this ‘plain cake’ because it didn’t have frosting. The recipe has been modernized over the years with shortening being substituted for the original lard.

This cake has a more substantial texture and larger crumb than Aunt Ruth’s pound cake, which you’ll find elsewhere on the site, and is ideal for packing in a lunch box- it sure found its way into mine a lot!

  • 1/2 pound butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup butter flavor Crisco, or other vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups Dixie Crystal sugar
  • 5 large eggs, added one at a time
  • 1 cup sweet milk ( whole milk )
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon slemon extract
  • 4 cups Soft as silk flour

DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN! This is what the old folks called a cold oven cake.

Grease and flour a 10″ tube pan. . Cream butter, Crisco, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Pour lemon extract into milk. Sift dry ingredients together into separate bowl. Add 1/3 dry ingredients to sugar and egg mixture .. then follow with 1/2 of the milk. Beat at slowest speed until flour just is mixed .Add second third of dry ingredients and the rest of the milk and beat until the flour is just mixed.Scrape the bowl and add the rest of the flour. Mix until just blended and pour into pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a cake tester or broom straw comes out clean. Don’t open the door for the first hour or the cake will fall. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and remove from the pan. Allow to cool for 1/2 hour before serving.

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If you like this recipe, I think you’ll really enjoy this cookbook:


4 Comments so far »

  1. Carmen said

    December 1 2008 @ 9:13 am

    This has got to be the most awesome old fashioned pound cake recipe ever!!! I’ve been in search of a recipe like this for quite some time. One note, I did sub evaporated milk for whole milk.

  2. M C Truell said

    July 16 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    Do I need to adjust the oven temp. when using a factory coated pound cake pan? HELP

    I received a new pan some time ago and gave away my old one and am not sure I have made a good cake in the new one. They rise and look beautiful – then fall, usually before taking out of the oven.

  3. javanda bradley said

    March 15 2011 @ 11:24 am

    this cake recipes is the best. no other cake recipes can beat this one. i make lots of pound cakes. every one love this one and also chef rick’s aunt ruth pound cake recipes. this is truely an old fashioned pound cake. i love it.

  4. Chef Rick said

    April 19 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    Mary, it could be any one or a number of things.

    First, I suspect your oven temperature is off. Buy an oven thermometer at your nearby kitchen store and check that the temperature it says is what your over dial says. Follow the directions on the recipe as to preheating. Don’t over-beat your batter-too much air in it may also be at work here. Throw away the coated pans- if they were any good, professional bakers would use them, and they don’t.
    Good luck and I hope this helps.

    Chef Rick

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