One of the things I’m proudest of in my latest book, Sweetness, is the abundance of heritage recipes contained inside. Even more special to me is that some of my readers have recipes from their grandmother’s in the book as well.
This special pound cake recipe is from a wonderful woman with a heart full of love for her family. This pound cake recipe has been a double blessing for me because my father in law LOVES pound cake – and is notoriously difficult to buy for. Last Christmas, I presented him with an entire case of jarred pound cakes and let me tell you, he was proud as punch to be on the receiving end of that gift!
But you really have to hear the family story behind these pound cakes, and that is best told by Shay Baugh, who shares the story of her grandmother’s love – and recipe.
Pound Cakes in Jars
It was hard to tell when Granny used to read to me those famous words about living down a “sunny dirt road, deep in bear country” whether she was speaking of my favorite Berenstain Bears or she was talking about her and my Papaw’s house nestled down a long dirt road deep in Locust Fork, Alabama.
Being the quintessential southern grandparents, there were certain things you could always count on at Papaw and Granny’s house:
- There would always be food, and plenty of it.
- You were going to have to eat, whether you were hungry or not
- There would be at least one update on Aunt Helen and her kids, the neighbors who weren’t blood related, but you couldn’t convince any of us that that was true
- All the good family gossip occurs in the bathroom and if you don’t want to be the topic of conversation, you better get in there
- Eventually, we would all end up on the front porch rocking in the
- Rocking chairs or swinging on the porch swing
- There was always pound cake
- You would always be taking leftovers home, and hopefully that meant pound cake in jars
Sometime in the mid 70’s my grandmother brought home the recipe for pound cake from her job at the flower shop. It was an instant staple at her house from then on. The pound cake tastes excellent all alone, but add some blackberries, strawberries, peaches, or raspberries, and you have a dessert you cannot put down.
The recipe always stayed the same until the late 90s when the grandchildren were going away to college or enlisting in the service. Granny heard that someone had been making bread in Mason jars and decided that that was a great way to preserve her pound cake for her grandson that was leaving for his first tour in Qatar. She tweaked the temperature, time, and quantities, until she had perfected her craft. Her final product was her pound cake in wide-mouth pint canning jars that would stay fresh for months at a time.
When Wes packed his duffle bag, he also packed the jars by sliding them into socks and securing them in his combat boots. They arrived safely in Qatar and brought him comfort in the time that he was away from our family. Since those first days of the pound cake in jars, they have been mailed to Iraq, South Korea, they have travelled with grandkids to college, been given as gifts, and been made on countless occasions to store in our pantries to offer guests when they come to visit. Wes even had the pound cake as the groom’s cake at his wedding, and small jars of pound cake were made as wedding gifts. But we can all still count on the delicious pound cake being ready any time we travel to Papaw and granny’s house down that sunny dirt road deep in Locust Fork.
Printable recipe for Pound Cakes In Jars Below
- 3 cup sugar
- 1 cup Vegetable Shortening
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon lemon or almond extract
- 8 oz sour cream
- 9 wide mouth pint jars
- Mix sugar and Crisco, then add eggs one at a time. Alternate sour cream and flour. Add vanilla, lemon (or almond) extract, salt, and soda.
- Spray wide mouth jars with cooking spray and wipe off rims.
- Fill the jars half full with batter (no more).
- Place jars on baking sheet not touching. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.
- When finished baking, remove from oven. Wipe off rims and place on lids and ring. Will “POP”.
“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.'” ~C. S. LewisYum