Monday, September 9, 2013

Indian Pound Cake

So I recently acquired Hearthside Cooking by Nancy Carter Crump. It is a book that I have had my eye on for a while, and would you know that WAHLAH it was on my shelf at work (a perk of the system I must admit).  I perused the pages for days soaking in what Crump has to say; and as one who is constantly trying to find better, more accurate ways to do things, this was a wealthy of knowledge and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Back to the food- where this particular recipe comes from I am not too sure. Crump credits Eliza Leslie with the recipie for Indian Pound Cake on pg. 202. I have found at least two references to such a cake- in Seventy-five receipts for pastry, cakes, and sweetmeats, 1836, under "Indian batter cakes". Also found in Directions for Cookery, in Its Various Branches, 1844. 
Recipe as seen in Directions for Cookery, 1844.
The cake does have a simple list of ingredients; flour, cornmeal, sugar, butter, eggs, etc. This is a great option for making a cake when you don't have a chance to run to the store, most of these items are pantry staples. I warn you, make sure you have enough time to put this cake together (about 30 minutes). I try to do everything manually- not using electric mixers, etc.- so that I can get more accurate time if it is something I want to try in a camp setting. This cake also took about 4 bowls to mix- but I am a messy baker!

Start by combining your dry ingredients. The recipe suggest 2 tsp of grated nutmeg, I tend to think it is a bit overpowering, so I only used about half of a nutmeg.

Beating the eggs "until foamy" will take some time. You can use an electric mixer if making this at home- if not, pull out your trusty whisk and get to it....then when you get tired- make your husband whisk as well! Remember the eggs are the leavening for this recipe so this is a vital step.
Check out his lovely Regency Sideburns! 
When those eggs are nice and foamy- start creaming your butter, adding a little sugar at a time until well incorporated, beat until  nice and fluffy.
Now, there are three different elements to the cake- dry ingredients, eggs, and sugar/butter. Time to combine these.  Add about one third of the dry mix to the butter, incorporate well, then add about one third of the eggs, combine well- continued until well mixed.  This will be a very thick batter, more like a dough, but don't worry!
Put batter into a well buttered tube pan-
Cake batter in my great-grandmothers pan. 
Place in a 325* oven- this cake will take about a hour and half to bake.  During this time, sit, rest your arms, this has been a workout of a cake!
Check your cake- when a knife comes out clean, it is ready. Turn it out of the pan, and TA-DA...CAKE! I am amazed every time my cake falls right out of that pan perfectly.
This cake turns out to have a great flavor! It tastes like very sweet corn-bread. It is a nice cake when it is fresh out of the oven. But, as Eliza Leslie suggests, its does become very dry and hard and almost like sawdust if left sitting out. I made this particular cake for an event I was attending, and forgot it :(, and when we got home it was too dry to eat.

I must say that I think this has been my most successful cake to date, good flavor, not too heavy.

Happy Cooking!!


  1. Thank you! It tasted so good! I hate that I forgot it at home so no one else go to enjoy it before going stale.

  2. Super post. I've been thinking about this topic.Congratulations on being so consistently interesting. This is great recipe of Indian pound cake. Monginis offers wide range of varieties in cakes. Monginis provides online cake delivery in Cochin to your dear ones.

  3. wow nice recipe it really helps me a can also Send Cake to delhi or anywhere in India.