The Same Cake?

My mom and I have an ongoing discussion about what it means to follow a recipe.

She says, when you follow a recipe, you follow each step; no variation, no substitutions.  Otherwise, you’re not cooking that recipe.

I say, recipes are strong guides.  But, you might be short of something or in the mood for a little twist.  So, make educated substitutions and alterations to fit your needs.

This topic came up again last weekend when I made one of my mom’s pound cake recipes for dinner.  Or did I?

I’ll let you decide.  Either way you decide to make this cake, it is both easy to throw together and a treat to eat!

My mom’s pound cake (with my variations)

  • 2.25 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar (brown sugar)
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla (rum.  and let’s face it, I didn’t measure, I just tipped the bottle for what looked right)
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sour cream (I didn’t have any.  I had 0.75 cup plain, full fat yogurt.  I figured this would give the acidity the baking powder needs for leavening.  I added 0.25 cup heavy cream so I’d have the 1 cup and also for fat content)
  • 3 eggs
  • (cinnamon)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and use an electric mixer to blend for about 3 minutes.  Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly in the center (took closer to 70).
  2. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a plate.  Pour butter glaze over it while it’s still warm.

Butter glaze

  • 0.25 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla (rum)
  • (up to) 2 Tbl water to adjust consistency
  • (nutmeg)

So, this is where following the recipe exactly steered me wrong… I added the 2 Tbl water all at once and it got way too thin.  Add the water slowly, a bit at a time.  It should be thick enough to drizzle over the cake and run down the sides, but not gloopy.

Some of it will run into the center and pool around the outside of the cake.  My siblings and I would run our fingers through this before dinner to taste the frosting; and at dessert, my grandfather would fish it out to spread on top of his piece (and share with us as well).

This really was a nice cake.  Even my mom had to admit it.  “But if you put my cake and this one side by side,” she said, “someone would have a hard time telling they came from the same recipe.”

One Response to “The Same Cake?”

  1. Corduroy Orange Says:

    Houghtaling Quotes…

    I found a great……

Leave a Reply