Old-time pound cake recipes often called one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. However, a 1920 promotional cookbook for Snowdrift shortening contained a recipe for “Modern” Pound Cake that called for Snowdrift instead of butter; and didn’t call for equal proportions of the other ingredients.
The recipe may not be a traditional pound cake recipe – though the use of shortening doesn’t exactly seem modern either – but, in any case, “Modern” Pound Cake turned out wonderfully. The cake is moist and rich, with a hint of lemon.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Modern Pound Cake
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace (optional)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Put sugar and shortening in a mixing bowl; beat until combined. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts, milk, baking powder, salt, and (if desired) mace; beat until combined. Add flour and beat until well blended. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.