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Cold Oven Pound Cake aka. “Smelly Cake”

My dad did not really cook; fried eggs, oatmeal, toast, and grilled cheese was pretty much the extent of his solo endeavors. However, he did attempt to make a cake on his own…twice. I believe my sister ended up helping him when he made his first, a pineapple upside-down cake. So, I believe the cold oven pound cake is the only cake my dad ever baked all on his own.

Cold oven pound cake

This cake was one that Mom often made and one of Dad’s favorites. We nicknamed it the “Smelly Cake” because of the wonderful aroma that filled the house as it baked. It is a delicate, moist, and delicious cake. It has a wonderful, sweet exterior that is almost a crust…

Mom acquired the recipe from a friend in the early 1970’s, along with her first bottle of Superior Vanilla Butter and Nut flavoring. By the time I was in college, the flavoring was harder to find. In fact, I remember dragging a college room mate from store-to-store looking forward to it…she also remembers. Today, it is extremely difficult to find. I ended up ordering it online from Betty’s Country Grocery in North Carolina…the flavoring is made in North Carolina.

Superior Flavoring

Why all the to-do about the flavoring? Well, I have tried to make it with other Vanilla Butter and Nut flavoring and the cake was not the same. In fact, the only substitute flavoring I would recommend is the LorAnn brand Vanilla Butternut.

If using the LorAnn flavoring, you’ll probably want to use less (2 tsp. +/-) and perhaps add another egg.

Other baking hints for this (and  other) cake(s):

  • Have all ingredients at room temperature…including eggs, butter, and milk.
  • You can warm eggs quickly by letting them set in warm tap water for several minutes.
  • Grease and flour pan well…products like Baker’s Joy have great release results with Bundt/tube pans.
  • In this cake: sift the flour and use AP flour.
  • Do not over mix the cake after the eggs are added…in fact, I think this cake turns out best when mixed by hand…or at least after the eggs are added.

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Comments

  1. Hey Paula, I’m so excited you found the flavoring. I was beginning to think my memory was failing me..well, it really IS failing me but at least not about “the flavoring.” I remember you baking a yellow cake, taking the cake out when finished baking, sprinkling butterscotch chips over the cake, sprinkling the flavoring over the chips, then returning it to the oven to melt the chips. Delicious! OK, so now I just need to know where to order the flavoring from!
    Oh, and the pound cake recipe also looks wonderful! i will be trying it as well.

    • Glenda, If my brain would have been working correctly, I would have thought of it sooner. This cake was one that we made frequently in my parent’s house…the flavoring was a staple.

      You can order it from Betty’s Country Grocery. Just click the store’s name and it will even take you to the flavoring’s page. Mine arrived just a couple of days after ordering it. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. My mother and I were just talking about that flavoring and how we haven’t seen it in stores for years and nothing else tastes the same.
    We used it in Hot Milk Cake and a baked apple shortcake/cobbler like dessert from a Pillsbury bake off cookbook from the early 70’s.
    Thank you so much for putting the link to buy it. I’m going to surprise her with a bottle soon.

    • I agree that there is nothing like it. The baked apple shortcake/cobbler you mentioned sounds great…the flavoring would be great with apples. Thank you for giving me an idea! I went overboard on my last order, so I need to start using it in other things 🙂

      • I’m happy to pass this apple recipe along if you’d like. It came from the 1972 book and I haven’t found the recipe online anywhere. Yesterday my brother said I have no idea about the flavoring, but that apple stuff was one of the greatest things from my childhood.

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