May I bring a dessert?

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The polite response to a dinner invitation in someone’s home.  In my case the question isn’t “May I bring a dessert?”, it’s “Can I bring a dessert?”.   The first time I dropped a dessert, I called it an accident. After the second time, I had to admit a trend.

The first accident happened at my husband’s boss’ house.  I was a little zealous cutting into a chocolate cheesecake and my hand went through the middle of the cake, tipping over the cake-stand it sat on sending the cake into a white parsons chair in my hostess’s kitchen.  Quickly, I manhandled the cake-stand and cake  before it landed in the chair and made a beeline to my car where I dropped the whole mess onto the floor mat. I calmly walked back to the party and tried to pretend that I had meant to wear chocolate cake that evening.   (The hostess didn’t blink an eye when I told her, with a completely straight face, that I destroyed the cake and put it in my car.  Emily Post take note.)

The second time I dropped a dessert, I made a pound cake and as I pulled it out of the car I lost my grip on the cake carrier and the whole thing tumbled out of my hands.  I watched as the cake flew out of the cake carrier, flipped in the air and then, miraculously,  landed right side up onto the asphalt, completely unharmed.  After a quick look around the parking lot to make sure no one had seen what I had done, I invoked the 5-second rule and delivered my cake.  The moral of the story is if you are transporting a dessert, it should be sturdy as well as delicious.  This pound cake is both and as if that wasn’t enough, it’s a cinch to make.

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It’s called a Two Step Pound cake.  My mom gave me this recipe after she found it in a Southern Living.  It has all of the hallmarks of a great recipe.  Very few, simply prepared, real ingredients.   If you Google Southern Living pound cake, you might guess that you will get more than a few dozen results.  Pound cake preparation is a religion and everyone is sure they have the method to produce the perfect cake.  Southern Living probably publishes a pound cake recipe at least 3 times a year with specific instructions about steps, ingredients, tools and secrets to produce the perfect pound cake.   Beat the sugar and butter together.  No, beat the butter first then add the sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time.  No, add them all at once.  This two-step pound cake could not be simpler to make and is by far one of the best I’ve ever had.  In fact, Southern Living even voted this one of the best recipes of 2010.  You essentially layer all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl, mix it and then put it in the pan.  We can all do that, I don’t care who you are.

On it’s own, this cake is light with a buttery sugary crust and is the star of the show. It’s also really good with a little whipped cream and berries, or a drizzle of lemon glaze or even ganache.  This is my father’s favorite birthday cake, it’s brought in big dollars at bake sales and is a sweet addition to a brunch buffet.  I will also admit that we have been known to devour this cake just as it came out of the oven, standing over the kitchen sink.  This is a perfect basic recipe to have on hand for all occasions.  Dropping the cake is optional. -Andra

P.S.  Mom, Dad…I promise, I’ve never dropped a dessert I brought to your house.

Two-Step Pound Cake  (a non stick bunt ban or tube pan really is essential)

4 cups of all-purpose flour

3 cups of granulated sugar

2 cups of room temperature butter

3/4 cups of room temperature milk

6 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons of vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°. Place flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla (in that order) in 4-qt. bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Beat at low-speed 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes.

Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch (16-cup) tube pan, and smooth. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).


  1. Arlene Breuker says:

    I’m glad you shared this recipe because I was wanting some when I saw Sam eating it at lunch on Monday and Matthew has been wanting some too. I will surprise him and my family tonight! Thanks!

    • Arlene Breuker says:

      This cake was so easy and good! The kids raved about it for days and I was also happy by how much it made. I made 4mini loaves in my stoneware and one large loaf that I froze and will use at Easter.

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