Improvisation

So my husband is from the South, a true southern gentleman through and through. So when we got engaged I started thinking to myself, he is going to want me to make traditional Southern meals. So in my panic I bought more than a few Southern cookbooks. I took some classes and read up on Southern cooking as much as could. One problem…my husband doesn’t really eat Southern food. Fried chicken, pecan pie and red velvet cake. That is about the extent of his Southern food favorites. So onto the bookshelf they went and sat. Last week I dragged out one called Mama Dips Kitchen. Cholesterol is not real a concern in the South. Lots of frying, lots of cheese, lots of bacon and of course, lots of butter. Which is actually all fine with me :) I came across a recipe called Six-Flavor Pound Cake, boasting under the title that it was the best pound cake of all.

So I broke out the butter and got busy. Then I realized that I made a faux pas that I tell others not to do. I started the recipe without making sure that I had all the ingredients….which I didn’t. I had all the main stuff: butter, eggs, sugar and flour but the rest I would be now winging. The original recipe asked for lemon extract which I did not have, nor did I have lemons…but I had oranges. So now it was becoming a orange flavored pound cake. Then we got to the spices, ground cloves, I’m out of cloves. Also ginger, which I had but I don’t like ginger with orange. So this was quickly becoming a four flavor pound cake. Earlier in the week I had planned on making orange-cranberry muffins so I decided that I would just make the cake into a orange-cranberry pound cake. Not at all what I intended. But what I got was a dense, moist, orange scented, cranberry studded pound cake that I had to quickly give away for I was afraid I would eat it all(and that is a diet no-no).

I could have made a orange glaze or a orange-cranberry compote but I chose to keep it simple just because that is how Mama Dip is. The cookbook has a wonderful introduction talking about her childhood and how poor she was. But in all her poverty she was happy for the pure since that she didn’t know any better. Meaning she had in her mind at the time all that she needed. I really wish more people would adapt this philosophy in life. So I chose just to sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar because if you didn’t have the glaze or compote you would be perfectly happy with the cake.

 

Orange-Cranberry Pound Cake 

2 sticks of butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one medium orange
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the milk and the vanilla and orange zest. Sift together the spices, flour, salt; add them to the wet ingredients, stirring gently just until well combined. Fold in the dried cranberries. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick unserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the panm then turn out onto plate.

 

Source: Inspired and adapted by Mama Dips Kitchen by Mildred Council 1999

 

 

Comments

  1. Your cranberries look like little jewels. I thought they were cherries at first… those would be good too.

  2. OMG, Life doesn’t get any better does it? Yummmmm. Except for Chocolate, My exception to the rule.

  3. Looks good. Yes, the south tends to disregard health when it comes to foods. That is why MS (and I can talk about it b/c that is where I was raised and live) is the fattest state in the US!

  4. Oh Mah Lord…(as some southerners say…) That looks dee-licious!! Something about baked goods bringing ordinary people to their knees has me hooked. Thx Peabody!!

  5. p.s. could your pics be any yummier? I feel like I gain weight looking at them!

    p.p.s. I am heading to Mexico this weekend for shrimp & tortillas – any special orders?

  6. looks great!

  7. What a lovely cake! I love its shape and the read agaisnt the cream color!

  8. This cake is gorgeous! B. is also a born and bred southern gentleman and does not really care ofr southern fare unless it is at sunday dinner with his parents. A once a month fix seems to be plenty for him.
    I love the way those cranberries sparkle through the cake.

  9. Gorgeous cake – I’ve never had cranberries before (have never seen them at the supermarket in anything other than juice form) but after the past 2 recipes, I’m really going to have to try and hunt some down!

  10. First time commenting here…
    Peabody, your pictures are INCREDIBLE. And this cake looks like no exception. I love your blog!

    Ellie: you MUST get your hands on some cranberries…you don’t know what you’re missing!

  11. What a beautiful white cake! I love its whiteness…

  12. That cake looks super moist and I love the orange zest peeking through.. I’d have to give this cake away for fear of eating it all as well – that’s a bad juju! :D

  13. Ooh, I love Mama Dip! The cake looks great!

  14. oooh, this cake looks so delicious and moist! Mama Dip’s country cooking restaurant up in Chapel Hill is also as unpretentious as her recipes are, good ol’ soul food, they have a delicious Strawberry shortcake that is to die for, seriously that good! Also her fried green tomatoes and ofcourse the fried chicken is out of this world!

  15. One day I wanna have some red velvet cake!

  16. I like all these spices. I usually don’t go too crazy in flavoring a cake, but since the butter sold in my area the flavor isn’t fantastic, may give it some personality then.
    Oh just got to know your husband not feeling well (from your previous post), hope he’s all fine now!

  17. God, that’s beautiful! I can tell it is moist and wonderful because of the layer of cake that stuck to the surface of the platter. I love to scrape those bits up with my finger and eat them. I am going to put this cake up for consideration as a Thanksgiving dessert. I might do it with lemon, as I prefer it just a little over orange.

  18. Your pictures are fabulous – I love reading your blog and the pictures make it look soo good.

  19. Another delightful cake Peabody!
    Can’t wait to make this one!

  20. I went to UNC and lived in Chapel Hill for six years. I ate at Mama Dip’s once because it was so overpriced and my grandmother’s food was SO MUCH better. (I’m originally from N.C., just another part.)

    Your cake looks so much tastier than anything at that restaurant. Keep up the good work!

  21. Lovely lovely photos !!!

  22. I just made this last night, but the outside was so dark :( What pan did you use to get the pretty white coloring??

    Thanks,

  23. I just made this cake, it came out terribly dense and the outside has a tan bark… Followed recipe to a T. I haven’t a clue where I went wrong. I’m devastated. I so wish it looked like yours. Anything that could’ve been different?

  24. @Samm- it could be your type of tube pan you are using. I have some that produce a darker pound cake and some that do not. Did you taste it yet? If it taste good that is all that matters.

  25. Lady bird cake says:

    Just made this today! I realized that it had no levener..was a but worried abt texture-baked just fine and instead of dried cranberries, I added a tunnel of cranberry relish I had, yummmmm!
    My tube pan also has a darker interior and baked it at 325, came out as white as the pic. One more change..I swapped out one cup of all-purp flour for one cup cake flour..gives it a different texture and taste!

  26. I saw your pin on pinterest for this lovely ,lovely cake and wanted to check it out! this cake led me to your blog and i am so thrilled to find it! now following along so that i don’t miss a single recipe of yours. I welcome you to stop by my blog if you can someday.
    Happy Holidays,
    Roz

  27. I made this cake using fresh cranberries into mini loaves at high altitude, even with the adjustments for altitude they were moist, decadent and so good. Sold out at our Christmas bazaar. thank you Peabody!

  28. Glad to hear that!!!

  29. marie fricchione says:

    This cake looks so delicious! Pound cakes are my weakness….I collect pound cake recipes and this is a very welcome addition.TY

  30. Am I blind or you use No baking powder of any kind?????

  31. @Carolina- most pound cakes do not have a leavening agent, so no, no baking powder

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