“I called my mom to ask her about her molasses pound cake, and she was like,’Nobody wants that recipe. That’s just an ol’ cake we made for family.’ No one, though, had ever written down the recipe, so sometimes it was made with brown sugar, sometimes molasses. So, I asked my sister, Althea, and she was telling me how she makes it with fresh lemon juice. It is a versatile pound cake that you can adapt for the seasons, but my favorite way to make it any day of the year is with a combination of brown sugar and molasses, which gives it a rich amber color and a deep caramel flavor. I serve it with fresh whipped cream and whatever fruit is in season.”
Matthew Raiford, excerpted from Bress ‘N’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer.
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup molasses
3 cups flour, plus more for pan
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a Bundt or angel food tube pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. With the mixer still running, stream in the molasses and beat for 1 minute more. Add eggs one at a time, beating the cake batter after each one until fully incorporated. After all eggs are incorporated, turn off mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Turn the mixer to low and add flour. Once flour has settled into batter, increase speed to medium and beat the batter for 2 more minutes. Turn off mixer and tap paddle attachment on side of bowl to release as much of the batter back into the bowl as possible. Using a spatula, give the batter one or two more stirs to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Tap pan two or three times on the counter to get rid of any air pockets. Bake cake for 30 minutes, then check doneness with a toothpick in two to three places. If it’s not quite done, bake 10 to 15 minutes more. Once done, remove cake from oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool. Let cake come to room temperature in the pan. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, then invert a cake plate on top of the pan. Using both hands, flip the cake pan over so that the cake slides easily from the pan onto the plate.
Adapted FromBress 'N' Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer. Copyright by Matthew Raiford and Amy Paige Condon, 2021. Used with permission of the publisher, Countryman Press. All rights reserved.