I’ve had my eye on my Great Aunt Helen’s Sour Cream Pound Cake Trifle recipe for months. I hesitated to make it because her recipe card didn’t divulge how to bake sour cream pound cake. Maybe her recipe for it was so good she decided to take her secrets to the grave.
Guess what, Great Aunt Helen? I finally found a recipe card (I believe my grandmother Marcia may have written it—looks like her handwriting) for sour cream pound cake. And now I can make it…with a few tweaks here and there. I win.
The original recipe card is vague to say the least. The card also included recommendations (like soft custard) that I didn’t want to bother whipping up. Have you made custard lately? Such a pain. I prefer homemade whipped cream. (mostly because it’s easy to prepare and I already know the recipe)
Also, if you look at the original recipe card, you’ll see that I’ve taken liberties with my interpretation of what Aunt Helen meant by “trifle.” Interpreting family recipe cards is like interpreting poetry. Everyone sees something different. I see Champagne and Grand Marnier. I think my great aunt would have been ok with that.
- 1 Sour Cream Pound Cake—slice into layers (3 to 4). See recipe below.
- ¼ cup Champagne or Grand Marnier
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- Orange marmalade, to taste
- 1 cup blueberries
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup almonds, toasted
While the cake bakes, prepare the whipped cream. Pour equal amounts cream and confectioners sugar into mixing bowl. Then, add vanilla. Whip until fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use. In the mood for Champagne or Grand Marnier? I thought so. Get out another bowl and toss in strawberries, blueberries, and Champagne or Grand Marnier (or both). Refrigerate.
After the cake has cooled completely, slice it into layers and place in trifle bowl one layer at a time. Next, scoop orange marmalade and place on top of layer (the amount is up to you. Aunt Helen didn’t say how much). Sprinkle strawberries and blueberries over the first layer. Then, scoop whipped cream and cover the layer. Repeat until finished. Scatter toasted almonds over the top of your trifle. Finally, enjoy a glass of Champagne.
- Recipe includes Emily’s take on what Great Aunt Helen meant by things such as “sour cream pound cake” or “cover first with wine or any liquor of your choice.”
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Recipe (possibly) by Emily’s Grandmother Marcia
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon baking soda*
- 1 cup oleo (or 1 cup butter)*
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 “stem pan”*
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Mix ingredients well in bowl. Set aside.
Mix together sour cream and baking soda. Set aside for one hour. After hour has passed, preheat oven to 350 F.
Meanwhile, cream butter well, adding sugar gradually. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add sour cream mixture. Sift flour and baking powder before adding it to bowl. Pour half the batter into greased stem pan, spread half topping on batter. Then, add the remaining batter.
Bake for 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan before serving or slicing.
- Grandmother Marcia was left-handed, and sometimes lefties don’t have the clearest handwriting. I had no idea if the “tsp” on the recipe card REALLY said “tsp” or if the loop before the “p” was an “l.” Teaspoon or tablespoon? You be the judge.
- Oleo is a fun word, but I wasn’t interested in using the stuff. Butter is better.
- When I googled “stem pan,” the first result that popped up said, “a stem pan is a type of dolphin and the only species other than humans that can speak fluent English.” Uh, what? Then I found out that a stem pan is the kind of pan you use for angel food cake (or a Bundt cake pan). Mystery solved! Thanks research skills. Graduate school has paid off.