A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (2024)

A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (1)I was watching this You Tube video the other day of comedian Louis CK on the Conan O’Brien show. Let me start by telling you, it takes a lot for something on TV to make me laugh out loud. This clip did just that. If you haven’t seen it, take a few minutes to watch it and be prepared to laugh!

Louis CK talks in this clip about how far we have come with technology and how spoiled we are because of it. We have no patience as a society. We want things to work instantly and having to wait for something is unacceptable. It got me thinking about some of the things I used to have to do as a kid that my own children will never experience.

  • To create what we then called a “mix tape”, we would have to sit by the radio with our cassette player, listen to the Weekly Top 40 with Casey Kasem and hit record for every song we liked. Each song on our cassette had that awful “ker chunk” sound at the beginning and end of each song. Oh, and the horror if the DJ would start talking before the song was over. That would ruin the whole tape! Now, I just have to do a couple of clicks on my iTunes, put in a CD, and a custom “mix tape” is ready for me in minutes.
  • To find out what the weather was going to be like in the morning, I could not just go to a computer and type in The Weather Channel for an up to the minute forecast. We had to call Time & Temperature which provided a pre-recorded message of the time and most recent temperature. Oh, and if someone else was calling Time & Temperature at the same time, we had to keep enduring the busy signal until we called and the line was freed up.
  • There was no Ebay or Craigslist. Our little town had a Saturday morning “Trading Post” radio show where people would call in and tell what they had for sale. They’d leave their phone number and if you were interested in an item they had for sale, you would call them.
  • There was no such thing as 900 television channels. In fact, I grew up with 3 channels and a television with no remote control. If I was upstairs in my room, my parents would holler at me to come downstairs and change the channels for them. Channel surfing was done with me sitting right next to the television and my parents telling me when to turn the channel.

Things have changed a lot over the course of time. I love reading about how people lived in the past, ate in the past, entertained themselves in the past. Although I do love history books, one of my favorite ways to experience the past is through reading old letters, journal entries and blog memories of people who lived before my time. This is why when I was contacted to review the Military Wives’ Cookbook by Carolyn Quick Tillery, I jumped at the chance. This cookbook provides such a neat peek into the history of Military Wives’ during all of the major wars. Combined with snippets from letters and journals and packed full of recipes passed down from generation to generation, this cookbook is a treasure of traditions and memories.

If you love to read about history through the eyes of some amazing women combined with a collection of great recipes, The Military Wives’ Cookbook is one you must pick up. Just think, these days you don’t have to put it on your shopping list for your next wagon ride into town. Just a quick visit to a website, a click of a button and the book is yours in just a matter of days!

Grandmother’s Lemon Pound Cake (from The Military Wives’ Cookbook by Carolyn Quick Tillery)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pound butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tbs lemon extract
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and eggs. In a separate bowl sift together the baking powder and flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time. Add the milk and extract; beat well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour. When the cake is cool, glaze with lemon glaze (see recipe below) and garnish with lemon slices.

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs grated lemon peel

In a saucepan combine the 1st 3 ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sugar completely dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Add the butter and grated lemon. Continue to cook over low heat until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle over the cake while warm.

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Reader Interactions


  1. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (2)Pearl says

    i watched that youtube video, and then immediately felt bad cause i realized that I COMPLAINED ABOUT THOSE THINGS!

    goodness. that makes me think twice.

    and i had no clue that the military wives’ cookbook contained letters and snippets of the past; that sounds beautiful. thank you for sharing.

  2. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (3)Janet says

    Wow! This truly is a “Pound cake”! It sounds so good- I can’t wait to make!

    I am right there with ya on what kids today do not have to “endure”. I remember sitting on my grandma’s lap while she put my hair in pin curls, while we were watching the broadcast of the 1st man walking on the moon, all while we recorded it on these huge reel to reel tape recorders! And when the microwave an non-stick pans first came out! Oh, I could go on and on!

    Janets last blog post..Lemon Souffle

  3. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (4)picky cook says

    OH Time & Temperature I remember that!! and TV with no remote was no fun!

    The pound cake looks brilliant!! I am definately buying this cookbook.

    picky cooks last blog post..home

  4. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (5)Hopie says

    That clip is great! Thanks for sharing it! I remember calling for the time and temperature too, which only goes to show how fast things have changed. I remember I’d be there with my watch ready to go and the voice would say “at the tone, eastern standard time will be ten forty five and thirty seconds” beeeeeeep, and I’d wait until she got to where my second hand was so that I’d be EXACTLY on time 😉 Now, you can get the atomic clock online.

    Hopies last blog post..Mi Cayito

  5. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (6)Bron says

    After seeing this on facebook I just had to come and read the recipe Kirsten.
    What a gorgeous photo, simply mouthwatering!

    I also love reminiscing about how people lived in the past, I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era…lol

  6. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (7)Hopie says

    P.S. You inspired part of my blog post for today! Thank you!

    Hopies last blog post..Happy Earth Day

  7. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (8)amy says

    let me count the ways i love lemon:) yours looks delish!:)

    amys last blog post..

  8. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (9)Joan Nova says

    That was a fun post. I definitely related to the first 2 of your memories. And the cake is beautiful.

  9. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (10)Dani says

    your poundcake looks fabulous! i tried my first poundcake last week and, well, let’s just say it ended up in the trash LOL

    Funny how far we’ve come isn’t it, and how much it has changed not only the way we live our lives, but the way we behave…. i wonder what it will be like when my kids turn my age????

    Danis last blog post..#56) Double Chocolate Chippers

  10. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (12)Mental P Mama says

    Wow. I think, no, I know, my family will love this one!

    Mental P Mamas last blog post..They’re Here!!

  11. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (13)Suzie the Foodie says

    Thank you for the link to that video! Considering I went a whole half hour without power this morning, it gives me a whole new perspective on technology. I listened to the batter-powered radio while reading my cookbooks, it was quite wonderful in a way.

    I am a military wife and totally want to get that cookbook although the amount of sugar and fat that is used it quite frightening! But I’m sure it was fantastic.

    Suzie the Foodies last blog post..Free Online Baking Tutorial: How to make homemade muffins

  12. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (14)Katie says

    That looks absolutely delicious! I like the touch of garnishing it with lemon slices and your cake stand is super pretty. This one’s a stumble!

    Katies last blog post..Garden Fresh Panini

  13. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (16)grace says

    it wasn’t too long ago that we were still making mix tapes that way and calling time & temperature to hear about school delays. sometimes i miss those days…but not usually. 🙂
    terrific cake, of course. i don’t believe i’ve ever seen evaporated milk in a pound cake, but i like it.

    graces last blog post..no chocolate in sight…

  14. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (17)Teanna says

    I am OBSESSED with pound cakes and I have a newfound love for lemon… this is the perfect opportunity to make the best of both worlds! THanks!

  15. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (18)Jenn@slim-shoppin says

    I try to tell my kids that all the time about how much they take for granted. They have no idea how to compare since they live in the e-mail/i-pod/wii/world!

    The lemon pound cake reminds me of the one my grandma used to make. I love the texture of it. Thanks for reminding me to check out her recipe!

    Jenn@slim-shoppins last blog post..Southwest Egg Rolls + My filling lunch + pizza sticks!

  16. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (19)LyB says

    The Weekly Top 40 with Casey Kasem! Oh, my gosh, that brings back memories! I spent so many weekends with my friends listening to the radio and making mixed tapes. I think I still have a lot of them. Boy, you’re making me nostalgic, Kristen. 😉

    LyBs last blog post..TWD – Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

  17. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (20)Tammy says

    Hilarious video! Loved your memories, too. I recently found a stash of my mix tapes, but I can’t listen to them because I don’t have a cassette player anymore. The cookbook sounds very interesting. I love a cookbook tied to history or someone’s true-life stories. Great post!

    Tammys last blog post..Strawberry Pie

  18. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (21)HoneyB says

    What a great post. I too grew up with about 3 channels. Public TV, CBS, and a Canadian channel – that was in French! My parents never had to try to pry me away from the tv….there was nothing to watch. lol.

    The lemon cake is gorgeous!

    HoneyBs last blog post..Winners AND Brownies!

  19. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (22)Karen says

    I’m dating myself, but I can remember when we wanted to make a phone call, we’d have to lift the receiver up carefully and quietly and quickly listen to see if someone else was on our party line. If they were, we quickly hung up the receiver. There was no listening to their conversation… that was a big no-no! Also remember when my younger sister got old enough to learn how to change the channels so I wouldn’t have to get up. I’d just say “Susan, change the channel to 3”, and she would! LOL I love pound cake and this looks lovely. Going to check out the cookbook!

    Karens last blog post..How does your garden grow?

  20. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (23)Bunny says

    I’ve seen this video before and it cracked me up!!! I love knowing about how people lived in the past as well! I would love to go back in time one day just to experience it!

    Bunnys last blog post..Chocolate Covered Cherry Pie

  21. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (24)camille says

    Hey, I still made mixtapes in high school… which was in the 90s! The SECOND HALF thereof, even! Mostly I was recording off cds, though – taping off the radio was chancy, what with djs talking over things and cutting off before the song was done, and you could never be sure when the song would come on, and it threw your calculations all off because the song was bound to be a different length than it was supposed to be.

    I remember being really annoyed with cds that didn’t give a time for each track. Tapes involved CALCULATION.

    camilles last blog post..Teriyaki Salmon with Sesame Noodles

  22. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (26)MsGourmet says

    Whatever happened to Casey Kasem? We used to tune into him religiously as he was ‘so cool’! I still have a couple of ‘mixed tapes’ somewhere – need to go find them 😉

    MsGourmets last blog post..She still brings me flowers

  23. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (27)Elissa says

    Hi Kristen,

    Thanks so much for the kind words! Hearing that sort of thing from food bloggers I admire is amazing. I never expected anyone besides me to see my blog, and now, unexpectedly, bloggers that I’ve read for months are reading me! 🙂 So thank you for brightening my day.

    That said, I saw this cake on tastespotting and immediately loved the photography. It’s so light and crystal clear – my favorite touch is the lemon rounds, so pretty! I’ve made a similar lemon pound cake from Ina Garten and it was delicious.

    Elissas last blog post..Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria

  24. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (28)Trysha says

    My phone curfew was 10:00 and the phone could not ring after 8:30. I used to call Time & Temp and my friends would call on call waiting so the phone wouldn’t ring. I was smarter than the average bear!

    I was reading this post in the Starbucks drive-thru and I didn’t realize how much I wanted some Lemon Pound Cake…and I needed it, like, now! Low and behold, by some Devine intervention, the gal at Starbucks had samples of guess what…Lemon Pound Cake. Talk about immediate gratification!

  25. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (29)ingrid says

    Ha, that’s funny I recorded songs that way…hadn’t thought about it in awhile. 🙂

    Your pound cake looks good!

    ingrids last blog post..S’mores Bread Pudding

  26. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (30)Sophia says

    mmm! what a great old-fashioned recipe! but I would really “die” without all the technology tht I have come to depend on! I can’t imagine life in the olden days without the emails, google, ebay, etc! Guess I’ve been spoiled rotten!

    Sophias last blog post..A small teaser-preview…

  27. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (31)Dawn says

    Thanks for sharing the Louis CK video. Made me really think about my own behaviors!

    The pound cake looks marvelous! I was just craving a something citrus-y. I may try making it this weekend.

    Dawns last blog post..Tasty Thursday…

  28. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (32)Jessica says

    Mix tapes! Ohhhh. I can still see my little boom box with its orange and grey buttons. We would listen to the top 40 and record our favorite songs. The memories!

    Thanks for the great recipe as well!

    Jessicas last blog post..Strawberry Jam and Tea Together

  29. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (33)maris says

    I remember making mix tapes! Hated when the announcer would talk through the intro to the song.

    I remember when my friends told me that you could record onto a tape from the radio and I was SO IMPRESSED you would have thought she’d just shown me how to fly to the moon. (I was, um, 13!)

    I’m also glad to have this pound cake recipe. It looks like it would be right up my mom’s alley!

    mariss last blog post..Mom’s Banana Muffins (Low-Fat)

  30. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (35)Diana says

    I laughed out loud when I saw this post. I just finished planning a recipe for a lemon bundt cake I want to make tomorrow. Mine won’t be a pound cake and I’m planning to add blueberries, but I still say great minds think alike! I have another thing to add to your list, now teenagers text each other all the time, but when I was a teenager it was handwritten notes/letters. My friends and I had notebooks we’d pass back and forth that we wrote letters in, and I had stacks of notebook paper letters folded in all sorts of ways stuffed in my backpack.

    Dianas last blog post..Apartment Grilling Series: Going Greek with Gyros

  31. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (36)Scoop says

    Your pictures and food presentations are absolutely stunning. I’m a new reader and really look forward to checking out the rest of the blog.

    Scoops last blog post..When it’s cold out, eat Thai food

  32. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (37)syrie says

    Pound cake is a childhood favourite of mine. Kristen, thank you for sharing such a beautiful recipe. I can’t wait to make it.

  33. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (38)Jamie says

    What a riot! You made me laugh out loud! But one thing we had on local tv in Florida was “the clocks” – every morning before school when we wanted to check the weather, we would turn on this channel to find a camera slowly, very slowly panning back and then forth along a wall of clocks : time, temperature, barometer and whatever the other few were. We had to wait until it got back to the temperature “clock”. My kids think we lived in the Dark Ages!

    That cookbook sounds heavenly – I have a couple of old ones like that and it truly is fascinating to read! And this cake looks so fabulous that I’d love to try it!

    Jamies last blog post..FLORIDA CITRUS

  34. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (39)Lisa :) says

    Kristen–this was like reading a page from my own history! We’d try to tape off the Top 40 with Casey Kasem, too, right after coming home from Sunday School, I think. And, we STILL sometimes call the Time & Temp! AND, we still have a Trading Post! 🙂
    LOVED this post, my almost-twin sister of small-town midwest! 🙂

  35. A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (40)Melissa Bullard says

    Thanks so much for reminding me I’m antique! Lol Was talking with my 15 yr old grandson just yesterday about all the things his pawpaw and I have seen through our lifetime.Was so excited when we got our color tv and inside bathroom lol.You can imagine his outburst of laughter.And remember clearly saying how cool it would be if we could see each other on the phone (wow sure wish would of followed that idea through!) Thanks for this recipe it sounds like what I been searching for.A lady use to sell it by the slice at bingo and omgoodness it was so so good!!!I use to buy myself several slices and eat them all too lol while playing and wish later I would of saved a piece for later.I have tried several different recipes but none has been like hers ,very moist and lemony!!Going to make it right now ,can’t wait!!!Enjoyed everyones comments yall take care and have a Blessed Day!


  1. Just Wonderful…

    That is absolutely lovely….

A Bit of History (Recipe: Grandmother's Lemon Pound Cake) (2024)


What is the history of pound cake? ›

Origin. The pound cake was named after its recipe. Created in England during the 1700s, original recipes called for one pound each of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. The large quantities and no leveling made it a large, heavy cake that could easily feed big groups of people.

What did the original pound cake not contain? ›

The name (Pound Cake) comes from the fact that the original pound cakes contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. No leaveners were used other than the air whipped into the batter.

Why is pound cake? ›

The original recipe was essentially a cake that was made from a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of butter, and a pound of eggs. This is actually where the pound cake received it's name.

What is the history of lemon cake? ›

The exact origin of lemon cake is unknown. It is probably derived from the pound cake, which was first baked in England around 1700. A pound of each ingredient was used to make a simple, heavy cake to feed large groups of people.

Who made the first poundcake? ›

It is believed that the pound cake is of northern European origin and dates back to the early 18th century. A recipe for pound cake appears in The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse, published in 1747. The first U.S. cookbook, American Cookery, published in 1796, has a recipe for pound cake.

Why is pound cake so unhealthy? ›

On average, the pound-cake servings contained 31 grams of fat, a little less than half the 65 grams of fat one should consume on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet that derives 30 percent of its calories from fat.

Why is pound cake wet inside? ›

Another reason why your pound cake might be looking wet in the middle is due to overmixing the batter. When you overmix, you develop too much gluten, which can result in a dense, tough cake that doesn't bake evenly. To avoid overmixing, be sure to mix your ingredients just until they're combined.

Is pound cake the same as angel food cake? ›

The texture of Pound Cake and Angel Food Cake are almost completely opposite. Pound Cake is a dense cake with a moist texture while Angel Food Cakes have fluffy and airy foam interiors. The texture of Pound Cake is rich and solid, which makes it perfect for topping with icing or a dollop of whipped cream.

What happens when a pound cake falls? ›

You used too much leavening.

It seems counterintuitive, but too much leavening can actually cause your cake to fall. This is because the leavening activates too quickly during baking, which causes a turbocharged, too-fast carbon dioxide reaction.

What culture is pound cake from? ›

Pound cake came from Northern Europe. The first recipe for this loaf-shaped cake was published in The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse in 1747. Today, there are several versions of this popular cake: Quatre-quarts is the French version of pound cake.

How many eggs is a pound? ›

How many eggs are in a pound? Eggs vary in weight since not all eggs are the same. Large eggs tend to weigh just short of 2 ounces each. It takes between 8 and 9 large eggs to equal one pound.

Why is it called a pound? ›

Its name derives from the Latin word "poundus" meaning "weight". The £ symbol comes from an ornate L in Libra. The pound was a unit of currency as early as 775AD in Anglo-Saxon England, equivalent to 1 pound weight of silver.

Is pound cake angel food? ›

Angel Food Cake and Pound Cake are both versatile, delicious cakes. But from the ingredients and fat content to the texture and flavor, these two cakes are not the same.

What is the history of cake? ›

The origins of cake can be traced back to ancient times. The Greeks and Romans made sweet baked goods, and the Egyptians baked sweetened breads. However, it wasn't until the Middle Ages that cakes as we know them today began to emerge.


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