Remember the delicious old-fashioned pound cakes your grandmother used to make from scratch? They were glorious with a thick, crunchy crust and a scrumptious, dense and moist interior. After just one bite, Minnie Lee Croley’s homemade Southern Sour Cream Pound Cake will remind you of the timeless classic pound cakes of your youth.
Minnie Lee Croley was born in 1901 on Page’s Mill Creek in Coffee County, Alabama. She died at the age of 87 and is buried in Gadsden County, Florida. During her life, she was known for her skills as an old-time Southern country cook, and this recipe was one of her favorites. It continues to be a favorite with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her grandson, Doug Croley, and his wife Dianne have graciously shared this incredible recipe and their memories of Grandmother Croley with me, and have permitted me to share it with you.
According to Doug, the sour cream pound cake his Grandmother Croley baked was a favorite of all the older men in the W P Woodbery Hunt Club in Gadsden County. “They always seemed to be asking my Grandfather Croley to get her to bake this cake. The men liked to eat this sour cream cake while drinking their coffee – usually black. The Woodbery Hunt Club hunted close to Shady Rest which is in Gadsden County. But, that was a long time ago.”
Doug also reminisced about watching his grandmother make this special cake from scratch when he was a little boy and said he always looked forward to getting to lick the spoon and the bowl once the cake batter was poured into the cake pan. His greatest fear was that his Grandmother would scrape the mixing bowl too clean and he wouldn’t have any cake batter to eat!
Pound cakes originally got their name because they contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, but today’s pound cakes are much lighter and smaller than their ancestors. While Minnie Lee Croley’s Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe doesn’t call for quite that much richness, this old-fashioned traditional Southern recipe does call for a dozen egg yolks, which makes this cake truly one of a kind. You can make it with only 6 egg yolks, but for the best flavor, you will need the full dozen. My hope is you will make it today so you can taste why this Southern treasure has stood the test of time and why it remains one of her family’s favorite recipes.
You will need the following ingredients for Minnie Lee Croley’s Sour Cream Pound Cake: butter, sugar, a dozen eggs, all-purpose flour, sour cream, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract.
When you are ready to bake this old fashioned cake, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and grease an angel food cake pan or bundt pan well with Crisco. You can also use non-stick baking spray which contains flour, or grease the pan with butter. If you are using butter or Crisco, sprinkle in a few spoonfuls of flour or granulated sugar over the greased pan and tap the pan to distribute evenly. Pour out any excess flour or sugar.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Mrs. Croley’s original recipe’s instructions said to add 6 egg yolks. But she included in the parentheses the following note: (For a more flavorful and moist cake add 12 egg yolks.) The Croley family also recommends adding the full 12 egg yolks, and so I did as well when making this scrumptious cake and I have to say it was out of this world delicious.
With the mixer running, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. (Be sure to save 6 of the egg whites.)
With the mixer running, add the flour, baking soda, and salt a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until it is well combined in the batter. The batter will be stiff.
Use an electric mixer to stiffly beat six (6) (not 12) egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter by hand. A rubber spatula works well for this.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth out if necessary.
Bake approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. After about an hour and twenty minutes, use a skewer, toothpick, or paring knife and insert it in the middle of the cake to see if it is done. If batter or wet crumbs cling to the tester, continue baking and check every 5 minutes.
When the tester comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Then carefully invert the cake onto the rack, gently lift off the pan and let the cake cool for an additional hour before serving.