Period Momma Brown Sugar Poundcake with Praline Frosting


This poundcake is what I think of when I think back to fall and my childhood. There were many times I remember Momma saying she made this cake “just to make the house smell good.”

Momma’s (Martha Shirley’s) Brown Sugar
Pound Cake

2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of Crisco ( shortening)
1 box of dark brown sugar (1 pound)
5 eggs
1 tsp of baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 tsp of maple flavoring
3 cups of flour

Cream pre-softened butter, Crisco, and dark brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time- mixing well after each addition. Add the maple flavoring to the cup of milk and add baking powder to the flour and alternate between the flour mixture and the milk mixture until all is incorporated.

Grease and flour a tube pan and add the batter. Tap on the counter to make sure any air bubbles are released and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Try not to disturb the poundcake if possible by opening and closing the oven door- use a broom straw to check for done and when the straw comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and allow to completely cool.

Praline Frosting

1 box of light brown sugar ( 1 pound)
1 small can of evaporated milk (5 ounces)
1 stick of unsalted butter
Pecan halves- optional

Once cake has cooled, use a knife to run around the edges of the tube pan and invert the cake on your cake plate and set it aside.

Using a saucepan, melt the stick of butter over a low to medium flame. Then add in your brown sugar and canned milk mixing the ingredients well so there are no lumps of brown sugar. Stirring all the time, bring the mixture to a boil and keep stirring and let it boil for two minutes then take it off the heat. If it’s too tight, add some more milk- if it’s too loose, add some 4x powdered sugar.

Using a spatula or frosting knife, cover the entire cake surface with the frosting. If you have extra frosting left over, pour it into the middle of the cake where the hole is .... before the icing sets up ( and you need to work fairly quickly) push pecan halves into the bottom edge of the frosting, soldier style next to each other.
To serve, Momma would ask how many nuts width did the person wish- ladies usually asked for one and gentlemen asked for two. And, all who had enjoyed it before and said kind words about the cake would end up with 3 pecan widths worth.
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First Sergeant
Dec 5, 2019
Looks wonderful! But what would have been the reply if someone asked for as many pecan widths as possible?
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How many eggs and how much is a stick of butter?
Oh, goodness! I’m so very sorry- I must’ve gotten up to let the dogs out and lost my place in the cookbook.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
I’ll make the correction in the original post for the eggs-
I checked the other ingredients and all are listed.

(a stick of butter is 1/4 of a pound in weight)
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