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A Special Pound Cake for Thanksgiving

Years ago I made Southern Living's "Gentleman's Pound Cake" for Thanksgiving.  It was so good that I made it the next year and the next, but for some reason never made it again. Until now.  When I was thinking over my contributions to this year's dinner, I decided that it was time to bring out this bourbon and pecan favorite again. 

This morning I began the week long process by baking the cake and then soaking it in bourbon.  I don't have a beautiful "after picture" for you (yet!) but rest assured, this is one beautiful delicious cake when the big day finally arrives. 

You can find the original Southern Living Recipe here.  What follows is the recipe with my notes and changes. 

Southern Livings Gentleman's Pound Cake

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar, divided
8 large eggs, separated
1 cup bourbon, divided, plus more
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted (see instructions below)
Powdered sugar (optional) 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees  (325 for nonstick or dark pans). Flour and butter a 10 inch tube cake pan. 

2. Lightly spritz a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Put pecans on the cookie sheet in a single layer and toast them for about 5 minutes.  Watch carefully to ensure that they do not burn. 

3. Beat butter and 2 cups of sugar at a medium speed with an electric stand mixer (you cannot hand mix this recipe!) for 5-7 minutes.  Add eggs yolks, 1 at a time, beating until just mixed in.  (This recipe is very forgiving I divided all of my eggs at one time and added them to the mixture a little at a time.) 

4. Stir together 1/2 cup bourbon and the vanilla extract.  Add flour to the butter and egg mix- ture alternating with the bourbon mixture, until just blended after each addition.  Begin and end with flour. 

5. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer for this part) until foamy.  Add remaining 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon (or so) at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved.  Fold into batter. 

6. Sprinkle 1/2 of the toasted pecans into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Fold the remaining pecans into the batter. 

7. Carefully pour the batter into the pan. This is a lot of cake- very fluffy too! 

8. Bake the cake for 1 hour and 25 minutes (check after one hour)  or until a bamboo skewer or similar long wooden pick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  

9. Cook cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Before removing from pan, gently run a knife around the edge of the pan and the center to ensure the cake will not stick.  Cool on the wire rack. 

10.  Moisten several layers of cheesecloth with the remaining 1/2 cup bourbon and cover cake completely.  Store in an airtight container for one week, remoistening the cheesecloth as needed.  

Wrapped in cheesecloth- looks like a cake mummy! 
11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired before serving.  I think it is best with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! 

You can print the recipe here

I am sure that you probably figured out by now that this is not a quick cake to make.  It is easy though and totally worth baking when you have that first yummy bite! Okay- I admit it! I snuck a little taste from a place you wouldn't see in the picture- it's really good!

So the Thanksgiving preparation begins!  Thanks for stopping by today! 



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