Betty Reed suspects this family recipe for pound cake could date back to the late 1800s.

“(It) was shared with me by another Army wife, while our husbands were stationed at Fort Gordon during the late 1960s,” Reed says. “She said it was handed down to her from her grandmother, so it could be from the early 20th century or before.”

Continuing the tradition of passing the recipe along to the next generation, Reed asked her 30-year-old granddaughter to prepare the cake for picture-taking. The photos from her Pontotoc, Miss., kitchen are included here.

Sifting is one of the secrets to this cake’s lightness. Reed advises sifting the flour before and after measuring it.

Betty Reed's Pound Cake


2-2/3 cup sugar

4 sticks margarine, softened at room temperature

8 eggs, brought to room temperature

4 cups sifted white flour

6 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons flavoring, such as almond or lemon extract


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Grease and flour angel food cake pan.

Cream together sugar and margarine in a mixing bowl until well blended. Add 1 egg, approximately 1/2 cup of flour and approximately 3/4 tablespoon of milk to the bowl. Beat thoroughly. Repeat with each egg, reserving 2 tablespoons of flour.

Add extracts and beat well. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and blend.

Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and sides pull away from pan. Do not overcook.

Editor’s note: Reed’s pound cake is one of five competing in The Post and Courier food section’s recipe contest for a category crown. Over the course of a year, the newspaper will publish four or five reader-supplied recipes for each of 12 iconic Lowcountry dishes.

Featured recipes have been lightly edited to conform with the newspaper’s style, but they have not been tested: It’s up to readers to choose a winner. To weigh in on the red rice race, join us at

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.