Table Talk: Elsie Engstrom's Pound Cake Circa 1863

Serves: 5
Total Calories: 968
Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves


1 pound butter
1 pound sugar
1 pound flour
12 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Beat butter and sugar until creamed, add lightly beaten egg yolks. Beat well then add flour, nutmeg and vanilla. In separate bowl whip egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter with as little stirring as possible. Cook in moderate oven, (350 degrees F) in a buttered loaf pan, for approximately 55 minutes.


I have no doubt that this was at times cooked in Steel Dutch ovens, and can imagine it being enjoyed on trips across the vast wheat fields of Sherman County, Oregon. A place I hold dear to my heart, and where simple, peaceful life is still enjoyed to this day. There is something so grounding about a place where working hard, enjoying one another and good food are central to life.

Sherman County, Oregon

What family recipes have been passed down through your lineage?

A special thanks to Barbara Ralston for her contributions to this article.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 5
Total Calories: 968
Calories from Fat: 277

This Table Talk: Elsie Engstrom's Pound Cake Circa 1863 recipe is from the 2013 HomeCook'n Collection Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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