How in the world did I end up with Elvis Presley’s favorite pound cake recipe?! It was just meant to be.
When I was nine-years-old, my father and I took a road trip to visit relatives in Memphis. As we were headed home, we just happened to drive by a home with a huge yard, beautiful trees and a gate with guitars on it. Hmmm. Whose house could that be?
Image Source: Elvis Blog
My father, who knew no strangers, decided to stop. We pulled up to the gate and Elvis’s Uncle Vester strolls over. He and my father had a good ole’ boy conversation and the next thing I knew we were sitting in big chairs under a big tree with a big motorcycle zooming around. The young man on the motorcycle stopped to say a polite hello and then sped away. He would wave again from time to time as he vroomed around his spacious 13-acre yard. Yes, at age nine I met Elvis Presley at Graceland. My nine-year-old-self was not like nine year olds today who are already gaga over rock stars. I was far more interested in playing with his cute dog and could not help but be curious about why his mother would let him ride his massive motorcycle on the grass!
Fast forward a few decades and I am back visiting Memphis, all grown up and working for a TV station. I’m there for interviews with the stars of the movie Memphis Belle. I went back to visit Graceland and found the once secluded, private southern residence had become a major tourist attraction with trams and souvenir trinkets. I liked my sweet, southern childhood memories better, but in the very busy gift shop I found a cookbook with Elvis’s favorite recipes compiled by Uncle Vester! I came home with a copy. There I found the pound cake recipe, but thought it disrespectful to put it on my TV show without permission. I just kept my memories and my pound cake recipe to myself.
A year later, I was interviewing Priscilla Presley for The Naked Gun 2 1/2. Before they turned on the cameras, she and I had a delightful conversation about my childhood visit to Graceland. We enjoyed sharing memories of a place so special to her. Priscilla is a gracious and lovely woman. While Uncle Vester was the guard at Graceland during my childhood, the changing of the guard put Priscilla in charge and she kindly gave me permission to share the delicious recipe.
Even though I have prepared dozens of different pound cake recipes on TV, this one is my favorite. Enjoy!
- 2 sticks butter
- 3 cups sugar
- 7 eggs
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
Bring ingredients to room temperature. Beat softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each. Alternate adding the flour and the heavy cream to the egg mixture. Add vanilla and almond extracts.
Pour into one very large bundt or tube pan (or two slightly smaller bundt pans) and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The pans should be greased and floured, as should all cake pans. Test for doneness. Cool in pan about 5 minutes before turning out onto platter.
Another example of what I have told numerous people: there are few people walking this planet ( or have formerly walked upon it) of any notoriety or importance that Barbara McKay has not met, and most likely been photographed with. In most of the pictures, Barbara was the stunningly beautiful or captivating subject that caught one’s attention. That’s our Barbara!!!!
You have blessed my life for decades, my friend, and I am so very grateful!! No words to say how much it means to have a GENUINE friend who celebrates my very hard work and God’s blessings. You have been beautiful since we met as teens and you and your heart just keep getting more gorgeous! I love you!