Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mimi's Apricot-Lemon Pound Cake

My grandmother believed that cake mixes were a cook's best friend.
Mimi grew up in rural Mississippi, and she spent her girlhood sifting flour, then carefully spooning it into a cup and running a knife over the top. Baking soda was kept in a tin box, and it was measured with the same reverence and precision. Mimi had lived through epidemics, two World Wars, and sugar rationing. Once, a tornado lifted her mama's farmhouse of the foundation and whisked it away. "To Oz," her sisters said.

Years later, the world had become snappy and modern, but of all the ingredients in Mimi's kitchen (she was right fond of recipes that used Jell-O), she loved cake mixes best. Every week she made an apricot lemon pound cake, and we never longed for something different. She would set it on a round Fostoria cake pedestal, and as she carried it into the dining room, we'd applaud. 

 Mimi's Apricot-Lemon Pound Cake
                                                                                          Serves 12

1 box cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme )
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cooking oil (Wesson or Crisco)
1 cup bottled apricot nectar
juice of 1/2 lemon
5 eggs

Grease a round tube (or Bundt) pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
In a large bowl (I used a mixer), blend the cake mix, oil, nectar, sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and oil. Pour into the cake pan.
Bake 1 hour. If the top cracks, your cake will be magnificent. Cool a little--not too long or
your cake might stick in the pan. Tap sides of pan with a wooden spoon. 
Invert cake and place
on a wire rack. (If your cake refuses to budge, place it--pan and all--in the freezer. Remove and it should pop out.) Place the rack on a shallow baking pan that's been lined with waxed paper. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the top and sides of your cake.

1 bag powdered sugar
1/4 cup apricot nectar
lemon juice (start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust to your liking)
Place ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and blend. When the icing thickens a bit,
spoon it over your cake. Spoon the "dregs" over your cake. Over and over. Use the skewer to poke more holes, if necessary. When the glaze hardens, serve the cake on your prettiest platter and garnish with old fashioned roses.

Another thing Mimi taught me: 
Don't forget to have fun in the kitchen.


  1. are waaay too cute, Michael...and that cake looks amazing. My mama loved cake mixes, too and...
    so do I. :) I just made one today that makes me want to skip dinner and go straight for the warm cake.

  2. thank you for the beautiful pictures and great recipe !!! the cake looks delicious !!! love greetings from angie from Germany

  3. whenever I see flowers and cake, I think of you and your signature style, and this one is outstanding! There is nothing better than a good ole Mississippi pound cake! Loved the surprise at the end, too adorable!

  4. what a sweet story... until oz :-( i love how you make flowers merge with sugar, always a favorite treat for my eyes, and your rose girlie is ADORABLE! why have i never played with flowers... just darling!

  5. Oh I love this, your creative juices overfloweth! Love your sense of fun and whimsy in the kitchen :) Your Mimi's cake sounds as delicious as it is beautiful! My grandparents lived in rural Mississippi and some of my fondest childhood memories involved spending our summer vacation there after driving 12 hours in the car for a visit.

  6. mouth watering, and that is the cutest little flower girl


  7. Ha estado un regalo el visitar tu bloc, he encontrado cosas muy interesantes, te invito a visitar el mio y disfrutes del post de esta semana como yo disfruto haciendolo, y si te gusta me encantaria que si no eres seguidora te hicieras para seguir compartiendo nuestros blogs

  8. I love your memories of your Mimi, Michael Lee! She would be so proud of your lovely display and royal treatment of her wonderful pound cake. The little flower lady definitely shows your playfulness in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing this family recipe.

  9. Did you peek into my mom's cook book? Just kidding. Wonder where this recipe originated? Regardless iti s very good. Haven't made it in ages…coming soon to our table. Happy Weekend! Linda

  10. ML, I just happen to have a box of Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme in my pantry! (you know how I feel about LEMON!)
    I'll have to pick up some apricot nectar on my next grocery run, so I can try this yummy looking pound cake.
    Thank you so very much for sharing your Mama's recipe & please tell her how much I appreciate it, too. Nothing like our Mother's recipes & she taught you well about "Presentation", with that pedestal cake plate !!!


  11. What a fun and lovely post!
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  12. Oh my, this brought back memories for me. This was my grandmother's favorite cake mix, too. But, the apricot nectar inclusion is new to me, and it sounds like utter decadence. Trust me, I will be trying this.

    Happy Pink Saturday. I am so glad you joined us this weekend.♥

  13. This sounds wonderful hope to try one of these days.
    Hope you have a HPS

  14. Your cake is extra lovely with the flowers added!

  15. Your pictures are gorgeous and I look forward to trying "Mimi's" recipe!

  16. So, so pretty! Thanks for linking up with Home Sweet Home!