A Cake Fit for the King (of Rock ‘n’ Roll)

I was reading an article recently about the return of vintage desserts. Desserts from the 50’s and 60’s are making a huge comeback right now, which makes me extremely happy, as I have a penchant for vintage recipes (vintage anything, really!). I think the pandemic played a huge role in their return – not only were we dealing with ingredient shortages last year (specifically flour), and making few and far between shopping trips, but we were also craving comfort food. The dishes that might have come out of our grandmothers’ kitchens. While we are dealing with a global pandemic, most of our grandparents were enduring the Great Depression and rationing of WWII – not too dissimilar crises. After reading the article I took a moment to glance at the comments section and saw that a cake called, “Elvis Presley’s Favorite Pound Cake,” from Epicurious.com, was mentioned several times. It’s a whipping cream cake – essentially a pound cake made with heavy cream in place of milk or buttermilk. All pound cakes, by nature, are decadent, but this one is over the top! Not only is it made with heavy cream, it also uses seven eggs which provide lift so that no other leavening is needed. I can see why it was the King’s favourite!

When I think of Elvis Presley, one of the first things that comes to mind are bananas. I decided to serve this with a bananas foster compote. I took the cake, the banana compote and also a compote of sugared strawberries over to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner – to rave reviews. I was not in the position or the mindset to take photos. Sorry about that! And all that was left when I returned home were just a few slices of cake. I decided to photograph the leftovers. The next day I halved and pitted some Rainier cherries, tossed them with a few teaspoons of confectioner’s sugar and a splash of vanilla, served them with the leftover cake and snapped a few quick photos. It was lovely as an afternoon snack!

All three garnishes provide a light and fresh complement to this ultra-rich cake, and certainly the cherries were the most photogenic of all, but I can say, hands down, flavour-wise, the bananas were our favourite.  

Here’s the recipe for Elvis Presley’s Favorite Pound Cake on Epicurious. I followed it to a T, with the exception of decreasing the sugar to 2 3/4 cups, just because I ran out! It was perfectly sweet and didn’t need the full 3 cups as written.

Bananas Foster Compote

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 bananas, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. When melted, stir in the brown sugar and rum. (Careful – the rum could ignite!) Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, sliced bananas and a pinch of salt. Place back on the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the bananas just start to soften – about 1 minute.

Serve warm, spooned over the cake.

Sugared cherries or strawberries

  • 1 – 2 cups halved, pitted cherries or sliced strawberries
  • 2 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Toss all the ingredients together and refrigerate, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and mixed with the juices of the fruit to create a thick sauce.

Serve with the cake.

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